Whats the connection between longines and wittnauer?
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  1. #1
    Member stratct's Avatar
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    Whats the connection between longines and wittnauer?

    Have an opportunity to buy a 1930-40s wittnauer with a really nice movement (forget what cal.) but wanted to know if it was a good watch and if it was on par with longines and what it had to do with them. I can get it tomorrow but I want something high quality thanks all!
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  2. #2
    Member gatorcpa's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the connection between longines and wittnauer?

    The main connection between Longines and Wittnauer is that a single company imported the watches from both brands (as well as Jaeger-LeCoultre and Vacheron & Constantin) into the USA. The company was called Longines-Wittnauer Watch Co. Inc. Both brands maintained separate factories in Switzerland. Generally, 14K gold and gold-filled cases were sourced in the US. Swiss movements were installed and adjusted in the US to save customs duties. 18K gold and steel cases were generally imported separately from Switzerland and put together here.

    Vacheron & Constantin was considered the best of the L-W group, followed by LeCoultre, Longines and Wittnauer. Sometimes there were models that overlapped or were equivalent between two of the brands. This was more of an exception rather than the rule. V&C watches were 100% Swiss Made and adjusted regardless of case metal.



    I think that if you look generally at the prices of vintage watches from these four brands, the ordering of value is pretty much the same as it was back in the 1950's.

    Hope this helps,
    gatorcpa
    Last edited by gatorcpa; June 5th, 2012 at 19:56.
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  3. #3
    Member stratct's Avatar
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    Thanks! I think I'll buy it then. He wants $45 for it. And it has it's original blue tint crystal.
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    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the connection between longines and wittnauer?

    My understanding was that originally, Mssr. Wittnauer of New York was the exclusive Longines agent in North America; I have some Longines Canadian Jobber watches from around 1910 that are marked "Wittnauer", and Longine's records show them as being sold to Mssr. Wittnauer. Of course, like any good American businessman, he branched out after that... :)

    AFAIK, "Wittnauer" branded watches are, for the most part, not Longines in any way shape or form; they were just typical Swiss watches (good quality ones) imported kinda as the Wittnauer "House Brand".
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  6. #5
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    Re: Whats the connection between longines and wittnauer?

    My former Longines rep told me it was the best thing that happened to Longines when they broke off with Wittnauer.

  7. #6
    Member 3th3r's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the connection between longines and wittnauer?

    I had no idea about any of this, but it is great to learn, and it is great to have such knowledgeable people here.
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  8. #7
    Member stratct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Watchbreath
    My former Longines rep told me it was the best thing that happened to Longines when they broke off with Wittnauer.
    Yeah and now they are kissing omegas A$$
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  9. #8
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    Re: Whats the connection between longines and wittnauer?

    Hardly, I used to sell both.
    Quote Originally Posted by stratct View Post
    Yeah and now they are kissing omegas A$$

  10. #9
    Member stratct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Watchbreath
    Hardly, I used to sell both.
    You think so? Well I bought it. It ran fine in the store and about a half hour later it was dead and I can't get my money back. So it was $45 and I still owe him $10 on this watch. This isn't the first time this has happened. I Found a new watchmaker
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  11. #10
    Member Croton_Equator's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the connection between longines and wittnauer?

    Just a minute here...Wittnauer was a GREAT brand back in the day. Don't believe those who like to casually create hierarchies of brands or downgrade watch brands. I own several vintage Wittnauers from the 1940's to the 1960's and their cases and movements are above average to about as good as you could get before going to high-falutin' chronometer-grade movements. Wittnauer was providing watches to the military (for example the U.S. Navy) and explorers before Rolex's screw-down crown or the luxury sport-watch craze even began, so they have NOTHING to feel second rate about. My favourite watches are my Wittnauers, and I got married wearing a Wittnauer with a linen-textured trapezoidal case. The Longines watches I've seen from the 1950-1970 period are rather bland looking compared to their so-called "budget" or "house" brand sister Wittnauer.

    My 1962 Wittnauer diver has something in common with a 2012 Rolex. Here is a link to its movement, a Wittnauer C11KS-2 which has the KIf-Ultraflex shock absorber. This system happens to be mentioned on page 111 of the April 2012 WatchTime magazine as being in a 2012 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date. ("Kif shock absorber") Did Wittnauer use Kif shock absorbers before Rolex? Hmmm...

    Gotta have a sexy, popular name to even compare with the big boys, right? Don't believe the hype.

    http://http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/...tnauer_C11KS-2
    Last edited by Croton_Equator; December 9th, 2012 at 05:03.
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