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Albert Wittnauer immigrated to New York City in the 1870s, to work for his brother-in-law, Eugene Robert, an importer of fine Swiss timepieces by brands such as Jaeger LeCoultre and Vacheron et Constantin. In 1885, at the age of only thirty-one, he established the A. Wittnauer Company in 1885. Soon after the company's establishment, Wittnauer became the distributor for Longines watches in the United States.
Together with Longines, Wittnauer gained a reputation for their excellent aviation instruments and chronographs. Aviators such as Amelia Earhart piloted their planes with instruments made by Wittnauer. Daredevil aviator Jimmy Mattern wore a Wittnauer AllProof in his aborted 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. Their watches remain, a testament to their ingenuity and elegance.
This watch, the ref. 3256-228T, has everything you could want in a vintage chronograph. Perhaps the most interesting and unique feature of this watch is the dial, in a distinctive, exotic color scheme that just screams 70s, with elegant tapered lugs to soften the strong retro vibe it exudes. It's 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. They combine sturdy steel cases with distinctive dials and a history that's just as reputable as other horological heavy-hitters like Universal Genève and Breitling. If you've been lusting after a vintage chronograph but want something a little off the beaten path, then look no further.
Stainless steel case is approximately 35mm (excluding crown). Wittnauer Reference 3536-228T. 14-Y Manual-winding chronograph movement. Circa 1970s.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in excellent condition with sharp bevels on the lugs and no signs of over-polishing. Exotic dial has sharp printing and no signs of discoloration or hand drag. Luminescent elements on the hour markers and hands have gained a handsome even patina over time. Unsigned crown; unsigned screw case back bears engraving "WHR 6-15-75."
Includes one 18mm blue leather strap and two 18mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle.
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