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We love chronographs here at analog/shift. They are perhaps the most versatile complication, useful in timing for aviation, motorsports, space travel, and even war. But rather than offer a run-of-the-mill chronograph, we have something that's pretty special: a regatta timer.
This isn't the first time we've offered a regatta timer on our site. You could even say we're kind of obsessed with them, because they take a relatively commonplace complication and apply it to a pretty obscure purpose. A regatta timer, as you might guess from the name, is used to time yachting races. Because sailboats are rarely completely still--even when at anchor--regatta timers feature a 15-minute countdown to allow for the interval when the competing sailors scramble for top positioning behind the starting buoy before a race. In this instance, the first 15 minutes of the counter is denoted in colorful 5 minute blocks, while the rest of the timing bezel is in black, offset by a vibrant and colorful dial with rotating inner calendar ring.
This particular model, made by Wakmann, is named simply as the Regate. Aficionados of vintage Breitling will recognize the name Wakmann as the importer of Breitling in the United States prior to the 1980s. As Breitling's official import partner, Wakmann would receive unassembled watches direct from Switzerland and put them together for retail sale - often with specially commissioned Wakmann branding, as is the case here. They also commissioned timepieces from many of the great houses, and utilized top quality movements, ranging from Valjoux to Lemania, as featured here. We consider Wakmanns to offer a great bang for your buck, and this Regate is a beautifully unique, impressive piece.
Aesthetically, the palette on this Regate is insanely colorful. Its vibrantly-colored inner chapter ring rotates using the crown at 10:30, and features days of the week in blue, yellow, sea-foam green (because this watch is for sailing, right?), red, and grey. The innermost ring is in white and features the days of the month. To operate this feature, you simply rotate the chapter ring until the correct day of the week is lined with 1 at the top of the dial. The idea is that you'll be able to tell at a glance what date will fall on what day for the rest of the month - who even needs Google Calendar when you have this watch?
At 44mm, the watch is perfectly sized for modern tastes, and has a sturdy Lemania cal. 1341 movement with central chrono seconds and minutes, as well as a 12 hour counter at 6:00. The brush finish on the case is like new and untouched and, like the colors and print of the dial, the edges are crisp sharp. We've been looking for high quality examples of this model for some time, and we're stoked to offer what might be the single most pristine example in existence, with box and papers to boot!
One final note: Clint Eastwood - we repeat, Clint Goddamned Eastwood - wore one of these beauties in Bridges of Madison County. You know, the movie in which Dirty Harry himself showed his range as a thespian by playing a sensitive photographer who woos Meryl Streep's Midwestern Italian housewife? If that isn't a ringing endorsement for the versatile appeal of this watch, then we don't know what is.
Stainless steel case is approximately 44mm (excluding the crown). Lemania Cal. 1341 automatic chronograph movement. Circa 1970s.
Overall condition: Case is in exceptional condition overall, showing no noteworthy signs of wear. Dial is in excellent condition, featuring lightly patinated luminescent hour markers and hands. The colors on the chapter ring are crisp and sharp. Original pushers and unsigned crown.
Includes stainless steel bracelet with unsigned clasp and two 22mm Nylon Straps by Crown & Buckle