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Wittnauer

Scuba Roulette

Maker:

Model:

Scuba Roulette

Reference No.:

246T

Date:

circa 1970

Serial No.:

70XX XXX

Case:

Steel, screw-back, 20mm. lugs 42mm. diameter, bevelled lugs, case back signed inside WITTNAUER WATCH COMPANY INC SWISS, plain pushers, original winder

Bezel:

Minutes, roulette-style, blue, white & black enamel, bi-directional with orange diamond at 60

Dial:

Black enamel signed Wittnauer Professional chronograph, three subs, and chequerboard hour ring with orange highlights

Hands:

Faceted steel hands with lume-filled orange ends, orange painted chronograph hand and contrasting white sub hands

Movement:

Manual 13W Valjoux 72 signed Wittnauer Watch Co. INC

Strap:

Brown leather by Bulang & Son

Price:

£6500

Buy:

Info:

Ben's Comment The 246T is a very alluring watch. The combination of the roulette bezel colours and the orange and black dial just ‘works'. It's amazing on the wrist too and everyone who has seen me wearing it has commented on how great it looks, especially combined with the Bulang brown strap, ladies always want to try it on – it's a magnet! I know Wittnauer are considered to be second fiddle to Longines, but that's bunkum, you only have to read the Wiki biography below here to see they're actually a great stand-alone brand. As for value for money, this particular Scuba/roulette model is massively under priced at the moment, I'm writing this thinking I'm barking mad to be selling it and that I should keep it and just wear it – I might – but I won't!! The 246T (with thanks to Frattello watches for the info, BTW Frattello, you're amazing, if you don't know them you've got to check them out - http://www.fratellowatches.com) Wittnauer produced some highly compelling chronographs in the 1960's and 1970's. Every model contains the model number on the inside case back, which is a real benefit versus many other brands that leave you wondering for the designation. Most Wittnauers seemed to use the word “Professional” on the dial of all their chronographs during this period. Note that Wittnauer favored the Valjoux 72 for its 3-register models: another advantage and a clue that the brand valued quality. HISTORY OF WITTNAUER Because it's so good my history of Wittnauer has been directly copied from Wiki, so many thanks to them for doing such a great job. Albert Wittnauer was a Swiss immigrant who arrived in New York City in 1872 at the age of 16. He began working for his brother in law, Eugene Robert. A sales outlet had already been established in New York in 1858 by M. P S Broz, who was succeeded by Audemars & Schaffuss, then by F. Eugène Robert & Co. Robert was an importer of fine Swiss watches. With the help of his younger brother, Albert Wittnauer decided there was a need for a watch designed with all of the durability and function the American public demanded but with local production to help keep costs down.[2] The first Wittnauer's watch line were crafted starting from 1880, but Wittnauer brand was formally established in 1885, when Mr. Robert gave the title to Albert Wittnauer under the name The "A. Wittnauer Company".[2] Wittnauer movements were at the beginning generally made for them by Swiss firms (Revue Thommen and others), while in later years Wittnauer used a number of different sources for their movements. The company began as a small family business, catering to the ever growing world of both scientific and private exploration, which gained them a reputation for use by those who needed reliability: navigators, explorers, and astronomers.[2] The A. Wittnauer Co. became further involved with the Navy for early tests in the budding fields of aviation and navigation. Of the Wittnauer Company and products, horologist Marvin E. Whitney wrote: "No one company has been more involved in the design and production of so many different types of navigational timepieces and been involved in so many history making expeditions...".[3] In following years, Wittnauer Co. steadily grew and moved to New York center. During the 20th century it also bought a production plant in Puerto Rico.[1] When the last Wittnauer brother died in 1916, Martha Wittnauer became the first woman watchmaker CEO.[4] During the first world war Wittnauer produced instruments and watches for the early aviation units.[2] The most famous model was probably the Wittnauer AllProof, produced for the first time in 1918, and one of the first all proof models ever used by daredevil Jimmie Mattern in his attempt to fly around the world and by Neil Armstrong during the Gemini 8 mission.[5][6][7] In 1926, the NBC selected Wittnauer Company to provide the official timing for its radio broadcasting.[2] In 1926 Amelia Earhart made the first solo flight across the Atlantic with her Lockheed Vega-5B equipped with Wittnauer instruments.[2] Wittnauer products were widely used in scientific expeditions and exploration,[2] and was – with Longines movements - one of three contenders for the first mission on the moon along with Omega Speedmaster and Rolex Daytona. In 1950 the Swiss company Longines bought Wittnauer[8] and marketed some very similar lines of watches under both brand names, maintaining separate factories. In 1995 Swatch broke the 125-year collaboration between Longines and Wittnauer and took over the Longines distribution.[1] The Wittnauer Company retained its reputation for most of the 20th century. After some budget problems, it was eventually bought by Bulova for 11.6 million dollars in September 2001.[1] Bulova has now launched a new 'Nightlife' range of fashion watches under the Wittnauer brand.