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En la galeria podreis apreciar varios modelos de wittnauer que calaron hondo en los 70.
Desde un maravilloso cronografo professional de tres coronas
pasando por varios ejemplos del siempre impactante wittnauer FUTURAMA
(un curiosisimo horas saltantes que se lee de lado)
en varios diales,
el Super robusto wittnauer POLARA, uno de los primeros leds cuyo fabuloso diseño y esa estupenda caja
siguen estando vigentes hoy en dia,
hasta el wittnauer ROBOT, un jump hour denominado asi por su semejanza a la cabeza de un robot y con movimiento TENOR DORLY que ya analizaremos mas adelante.
Un poquito de historia
¿Qué tienen Amelia Earhart, Howard Hughes y la National Broadcasting Company de estados unidos en común?
Lo creais o no, la respuesta es Wittnauer. Durante más de 100 años, estos relojes elegantes no sólo han sido innovadores en su industria, sino que también han estado en la vanguardia de la historia de los Estados Unidos. La historia de A. Wittnauer, y su compromiso de producir un producto de calidad, añade a la belleza de sus relojes y los hace indispensables para cualquier persona que desease relojes suizos a un precio asequible en los 70.
A pesar de que la Compañía A. Wittnauer no se estableció formalmente hasta 1890, Albert Wittnauer y sus hermanos comenzó a funcionar casi 20 años antes de esa fecha. La empresa tenia sede en Nueva York, pero los relojes se hicieron en Ginebra, Suiza. En los primeros días, los empleados incluidos H.A. Lungrin, que desarrolló un sistema de cronógrafo popular; Haschka Ferdinand, que más tarde se convertiría en la cabeza relojero para Tiffany & Co, y Charles Johns, creador del cronómetro, calendario perpetuo que se muestra en la Feria del Mundo en 1939. Con ese estimado personal altamente capaz, no es de extrañar que Wittnauer rápidamente se convirtiera en los favoritos de cualquiera que desease precision,a un precio asequible y atractivo.
A través de los años, Wittnauer se convirtió en el equipo preferido de los exploradores, los aviadores y militares de los EE.UU.. Amelia Earhart, Clarence D. Chamberlain y Charles A. Levine, Wiley Post, Howard Hughes los usaron y establecian todos los registros de vuelo utilizando los relojes como parte de su equipo esencial durante el mismo.
Militares de los EE.UU. utilizaron sus relojes y los instrumentos de navegación, y la marca se convirtió en la preferida para los soldados en ambas Guerras Mundiales. Durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial, relojeros que huyeron de Europa, se les ayudó a hacer trabajos de laboratorio temporizadores, brújulas y otros productos como parte del esfuerzo de guerra. Después de la guerra,a los veteranos que regresaron (incluso las personas con discapacidad) se les dio cargos de aprendices y relojeros.
Por supuesto, la belleza y la exactitud de Wittnauer relojes y relojes hizo un llamamiento a algo más que a exploradores, los aviadores y soldados. Cuando la National Broadcasting Company surgió en el aire como la primera red de radio en los Estados Unidos, se basó en el famoso reloj para la precisión de sus emisiones.
Los atletas tambien valoraban su precisión y resistencia a la humedad durante eventos competitivos, permitiendo a la relojera la oportunidad de servir como temporizador OFICIAL para el Comité Olímpico de los EE.UU.
Inicialmente Adquirida por el grupo Longines, Wittnauer es ahora una parte de la Corporación de Bulova,los relojes Wittnauer siguen siendo fieles a su original dedicación a la producción de relojes de calidad a un precio asequible,
eso si de cuarzo
Mas info (EN INGLES)
In the gallery you will appreciate various models of Wittnauer Watches from the 70.s period.
From a wonderful professional chronograph of three crowns ,
through various examples of the Amazing Wittnauer “Futurama” (a curious jumping hour where you read the time on the side)
in various dials,
The Super robust Wittnauer Polara, one of the first LEDs whose fabulous and this great case design are still valid today
& The Wittnauer ROBOT, a jump hour named for its resemblance to the head of a robot and the marvellous TENOR Dorly movement.
The History of Wittnauer
Sixteen-year old Albert Wittnauer arrives in New York from Switzerland. Already a skilled watchmaker, young Wittnauer is to work for his brother-in-law, J. Eugene Robert, an importer of fine Swiss watches.
Louis Wittnauer joins his older brother, Albert, in New York. The teenager also begins working for J. Eugene Robert.
Convinced of the need for a watch designed expressly for the growing U.S. market, Albert Wittnauer creates the Wittnauer brand. Manufactured in Geneva, Switzerland, with all the functions and durability demanded by the American consumer, the Wittnauer brand, priced lower but as finely crafted as more expensive Swiss imports, is an instant success.
Albert Wittnauer takes over the management of his brother-in-law’s importing company. The company continues to distribute several brands of Swiss watches as well as the growing Wittnauer brand.
Emile Wittnauer, at 23 the youngest of the Wittnauer siblings, arrives in New York to work with his brothers.
The company runs its very first advertisement. Appearing in the twentieth anniversary issue of the Jewelers’ Weekly, the ad notes that the company sells both “plain and complicated” watches, suggesting that it is a source for chronographs and repeating watches.
The A. Wittnauer Company is formally established when J. Eugene Robert transfers title to the company to his young brother-in-law, Albert Wittnauer. Also involved in the company are Albert’s brothers, Louis and Emile, and their sister, Martha.
With offices on Maiden Lane, then the heart of New York’s jewelry and watchmaking business, the company employs a nationally recognized roster of skilled technical experts including H.A. Lungrin, the inventor of a popular chronograph system, Ferdinand Haschka, later the head watchmaker for Tiffany & Co., and Charles Johns, whose 80-jewel perpetual calendar chronometer would later be displayed at the 1939 World’s Fair.
With continuing success, the A. Wittnauer Company outgrows its small building at 19 Maiden Lane. Embracing the modern age, it moves to the tenth floor of a new fourteen-story skyscraper at 9-13 Maiden Lane.
Louis Wittnauer, who ran the company during Albert’s frequent business trips to Switzerland, dies at age 41. The death may be from tuberculosis, a near epidemic in Europe at that time.
With Albert Wittnauer spending increasing amounts of time overseeing his watchmaking operations in Geneva, surviving brother Emile assumes management of the New York office.
As explorers press on to the most remote portions of the globe, A. Wittnauer Company becomes famed for selling the extremely accurate timepieces known as chronometers to navigators, astronomers, geographers and explorers.
Albert Wittnauer incorporates the A. Wittnauer Company, with himself as president and brother Emile as vice president.
An exciting era in Wittnauer history begins when Albert Wittnauer submits two watches for use by the Navy in its early aviation tests. In the years to come, no firm would become more closely identified with the new science of aviation. Nearly every pioneer aviator in the early years of the twentieth century would carry or wear a watch supplied by the A. Wittnauer Company. Attracting some of the world’s most prominent explorers as well, Wittnauer would become known for its long list of daring fans, including Roald Amundsen, Richard E. Byrd, Clarence D. Chamberlin, Paul Codos, Charles B.D. Collyer, Amelia Earhart, Harold Gatty, Bennett Griffin, Howard Hughes, Jack Lambie, James Mattern, John Henry Mears, Dick Merrill, Wiley Post, Elinor Smith, Kingsford Smith, Louise Thaden and Sir Hubert Wilkins.
Highly accurate Wittnauer chronometers, equipment essential to aviators, navigators, astronomers, geographers and explorers in the years before radio beacons, radar and satellites, would also be used in American observatories and throughout the U.S. military. Years later, assessing the unparalleled contributions of the A. Wittnauer Company in his book Military Timepieces, horologist Marvin E. Whitney writes that:
“No one company has been more involved in the design and production of so many different types of navigational timepieces and been involved in so many history making expeditions….”
Albert Wittnauer dies at age 52, another possible tuberculosis casualty. In an eloquent obituary, The Jewelers’ Circular Weekly notes that:
“Mr. Wittnauer was one of the first to introduce American ideas and principles in the Swiss watch industry, and the magnificent success in this country of [his company’s] watches stands as an evidence of the conspicuous business ability of Mr. Wittnauer. [He] had a genial disposition and the faculty of making many friends both here and abroad, and nothing gave him more pleasure than to meet his American friends in Geneva or elsewhere in Europe, where he was noted for his hospitality…his generosity was unostentatious and many will hold his goodness in grateful memory.”
Emile Wittnauer becomes the head of the A. Wittnauer Company.
As the center of New York manufacturing moves farther uptown, A. Wittnauer Company moves operations to 30 West 36th Street. Also located in the new building is a subsidiary, the Brighton Watch Case Company, which manufactures gold, platinum and diamond-studded cases to house the company’s Swiss movements. 1916
Emile Wittnauer dies, leaving the company in the hands of his sister, Martha Wittnauer. With women’s suffrage still four years away, A. Wittnauer Company becomes one of the few major American enterprises to be headed by a woman. Martha, who had worked in the family business with her brothers for many years, would encourage Wittnauer’s growing involvement with the new frontier of aviation. During her years at the company, Wittnauer would also develop a close association with the sporting world. The highly regarded Wittnauer sports watches would include moisture resistance and precision timing. In addition, the U.S. Olympic Committee would make extensive use of the company’s extremely accurate timers.
As the American Expeditionary Force joins the fighting in World War I, Wittnauer watches and other navigational instruments become essential equipment for many early aviation units.
During the War, servicemen in the field recognize wristwatches as a far more practical alternative to bulkier pocket watches. The Swiss watch industry moves quickly to take advantage of this new trend, giving the Swiss made Wittnauer an immediate edge in the U.S. market.
The Wittnauer All-Proof, the world’s first waterproof, shock-proof, anti-magnetic watch, makes its retail debut. In the years to come, it would prove its mettle by being dropped from airplanes, thrown from the Empire State Building, taken to steaming Amazon jungles, and brought to the highest elevations of the Himalayas, Alps and Andes. Later, it would be used by countless service personnel during World War II.
Continuing its important role in the history of aviation, A. Wittnauer Company creates a Wittnauer aircraft clock for the U.S. Army Air Corps. This is the first clock designed expressly for military aircraft.
An A. Wittnauer advertisement in the magazine, Flying, cites the company’s expertise in “aviation chronographs, chronometers, timers, torpedo boat and deck watches.”
The National Broadcasting Company, America’s first radio network, chooses A. Wittnauer Company to provide the official timing for radio broadcasting.
Commander Richard E. Byrd and pilot Floyd Bennett become the first men to fly over the North Pole. On this historic journey, Byrd relies on A. Wittnauer Company timepieces for crucial navigation assistance.
Wittnauer begins producing a navigational watch for use by aviators. The watch grows out of conversations between Commander P.V.H. Weems, the leading authority on aerial navigation, and Wittnauer watchmaker, J.P.V. Heinmuller. An aviation enthusiast, Heinmuller was then the official timekeeper of the U.S. National Aeronautical Association, as well as the developer of Wittnauer’s line of navigational timepieces, dashboard clocks and other aviation instruments.
On June 6th, Clarence D. Chamberlin and Charles A. Levine land their Wright-Bellanca monoplane, “Columbia,” in Germany, completing the first trans-Atlantic flight to include a passenger. Taking off barely two weeks after Charles A. Lindbergh’s first solo flight, they set new distance and speed records by flying 3,911 miles in 43 hours of non-stop travel. The following day, these two grateful Wittnauer customers write from Berlin:
“[A. Wittnauer Company] chronometers gave us the utmost satisfaction during the flight and were lucky instruments for us.”
“Racing the moon,” Captain Charles B.D. Collyer and John Henry Mears circle the globe by air and sea in 24 days, beating the orbiting moon by a full three days. The two use A. Wittnauer Company timepieces throughout the journey.
With growing success in the booming economy of the 1920s, Wittnauer moves to opulent new headquarters at 402-404 Fifth Avenue. The company would remain in these beautifully appointed offices for almost twenty years, until it moved further uptown to 580 Fifth Avenue, near the center of the city’s high-end jewelry trade and close to its most exclusive retail stores.
Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman – and the first person since Lindbergh – to fly solo across the Atlantic. Her Lockheed Vega-5B monoplane is equipped with A. Wittnauer Company timepieces. The 15-hour trip from Newfoundland to Ireland comes on May 21st, the fifth anniversary of Lindbergh’s flight.
In July, although falling short of their around-the-world goal, Bennett Griffin and James Mattern complete the first successful non-stop flight from Newfoundland to Russia. A. Wittnauer Company timepieces are essential equipment on “Century of Progress,” their Lockheed Vega monoplane.
Flying solo this time, James Mattern takes the “Century of Progress,” stocked with A. Wittnauer Company timepieces, from New York’s Floyd Bennett Field to Siberia. A forced landing brings him short of his goal of besting the 1931 round-the-world-flight speed record held by Wiley Post and Harold Gatty. Mattern soon sends Wittnauer a resounding endorsement of his Wittnauer All-Proof:
“It gives me great pleasure to advise you that my Wittnauer All-Proof Watch was my only constant companion on my ’round the world solo flight, and it survived all hardships. It is a crashproof timepiece par excellence. After my ’plane crashed and I had to wade and swim in some of the rivers it proved absolutely waterproof. It kept up a true performance when I was lost to civilization for many days. It was a sensation with the Eskimos…who considered it something super-natural. It personifies mechanical perfection heretofore unknown to me, and when I reached New York it was correct to the minute. I banged it all around. It was dropped on concrete a number of times – still it keeps ticking away. I should not have believed that such a watch could be built, but my experience has shown me that too much cannot be said about this wonderful All-Proof timepiece which I recommend for hard usage.”
One month later, in July, Wiley Post achieves the first solo flight around the world – assisted by reliable A. Wittnauer Company timepieces. “Winnie Mae,” his Lockheed Vega-5B monoplane, makes the trip in seven days, nineteen hours – breaking his own speed record (in a two-person flight) by a full day.
With the Depression continuing, A. Wittnauer Company, like most businesses offering luxury items, struggles. An era ends – and an exciting new one begins – when Martha Wittnauer sells the company founded by her brother to the Hella Deltah Company, a successful pearl manufacturer. A farsighted team consisting of Fred Cartoun, Hella Deltah’s sales manager, and investors Bernard Esh, a manufacturer of gold and platinum watch cases, and Ira Guilden, former vice president of the Bulova Watch Company, set to work revitalizing the company.
Launching an aggressive advertising campaign, Wittnauer executives vigorously promote the company, paying particular attention to its rich history and numerous awards, certificates of commendation, medals and testimonials.
Aviation and movie mogul, Howard Hughes, sets a coast-to-coast speed record by flying from Burbank to Newark in seven hours, twenty-eight minutes. His own Hughes Aircraft H-1 racer, “Winged Bullet,” is equipped with timepieces supplied by Wittnauer.
As America enters World War II, Wittnauer, with its long relationship with the U.S. military, receives contracts to produce compasses, laboratory timers, aircraft clocks and military watches. The company’s topnotch workshops also offer employment to many skilled watchmakers forced to flee Europe. With domestic watch production diverted, Swiss watches flourish on the consumer market. While all assembly and repair facilities are devoted to the war effort, Wittnauer craftsmen work overtime to produce watches for the domestic market with movements imported from neutral Switzerland.
At the war’s end, Wittnauer offers many veterans, some with disabilities, positions as apprentices and watchmakers.
With returning service personnel favoring the company’s durable water-resistant, shock-resistant and anti-magnetic offerings, Wittnauer concentrates on meeting the demand for such useful, war-tested innovations as day, date and month indicators and seconds hands. The company sends lecturers, as well as visual aids and manuals describing these developments, to watchmaking schools throughout the country.
CBS begins airing a series of half-hour radio programs featuring the Wittnauer Choraliers, a group of male singers performing both popular music and standards. Among the members of the show’s orchestra is Mitch Miller, who would later use this formula to create the early television mainstay, “Sing Along With Mitch.”
Wittnauer introduces an accurate self-winding watch that is slimmer, yet more durable, than previous self-winding models.
Wittnauer introduces its first electric watch.
Westinghouse Electric Corporation purchases Wittnauer, bringing together an electrical industry giant and the company at the forefront of the newest electronic timekeeping technology. Newly installed president Robert Pliskin, a watch industry veteran, dedicates himself to improving the quality of the company’s offerings, concentrating on the Wittnauer watch brands, as well as Atmos clocks, while continuing to refine its electronic watch innovations.
Wittnauer moves its offices and factory to New Rochelle, New York, a Westchester County suburb just north of New York City.
John L. Davis, an active and innovative sales executive for the preceding 34 years, becomes president of Wittnauer. Davis continues to update and refine the company’s products, bringing it firmly into the electronic age with improved quartz analog watches.
With the revived slogan, “the watchmaker’s watch,” the Wittnauer watch brand becomes the primary focus of the company. New company president, Reynald M. Swift, hires a new advertising agency specifically for Wittnauer watches, also instituting a new Wittnauer “Quality Pledge” and continuing the company’s “buckle-to-buckle” warranty.
Wittnauer International Inc. is born, as the company gives up its dual role as manufacturer and agent to concentrate on its own Wittnauer brand.
Two of world’s most prominent timekeeping names unite when Wittnauer becomes part of the Bulova Corporation. Founded in New York City in 1875, just five years before Wittnauer, Bulova, an early neighbor on New York’s Maiden Lane, had long been a respected competitor in the American watch industry. As a subsidiary of the Loews Corporation, Bulova has the financial strength to revitalize the Wittnauer brand in the face of a difficult economy. Wittnauer continues to function as a separate entity, operating independently from Bulova’s core Bulova, Accutron and Caravelle brands, with the added benefit of Bulova’s established strengths in financial management, distribution and service. Robert M. Mazzone, formerly Wittnauer’s Senior Vice President of Sales, is named Managing Director of Wittnauer International. Former Wittnauer president, John L. Davis, a Bulova Senior Vice President, renews his relationship with Wittnauer as a consultant.
After a 31-year absence, Wittnauer returns to its New York City birthplace, moving corporate operations to Bulova’s New York offices.
Concentrating on the special qualities that had long given it a distinctive profile in the world of American watch companies, Wittnauer launches a new line of high-quality, Swiss watches retailing from $300 to $1,200. Under the new slogan, “Passionate About Elegance,” Wittnauer focuses on its expertise in producing elegant special occasion watches. The new Astor, Biltmore, Marquee, Metropolitan and Savoy Collections debut, joining the popular Krystal and Laureate Collections.
A new Wittnauer cooperative advertising program offers independent jewelers an unprecedented level of support, with ads highlighting regional retailers appearing in over 90 markets in some of the country’s most prominent publications.
With the introduction of the dramatically stylized Montserrat Collection, Wittnauer adds sleek, contemporary design to its more traditionally elegant special occasion watch collections. To mark this exciting expansion, the company selects a new slogan encompassing all the mystery and possibility of evening adventure, whatever one’s preferred style – “Into the Night”. The accompanying marketing campaign includes television commercials, radio spots, billboards, mall duratrans, and both national and regional print advertising.
Wittnauer’s new website, http://www.wittnauer.com, goes online. Designed to give consumers and retailers instant access to information on Wittnauer’s full range of luxurious styles, the site also features a comprehensive dealer locator, complete with maps, as well as a detailed history of the brand Now owned By BULOVA.