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Independently and as the distributor for Longines, Wittnauer gained a reputation for their excellent aviation instruments and chronographs. Aviators like Amelia Earhart piloted their planes with instruments made by Wittnauer. Daredevil aviator Jimmy Mattern wore a Wittnauer AllProof in his attempted flight around the world in 1933.
Longines formally bought Wittnauer in the 1950s, and the brand continued to produce exceptional chronographs at a more competitive price point than their Swiss contemporaries. But like so many watch brands, Wittnauer folded in the face of budget crises in the mid-1980s, causing Longines to dissolve their relationship with Wittnauer. But their watches remain, a testament to their ingenuity and elegance.
This watch, the Reference 8023-241T, features a dial in a black-and-white "reverse panda" color-way, with accents of blue and red in the outer tachymeter and telemeter scales. At 38mm the size is particularly desirable for today's collectors. The watch is also powered by a dependable movement, the 14Y, a modified Landeron 249 produced especially for Wittnauer.
We've been touting Wittnauer chronographs for years, and for good reason. Their Professional line, in particular, has become increasingly desirable as more and more collectors realize their worth, and examples of this particular watch are increasingly hard to come by in good condition. They combine sturdy steel cases with distinctive dials and a history that's just as reputable as other horological heavy-hitters like Breitling and Universal Genève, making them, in our minds at least, quite worthy of their reputation.
Stainless steel case is approximately 38mm (excluding crown and pushers). Wittnauer Reference 8023-241T. 14Y Manually-Wound Chronograph Movement. Circa 1960s.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition overall, with sharp bevels and no signs of over-polishing. Case does have some signs of use and wear in keeping with its age, including slight scratches on the sides of the case and on the lugs. Dial is in very good condition with minimal flaking of the tachymeter ring on the outer edges of the dial, visible particularly at the 240m mark. Otherwise the dial has crisp printing and even patina to the luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands. Wittnauer signed crown; Wittnauer case back has some scratches and deep tool marks but is in otherwise very good condition.
Includes one 19mm black Analog/Shift strap and two 19mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle