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Tracking the movements of the stars is hard-wired in our human DNA, and calendars are a visual representation of the passage of time. Since antiquity mankind has sought to capture the intricate rhythm of sunrise and sunset. As civilizations developed the written word, they tabulated the passing days.
By the Renaissance astronomical clocks and pocket watches began to emerge--intricate devices that even today's modern technologies can't surpass. These tracked not only the days, but the movement of the planets and the stars as well. Surviving examples speak to the care and attention of those who crafted them, such as the Astrarium made by Giovanni de Dondi of Padua, which was hailed as a "wonder of the age."
Around the time of Columbus's First Voyage, watchmakers began to produce smaller and smaller watches. Astronomical clocks transformed into watches that charted the passage of the days. As technology improved, watchmakers saw the possibility of creating perpetual, annual, and triple calendar wristwatches, with watchmakers like Thomas Mudge of England devising mechanisms for many of these calendar watches.
Without a doubt, triple calendar watches are some of the most exquisite timepieces in existence. As the proliferation of complications in a watch represents the height of technical prowess, a triple calendar is an excellent way for a manufacture to showcase their skills--and in what a visually arresting manner. And when a triple calendar is united with a chronograph, the stars align.
Breitling began applying the name “Datora” to chronographs with date windows in the 1940s. But their triple calendar chronographs have become the most notable and prized. They saw importation in the United States under their daughter company, Wakmann; indeed, the Datora proved so enduring and adaptable a design that even Heuer appropriated it for their own use.
Sporty examples like this one here, with sturdy Gigandet cases and black-and-white "reverse panda" dials, have become all the rage lately. They capture the spirit of 1960s design in a way that is elegant yet casual.
This particular chronograph comes to us with a stunning dial and a sharp steel case. It's driven by the Valjoux Calibre 723, a specialized Valjoux calendar movement based on the famed Calibre 72. With solid case proportions and that eye-popping dial, the only touch of flash is the red chronograph hand that just draws the eye in as it sweeps around the dial.
Triple dates continue to transfix and inspire many collectors, making examples in this kind of condition a rare and sought after prize, not to mention a true pleasure to wear...
Stainless steel case is approximately 37mm (excluding crown and pushers). Valjoux Calibre 723 Manually-Wound Chronograph Movement.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition with sharp lugs and minimal signs of use and wear. Dial is likewise in very good condition, showing some signs of age, particularly to the date windows. Luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands have gained a fine even patina over time. Unsigned crown. Wakmann-signed case back has some scratches but is in otherwise very good condition.
Includes one 18mm black leather strap.