Wittnauer Professional Chronograph
Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
Wittnauer was established in 1884 and quickly gained a reputation for excellence. Their chronographs were favored by pioneering aviators like Amelia Earhart. Under the ownership of Longines, Wittnauer continued to produce exceptional chronographs at a more competitive price point than its Swiss counterparts.
Their dependability in aviation applications attracted the attention of NASA in the early 1960s. In March of 1965, NASA approached six leading watch brands for submission in a series of grueling tests, the object of which was this: to produce the first watch certified for use in manned space flights.
Rolex's entry to the contest was the Valjoux 72-based racing chronograph, the Daytona. The Navitimer, ref. 809, was Breitling's entry, and had already left Earth's atmosphere on the wrist of American astronaut Scott Carpenter during his historic space-flight on May 24, 1962. Other entries included the Omega Speedmaster and a chronograph by Wittnauer.
NASA's Qualification Test Procedures included timing tests that involved running the chronograph for several hours. The watches were decompressed for 90 minutes, and exposed to temperatures from 0 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, intense vibration for 30 minutes, and then had to withstand shocks of 40 Gs. Of all the watches that underwent these intense trials, only the Omega Speedmaster passed each trial intact. The Daytona stopped running twice and the second hand warped. As for the Wittnauer, the Wittnauer's crystal warped and disengaged from the case during the decompression and high pressure tests.
There's no clear documentation of Wittnauer's submission to the test procedures. Advertising material following the tests proclaimed that the 242T was Wittnauer's entry. While some attest that it was in fact this watch, the ref. 235T, that endured all those excruciating tests, there is little concrete evidence to substantiate those claims. Still, it's easy to see why the rumors about this model abound; capturing the essence of a mid-century chronograph, from the perfectly-proportioned steel case with elegantly tapered lugs, and the dial with outer Tachymètre scale printed in blue, this piece is as functional as it is beautiful.
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.
Wittnauer Professional Chronograph