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In an age where devices that fit in our pockets contain sum total of human knowledge, a watch as intricate and complex as a triple calendar can seem like an exercise in frivolity.
But tracking the movements of the Sun and the Moon is hard-wired in our human DNA, and calendars are a visual representation of the passage of time, as useful today as they were in antiquity.
The Renaissance saw the development of astronomical clocks and pocket watches. These tracked not only the days, but the movement of the planets and the stars. Surviving examples speak to the care and attention of those who crafted them.
When watches migrated to the wrist, so too did calendars. As technology improved, watchmakers saw the possibility of creating perpetual, annual, and triple calendar wristwatches. It’s the last of these (which display not only the date, but also the month and day of the week as well) that are without a doubt some of the most exquisite, both aesthetically and technically.
While triple calendar chronographs produced by Universal Genève have the most prestige among vintage collectors, those produced in the 1960s and 1970s by Wakmann illustrate the brand’s mastery of the complication.
Wakmann’s parent company, Breitling, began applying the name “Datora” to chronographs with date windows in the 1940s. But it’s their triple calendar chronographs that have become the most notable and prized, not only by consumers, but by other brands as well. Indeed, along with Wakmann, even Heuer used the same chronograph design.
Sporty examples with chunky Gigandet cases and black-and-white "reverse panda" dials have become all the rage lately, but there's something to be said for those with silver dials and yellow gold indices. This particular chronograph comes to us in almost New Old Stock condition, with an absolutely flawless case back, stunning dial and sharp steel case. Elegant and understated (though still with the solid case proportions of its reverse panda brethren), the only touch of flash is the red chronograph hand.
Triple dates continue to transfix and inspire many collectors, making examples in this kind of condition a rare and sought after prize.
Stainless steel case is approximately 39mm (excluding crown). Wakmann Reference 1315.30.75. Valjoux Caliber 730 Manually-Wound Triple Calendar Chronograph Movement. Circa late 1960s.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel Gigandet case is in excellent condition, with sharp lugs and no signs of over-polishing, and only minimal signs of wear. Dial is likewise in very good condition with fine even patina to the luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands. Wakmann crown. Wakmann case back is in excellent condition with no signs of use or wear.
Includes one 20mm black leather strap with white contrast stitching and two 20mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle