Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
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.
The watch that we have here, the ref. 3256, has everything you could want in a vintage chronograph. Handsome looks: that patinated dial, those tapered skeleton hands, blued sweep hands in the twin chronograph registers, that brushed case. It's also powered by a dependable movement, the Venus cal. 188.
If you've been lusting after a vintage chronograph, but don't want the price tag that comes with the big names like Universal Geneve and Breiting, then look no further.
Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.
We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns+
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.
Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.
We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.
We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.