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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. 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...".

Byrd, as well as aviators from Amelia Earhart to Wiley Post. In the 1920s, Wittnauer produced wristwatches that were technologically advanced as well as aesthetically beautiful. Because of all this attention to navigation wristwatches and devices, Clarence D. Levine used Wittnauer chronometers for their 1927 trans-Atlantic flight (they flew two weeks after Lindbergh) and Charles Collyer and John Henry Mears used two Wittnauers in 1928 when they famously raced the moon around the earth—they did it in 24 days, beating the moon by 72 hours.

After Albert’s death in 1916, his sister, Martha, took the firm’s reins. Around the same time, Wittnauer introduced its All-Proof wristwatch—the anti-magnetic watch was water and shock proof—to the U. The lugs of Wittnauer wristwatches were one of many details its designers did not take for granted, and the shapes of the faces varied from squares and rectangles to circles and hexagons, as in the gold Grasshopper. In 1927, Wittnauer and Longines both worked with a U. Navy officer named Philip Van Horn Weems, whose design for a Second Sett Another influence on Wittnauer timepieces of this era was Wittnauer watchmaker John Heinmuller, who was the official timekeeper of the U. National Aeronautical Association and became one of the country’s leading authorities on U. More aviators, Howard Hughes among them, wore Wittnauers in the 1930s, but the company struggled during the Depression, prompting its sale, in 1936, to a pearl manufacturer, who renamed the company Longines-Wittnauer.

The company's breakthrough came in 1907, when Wittnauer supplied a pair of watches to the Navy, which was testing its aviation capabilities.

Perhaps because of this very early alignment with the budding aviation industry, Wittnauer watches would be worn by such notable explorers as Roald Amundsen and Richard E.

The opportunity Wittnauer identified was not technological. Wittnauer saw an opening for a less-expensive Swiss pocket watch in the United States.

Albert Wittnauer was a Swiss immigrant who arrived in New York City in 1872 at the age of 16.

For generations Wittnauer Watches have been one of the most respected and revered American watchmakers in the world.

The brand was established in 1885 in New York, NY by Swiss watchmaker Albert Wittnauer and F.

Not every watchmaker can be as renowned for its movements as Le Coultre or as admired for its designs as Cartier.

Some watchmakers get their start simply by seeing an opportunity and seizing it.