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Wakmann Questions

I am interested in finding out more about the history of Wakmann Watch Co.
I have read many diverse (and perhaps none fully correct) comments about the firm.
I have read that they were a dealer of Breitling. I have read that they were a distributor of Breitling. I have read that they were a competitor of Breitling. I have read that they were a Swiss company, and also that they were only based in New York City.
I have read that Breitling watches were marketed under the Wakmann name.
I have read that Wakmann never made a watch, but that they were simply a trade mark company that sold watches from various manufacturers under the Wakmann trademark name.
I have been told that Wakmann watches were made by the Charles Gigandet company.
I have seen Wakmann watches that are being advertised as Breitling made, have the Valjoux 730 movement and have the Charles Gigandet name inside.
I have seen Wakmann watches that are being advertised as Breitling made, have the Valjoux 72 movement.
I have not found any website or forum that discusses Wakmann Watches in any depth.
I have also been told that Wakmann watches were a brand name that Jewelers Stores and Watch Shops could carry when they could not qualify as a dealer for a mark such as Omega, Breitling, Rolex, or Longines.
What is the truth?
Thanks!
Answer:
Maybe I should have held on to it, if he was Wakmann's kingpin. :-)
I can tell you this much: my particular Wakmann chrono WAS made by Chas. Gigandet,
and said "Made in France" on the dial. The movement was marked "Wakmann," but was
identical in caliber (Venus 178) and finish to the cal. 178 used in the Breitling
Navitimer. The watch was virtually identical to a Navitimer except that it had
a base metal case. I would bet that the movements were manufacturer for Wakmann and 
Breitling together, up to the same specifications, and then shipped to different places
for assembly into two different lines of watches.
It is entirely possible that Wakmann did not have its own plant.
Now ... in terms of brand, what I've heard about Wakmann was that it was a junior brand of Breitling, and that there was a further economy brand under Wakmann (can't remember the name
now, but they crop up in auctions). Wakmann sold a lot of airplane clocks/chronographs,
and had a particularly strong sales office in New York as a result (because of the airline
headquarters and the military/civilian airplace manufacturers in the area, like Grumman).
But I don't think they were a NY-only operation.
Wish I hadn't sold that watch.  
Cheers!
-- Bokonon
: I am interested in finding out more about the history of Wakmann Watch Co. 
:  
:  
:  
: I have read many diverse (and perhaps none fully correct) comments about the firm. 
:  
:  
:  
: I have read that they were a dealer of Breitling. I have read that they were a distributor of 
: Breitling. I have read that they were a competitor of Breitling. I have read that they were a Swiss company, 
: and also that they were only based in New York City. 
:  
:  
:  
: I have read that Breitling watches were marketed under the Wakmann name. 
:  
:  
:  
: I have read that Wakmann never made a watch, but that they were simply a trade mark company that 
: sold watches from various manufacturers under the Wakmann trademark name. 
:  
:  
:  
: I have been told that Wakmann watches were made by the Charles Gigandet company. 
:  
:  
:  
: I have seen Wakmann watches that are being advertised as Breitling made, have the Valjoux 730 
: movement and have the Charles Gigandet name inside. 
:  
:  
:  
: I have seen Wakmann watches that are being advertised as Breitling made, have the Valjoux 72 
: movement. 
:  
:  
:  
: I have not found any website or forum that discusses Wakmann Watches in any depth. 
:  
:  
:  
: I have also been told that Wakmann watches were a brand name that Jewelers Stores and Watch Shops 
: could carry when they could not qualify as a dealer for a mark such as Omega, Breitling, Rolex, or 
: Longines. 
:  
:  
:  
:  
:  
: What is the truth? 
:  
:  
:  
: Thanks! 
:  
:  
:  
:  
:  
:  
:  
:  
:  
:  
Answer:
This Wakmann which I just purchased has the Chas Gigandet name inside the back cover, and also has Swiss there and on the dial. I have posted here a picture of the movement, and also a link to th face of the watch.
: Maybe I should have held on to it, if he was Wakmann's kingpin. :-) 
:  
:  
:  
: I can tell you this much: my particular Wakmann chrono WAS made by Chas. Gigandet, 
:  
: and said "Made in France" on the dial. The movement was marked "Wakmann," but was 
:  
: identical in caliber (Venus 178) and finish to the cal. 178 used in the Breitling 
:  
: Navitimer. The watch was virtually identical to a Navitimer except that it had 
:  
: a base metal case. I would bet that the movements were manufacturer for Wakmann and 
:  
: Breitling together, up to the same specifications, and then shipped to different places 
:  
: for assembly into two different lines of watches. 
:  
:  
:  
: It is entirely possible that Wakmann did not have its own plant. 
:  
:  
:  
: Now ... in terms of brand, what I've heard about Wakmann was that it was a junior brand of 
: Breitling, and that there was a further economy brand under Wakmann (can't remember the name 
:  
: now, but they crop up in auctions). Wakmann sold a lot of airplane clocks/chronographs, 
:  
: and had a particularly strong sales office in New York as a result (because of the airline 
:  
: headquarters and the military/civilian airplace manufacturers in the area, like Grumman). 
:  
:  
:  
: But I don't think they were a NY-only operation. 
:  
:  
:  
: Wish I hadn't sold that watch.  
:  
:  
:  
: Cheers! 
:  
:  
:  
: -- Bokonon 
:  
:  
:  
:  
:  
:  
:  
:  
:  
:  
:  
: : I am interested in finding out more about the history of Wakmann Watch Co. 
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: : I have read many diverse (and perhaps none fully correct) comments about the firm. 
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: : I have read that they were a dealer of Breitling. I have read that they were a distributor of 
:  
: : Breitling. I have read that they were a competitor of Breitling. I have read that they were a 
: Swiss company, 
:  
: : and also that they were only based in New York City. 
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: : I have read that Breitling watches were marketed under the Wakmann name. 
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: : I have read that Wakmann never made a watch, but that they were simply a trade mark company that 
:  
: : sold watches from various manufacturers under the Wakmann trademark name. 
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: : I have been told that Wakmann watches were made by the Charles Gigandet company. 
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: : I have seen Wakmann watches that are being advertised as Breitling made, have the Valjoux 730 
:  
: : movement and have the Charles Gigandet name inside. 
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: : I have seen Wakmann watches that are being advertised as Breitling made, have the Valjoux 72 
:  
: : movement. 
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: : I have not found any website or forum that discusses Wakmann Watches in any depth. 
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: : I have also been told that Wakmann watches were a brand name that Jewelers Stores and Watch 
: Shops 
:  
: : could carry when they could not qualify as a dealer for a mark such as Omega, Breitling, Rolex, 
: or 
:  
: : Longines. 
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: : What is the truth? 
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: :  
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: :  
:  
: :  
:  
: : Thanks! 
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Front of Watch HERE
Answer:
I have read your wakmann qusetion.
I have found this info.:
Wakmann Watch Co. 
1214 Broadway
New York
NY 10001
Tel: (212) 532-3898
Fax: (212) 532-3978
Best I can suggest is you call them and ask.
Answer:
According to the book "Breitling: History of a Great Brand of Watches", Wakmann was the US distributor of Breitling watches from the 1940s to the 1970s. Some watches were co-signed Breitling/Wakmann as well as just Wakmann but made by Breitling. I would guess that this relationship is similar to the Longines/Wittnauer relationship i.e. the US distributor of a Swiss brand also selling its own brand.
I have also heard that there is a relation between Breitling and Gigandet (sp?) but I don't know what it is.
Regards,
Rob Rosner