In 1885, a New York-based Swiss company called Wittnauer was formally established by a Swiss immigrant. Let’s take a look at this fascinating company, and one of their watches - the Wittnauer Professional Chronograph 247T.
Albert Wittnauer, was a Swiss immigrant who arrived in New York City in 1872 at the age of 16, Albert Wittnauer’s vision was to design watches with the durability and function the American public demanded but with local production to help keep costs down. Their early customers were explorers, aviators, navigators, astronomers, who praised the reliability of their watches. This reputation continued to grow. They were involved with the U.S Navy for early tests in the budding fields of aviation and navigation.
During The Great Depression, the sale of luxury goods suffered and brands such as Wittnauer, had to adapt to survive. Building on the close relationship with Longines from 1936, the company was renamed Longines-Wittnauer. The partnership would continue until 1969. In the same year, the Westinghouse Electric Corporation purchased Wittnauer, by bringing together an electrical industry giant, putting Wittnauer at the forefront of the newest electronic timekeeping technology.
At the beginning of World War II, Wittnauer were manufacturing navigational instruments and other war products for the American military. In 1941, Wittnauer was given a contract to produce compasses for the U.S. military forces. The Wittnauer compasses were included in a survival kit for U.S. aviators, and were frequently seen as Officer’s compasses.
In the year 1994, Swatch broke the collaboration that had lasted a century by taking over the Longines distribution. After facing financial difficulties, Wittnauer was eventually bought by Bulova in September 2001. And then just seven years later, Bulova was then purchased by the Japanese conglomerate - Citizen Watch Co.
It wasn’t until recently that we sold watches from Wittnauer, however as we learned more about the brand, we knew we had to start. Below is the first watch we purchased of this brand.
This watch was Wittnauer Professional Chronograph 247T, the watch has a “Surfboard” dial, which is highly regarded by collectors. So much so, that the brand re-released a limited edition version last year featuring this dial design. Vintage watches from the Wittnauer brand are currently hugely undervalued and now represents an ideal time to buy.
If you'd like to learn more about the Wittnauer Professional Chronograph 247T that we have in stock, click here, and this will take you to the watch's product page. Similarly, if you have another Wittnauer watch in mind that you'd like to add to your collection, why not take advantage of our Free Watch Sourcing service? We offer free, no-obligation watch sourcing up to (and often more) than 30% less than traditional dealers!