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Chronographs are perhaps the most versatile complication. They're 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.
A regatta timer, as you might surmise 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 simply 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 directly 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, 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.
At 44mm, the watch is perfectly sized for modern tastes, and has a sturdy Lemania Caliber 1341 movement with central chronograph seconds and minutes, as well as a 12 hour counter at 6:00. The brush finish on the case is untouched and, like the colors and print of the dial, the edges are sharp. While we've offered one of these watches on our site before, they never cease to bring us joy, especially when they come complete with box and papers as this one does.
One final note: none other than Clint 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.
Case is approximately 41.5mm (excluding crown and pushers). Lemania Caliber 1341 Self-Winding Movement. Circa 1970s.
Overall Condition: Case is in fantastic, near mint condition throughout, retaining original brush finishing and sharp edges with only faint signs of light wear from handling. Dial is in similarly excellent condition with bright, crisp printing and light, even patination to the luminescent hour plots and hands. Original case back and unsigned crown.
Includes 20mm stainless steel bracelet with signs of polishing and two 20mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle
Also includes original box (missing watch holder).
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