Question about Wittnauer Watches

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I have a wittnauer wrist watch , serial number 520556. How old is it and what model.

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  • Wittnauer Master
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Not every watchmaker can be as renowned for its movements as LeCoultre or as admired for its designs as Cartier. Some watchmakers get their start simply by seeing an opportunity and seizing it.

Such is the story of Albert Wittnauer, who came to America from Switzerland in 1872 at the age of 16. Even as a youth, Wittnauer knew watchmaking, which made him a useful addition to his brother-in-law J. Eugene Robert's Swiss-watch importing business. Over the next few years, two more of Wittnauer's younger brothers and a sister would join him in New York City, forming the nucleus of Robert's, and then Wittnauer's, company.

The opportunity Wittnauer identified was not technological. Rather, it was market driven. Wittnauer saw an opening for a less-expensive Swiss pocket watch in the United States. Since Robert was already importing watches from Switzerland, including Longines, it was not a large leap to add a Wittnauer-branded model to the company's offerings. The watches sold well. By 1885, Albert was running the company, importingchronographs and repeaters, and by 1890 the firm was renamed the A. Wittnauer Company.

While Wittnauer got its start with an economy model, it quickly moved into more rarefied terrain, creating highly sophisticated chronometers. The company's breakthrough came in 1907, when Wittnauer supplied a pair of watches to the Navy, which was testing its aviation capabilities. Perhaps because of this very early alignment with the budding aviation industry, Wittnauer watches would be worn by such notable explorers as Roald Amundsen and Richard E. Byrd, as well as aviators from Amelia Earhart to Wiley Post.

After Albert's death in 1916, his sister, Martha, took the firm's reins. During World War I, Wittnauer supplied new military wristwatches and precision navigational devices to American Expeditionary Forces and an aircraft clock to the forerunner of the U.S. Army Air Corps. Around the same time, Wittnauer introduced its All-Proof wristwatch-the anti-magnetic watch was water and shock proof-to the U.S. market.

In the 1920s, Wittnauer produced wristwatches that were technologically advanced as well as aesthetically beautiful. The lugs of Wittnauer wristwatches were one of many details its designers did not take for granted, and the shapes of the faces varied from squares and rectangles to circles and hexagons, as in the gold Grasshopper.

Aviation watches, though, remained a prime focus. In 1927, Wittnauer and Longines both worked with a U.S. Navy officer named Philip Van Horn Weems, whose design for a Second Setting Watch included an inner, rotating dial. The aviator would move the dial until he heard a time-tone on his radio, thus capturing any deviations from Greenwich Civil Time.

Another influence on Wittnauer timepieces of this era was Wittnauer watchmaker John Heinmuller, who was the official timekeeper of the U.S. National Aeronautical Association and became one of the country's leading authorities on U.S. air mail stamps. Because of all this attention to navigation wristwatches and devices, Clarence D. Chamberlin and Charles A. Levine used Wittnauer chronometers for their 1927 trans-Atlantic flight (they flew two weeks after Lindbergh) and Charles Collyer and John Henry Mears used two Wittnauers in 1928 when they famously raced the moon around the earth-they did it in 24 days, beating the moon by 72 hours.

More aviators, Howard Hughes among them, wore Wittnauers in the 1930s, but the company struggled during the Depression, prompting its sale, in 1936, to a pearl manufacturer, who renamed the company Longines-Wittnauer. World War II provided Wittnauer with contracts for Weems wristwatches, as well as compasses and timers, and after the war it produced wristwatches that utilized technologies created for the conflict.

In the 1950s, Wittnauer turned some of its resources to fashionable dress wristwatches. As in years past, the lugs of Wittnauer wristwatches such as the Revue were almost as important to the design as the face. By now the company was offering slimmer self-winding watches than it had in the past, and in 1957 it released its first electric wristwatch.

Westinghouse bought Longines-Wittnauer in 1969, in 1994 Longines was sold to Omega owner SMH, and in 2001 Wittnauer was sold again to Bulova.

Wittnauer Wristwatches

Posted on Apr 15, 2015

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6 Suggested Answers

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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  • 1141 Answers

SOURCE: users manuel

Hey there and happy new year!
this is a link to a general PDF hope you find it helpfull
http://www.bulova.com/dynamic_repository/instructions/551W.pdf

This link is to other Wittnauer pdfs
http://www.bulova.com/service/instructions.aspx

Most watches from same brand works the same so don't worry if it's not exactly for yours, the diffrence shouldn't be a big difference

Tom

Posted on Jan 01, 2008

  • 5 Answers

SOURCE: wittnauer wrist watch identification

If you have the serial number... then all is solved.

Posted on Aug 28, 2009

  • 2501 Answers

SOURCE: watch dial says 'WITTNAUER

Go to "www.allamericanwatches.com/" which is the Boluva site but they deal in this make. Put "straps" into their search box and a list of straps appears.

Alternatively, go to "wittnauer.watches-collection.com/". This company sells replicas, so presumably will be able to offer you a replacement strap.

Posted on Jan 02, 2010

escapement
  • 2334 Answers

SOURCE: My Wittnauer is jumping every 5 seconds

Your watch is fitted with EOL feature and let you know about insufficient battery power by moving seconds hand by 2-5-second increments. You have about two weeks time to change the battery from the EOL engagement or your watch will start to malfunction or even stop. In this case you will have to reset your watch after battery replacement. EOL = End Of Life (relates to battery only). Jumping seconds hand means it's time to change battery.
Rate me, plz.

Posted on Jan 04, 2010

mcdevito75
  • 1970 Answers

SOURCE: I have purchased a vintage wrist watch, makers

mcdevito75 here, any Geneve watch is very good, from the little I know and without seeing the watch, note the hands carefully, if they are thick the watch could be from the 60"s or before. If the hands are thin then the age of the watch could be from the 70"s, the Geneve name though is very good, they also have Geneva name but Geneve is the name to look for. Also a jeweler can give an approx. age.------- Thick hands, 60"s or before, ------- thin hands, 70"s and after.

Posted on Jun 16, 2010

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My Wittnauer is jumping every 5 seconds


Your watch is fitted with EOL feature and let you know about insufficient battery power by moving seconds hand by 2-5-second increments. You have about two weeks time to change the battery from the EOL engagement or your watch will start to malfunction or even stop. In this case you will have to reset your watch after battery replacement. EOL = End Of Life (relates to battery only). Jumping seconds hand means it's time to change battery.
Rate me, plz.

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Go to "www.allamericanwatches.com/" which is the Boluva site but they deal in this make. Put "straps" into their search box and a list of straps appears.

Alternatively, go to "wittnauer.watches-collection.com/". This company sells replicas, so presumably will be able to offer you a replacement strap.

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Wittnauer wrist watch identification


If you have the serial number... then all is solved.

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