Wittnauer Triple Register Chronograph
SOLD

Wittnauer Triple Register Chronograph

The story of the A. Wittnauer Company--and the man who founded it--is so inspirational that it could be a film by Ron Howard. Albert Wittnauer immigrated to New York City in the 1870s, a lad of sixteen with ambitions as wide as the Atlantic. He came to work for his brother-in-law, Eugene Robert, an importer of fine Swiss timepieces by brands such as Jaeger LeCoultre and Vacheron et Constantin. His experiences working for his brother-in-law inspired him to make watches of his own, with the reliability and craftsmanship of Swiss watches at a lower price point to appease the thrifty American public. He established the A. Wittnauer Company in 1885, at the age of only thirty-one.

Around that time, Wittnauer became the distributor for Longines watches in the United States, and would often house Longines movements in Wittnauer-branded cases. Together with Longines, Wittnauer gained a reputation for their excellent aviation instruments and chronographs. Aviators such as Amelia Earhart piloted their planes with instruments made by Wittnauer, and daredevil aviator Jimmy Mattern wore a Wittnauer AllProof in his aborted flight around the world in 1933.

Longines formally bought Wittnauer in the 1950s, and the brand continued to produce exceptional chronographs at a more competitive price point than their Swiss contemporaries. But like so many watch brands, Wittnauer folded in the face of budget crises in the mid-1980s, causing Longines to dissolve their relationship with Wittnauer. Their watches remain, a testament to their ingenuity and elegance.

Despite all of the credentials, Wittnauer is a brand that has flown firmly under the radar of most collectors, and that's just fine as far as we're concerned- in fact, that's just the type of watch we like around here.

The watch we have here is not only a testament to Wittnauer's abilities, but a reminder of all that we love about vintage chronographs. There's so much to love about it- the perfectly proportioned steel case, the elegant blued steel hands, and the legendary Valjoux 72 movement that beats inside. But let's not beat around the bush here- when we talk about "patina," this is what we mean. The dial, once crisp white, it has taken on a tremendous patina over the past few decades, turning to a deep, even cream color. The hands have darkened, but still gleam blue when the light hits them right, and their luminous paint has taken on the dark orange hue collectors love.

If you've been lusting after a high-grade steel chronograph with a ton of character, this one is hard to beat.

Details

Stainless steel case is approximately 36mm in diameter (excluding the crown). Valjoux 72 hand wound movement. .

Overall condition: Case is in excellent condition over all with light signs of wear consistent with age and use and retaining crisp bevels and edges. Dial has taken on a deep, even cream colored patina from age with light speckling and blue steel hands have darkened. Luminescent elements across the dial and hands have also aged evenly. Wittnauer signed crown.

Includes one 18mm analog/shift leather strap and two 18mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.

SKU: TT01032

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