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In its heyday, the Swiss watch industry was an interconnected one, in a way that often transcended international borders. This has its roots in the very beginning of the industry, when individual households—and, later, factories—were devoted to the production of a single component of a watch. The parts were then sent piecemeal to another facility for assembly, and then sent to a distributor for retail.
This system was symbiotic, and benefited manufactures and distributors alike.
One of the most lucrative of these relationships was between Breitling and its U.S. based distributor, Wakmann.
Wakmann was founded in New York by Icko Wakmann. He arrived in 1946, at the perfect time: the U.S. watch industry was trying to kickstart itself after years of fulfilling military contracts. One of the ways the government achieved this was to impose tariffs on high-end Swiss imports, like watches. This presented a unique opportunity for U.S. based distributors to sell high-end Swiss at entry-level price points. Wakmann entered into such an agreement with Breitling in 1947, importing disassembled Breitling chronographs and dress watches and then selling them in the U.S.
Chronographs like this one are what made Wakmann’s name. Aesthetically, it doesn’t hit a sour note, with a chunky 38mm cushion case that was used throughout the industry in the 1970s. The white-on-black “reverse panda” color way offers a stark counterpart to the case’s curves in a way that is simply eye-catching.
Stainless steel case is approximately 38mm (excluding crown). Circa 1970s.
Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition overall with moderate signs of use and wear. Dial is in very good condition with some signs of age, including patina. Unsigned crown.
Includes one 20mm leather strap.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options