Wittnauer wrist watch ..advice needed

Discussion in 'Wrist Watches' started by Charles Laine, Dec 30, 2019.

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  1. Charles Laine

    Charles Laine Registered User

    Dec 30, 2019
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    Sirs, first time poster (but have been a lurker for a bit) and have tried to gain a minimal understanding
    thru interrogating the archives.

    I recently acquired a Wittnauer wrist watch (see photos) that intermittently runs. Unfortunately, I really
    like the watch. I am aware that repair and service are required. I have obtained 3 local (Arizona) bids on
    repair work... range $200 - $400 for stem replacement and servicing. My dilemma is at what point does
    investing in needed repairs become a loss leader when compared to value of the watch ? I have viewed
    various auction sites on-line and "completed listings" so have a reasonable ballpark for current value.
    I really enjoy this watch ...(but, convincing the bride is another matter). I sure would like to make this an
    everyday wear.

    So, to get to the questions.... does this watch warrant resuscitation ? Is it "vintage" or only 50-60's era ?
    I like the "patina" but all the repairmen are recommending changing out the crystal ? Does this model
    have a name ie "Geneve"? The band is a twist-o-flex Speidel...I dig it ! but what would this watch have
    been issued with ?

    Any opinions or information (data points) on this watch are appreciated. Thank you.
    Charles

    Wittnauer , 10K rolled gold, 17 jewel wrist watch.....
    .
     
  2. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    May 3, 2012
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    Hi and welcome
    The watch is not worth much, nor will it ever increase in value.
    BUT
    If you like the watch and will wear it get it serviced and repaired for $200.
    Its a nice mechanical movement, and deserves a service every 20 or 30 years!
    So get it done and wear and enjoy
    Adam
     
  3. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
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    It appears to have had issues with perspiration getting in at the crown. Does need a good service, may need a new stem and crown. Is a nice movement. If the crystal isn't cracked or crazed a good cut and polish may make it look like new.
     
  4. Charles Laine

    Charles Laine Registered User

    Dec 30, 2019
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    Adam and RoughBark.... thank you for your insights. These are always the type of decisions I have a tendency to look at
    with my heart not my head. Still on the fence on this one. Funny, if it was a Longines 14k I wouldn't hesitate. I did not realize
    that ingress of liquid at the crown was even possible.... I thought these had some type of seal present. If I go with the rehab
    plan I will make sure the watchmeister addresses that issue. So, I'm guessing 50's - 60's ? based on your responses. If I do
    it (trying not to overthink this) I will wear it. Good stuff fellas. Thanks.

    any other thoughts ?

    Charles
     
  5. glenhead

    glenhead Registered User
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    Nov 15, 2009
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    50s-60s is right for the Wittnauer 11K movement. They're nice movements and overhaul well. Those press-together cases don't provide any water or dust protection to speak of. There's just a hole/slot in the case for the stem to go through. The watch most likely originally came with either an expansion bracelet or leather strap. It's entirely possible it had a Twist-O-Flex right from the git-go. They were introduced in the late 50s.

    Glen
     
  6. Charles Laine

    Charles Laine Registered User

    Dec 30, 2019
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    Thank you Glen....that is good stuff. Good to know, appealing optics, and good bones. I'm only into this for $20 so far...so leaning towards
    resuscitation of this one. Haven't heard from anyone here with the "absolutely not" take... but that may be due to kind of an enabler mindset
    on this forum. Thanks again. At my age 20 - 30 years until the next service might not an issue. :cool:

    Charles
     
  7. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    I'd easily pay $20 for it. ;) but then I can service it myself.
     
  8. Robert Gordon

    Robert Gordon Registered User
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    May 29, 2015
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    I cringe when I hear of "Twist-O-Flex" style bracelets, not because of some perceived lack of quality, but for the lack of securely keeping a watch on the wrist. I have had watches fly off my wrist when doing something as innocuous as shaking/flinging water off of wet hands. That was over forty years ago, a lesson learned, be aware of the limitations they have in that regard. Enjoy your Wittenauer!
     
  9. Charles Laine

    Charles Laine Registered User

    Dec 30, 2019
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    RoughBark.... I envy you folks with the skillset necessary to diagnose and treat these vintage watches. I wish at some point in my early life
    I had found a mentor to teach me how to get started. Now, I just appreciate the work of others keeping these artifacts running.
    Robert... a good reminder. I have yet to fling this watch but I can understand how it might happen. My biggest problem is being hirsute....
    the twisty links act as a Gillette hair plucker !!!..hopefully this will pass as the lawn gets mowed. :)

    Btw ...it looks as though someone etched some additional numbers onto the movement backing:???: I have seen these type markings on other
    movements....what do they signify ? (see photos). Guess...some previous watch repair data ? Or maybe something the Star Watch Case
    Company added ? Thanks again for all the information.

    Charles
     
  10. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    #10 gmorse, Dec 31, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
    Hi Charles, and welcome to the forum,

    I'm afraid that it is all too possible, even if the watch is claimed to be 'water-proof', 'water-resistant' or any other description the marketing folks could think up. This is what it can do once it gets in, and this was probably only a drop or two, perhaps a tiny splash whilst washing the hands:

    DSCF7711.JPG DSCF7714.JPG

    As Glen says, these cases aren't even dust-proof! I hope your watch isn't as bad as this.

    Any small scratched markings inside the back are the coded information put there by previous repairers, now meaningless.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  11. Charles Laine

    Charles Laine Registered User

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    Wow Graham ...a picture is worth a thousand words. I will try to remember those images. Maybe i should start taking my watches off before
    I enter the bathroom for showering. I have a Seiko chronograph on now.... left on counter in bathroom...noticed condensation on the crystal.
    Thanks for info Graham.

    Charles
     
  12. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    Anyone who wears their watch in the shower certainly came down in the last shower.
     
  13. MrRoundel

    MrRoundel Registered User
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    Dec 28, 2010
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    Nice watch. I own 3 Wittnauers. A late sixties vintage automatic, a curvex style rectangular dress watch with a 7TN movement (IIRC), and an transistorized electronic watch. They're all very nice quality. My first Wittnauer was one that mom bought for my dad back in the sixties, an automatic. I think I was with her when she ordered it, way back when. While it was gold-filled, not solid, it had one of the best gold fills I've seen. To this day its monocoque (one-piece) case still has the look of solid karat gold. I know because it's now worn proudly by my nephew.
    For what you have into the watch, it's a nice keeper. However, as was mentioned, a service is probably called for if you want to actually wear it. It's nice that you have what could be the original box as well. That's always a plus. Well, enjoy it, whatever you end up doing. Cheers.
     
    Jeff Hess likes this.
  14. Charles Laine

    Charles Laine Registered User

    Dec 30, 2019
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    Thank you Mr. Roundel . After careful consideration I opted to have one of watch meisters here evaluate
    the Wittnauer watch and provide the necessary services. I must be patient as his services are in demand ...
    but the watch is in his cue now. I too like the box... and will use it to store/display the watch . It seems the
    box is from the correct era but to originality I'll never know. Thanks for sharing your collection.
    Charles
     

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