Very rarely does US monetary policy come into play when discussing vintage watches but in the case of Wakmann, it plays a crucial role. Following World War II, the United States implemented a tariff on complete and assembled watches from foreign countries as a way to spur growth in the domestic watch industry. As ever with politics though there are loopholes in the law, and Wakmann, originally a Portuguese watch manufacturer and distributor, figured out that as long as the watches were assembled in the US, even if they were made of swiss or European parts, they could avoid the hefty taxes. Boosted by a partnership with Breitling, Wakmann assembled many fantastic watches in the decades following the war and in recent years have become beloved by collectors.
The Wakmann reference 144 is a fantastic example of the kinds of watches that Wakmann was producing during this era. Classic cases were matched with simple yet detailed dials and reliable movements to produce watches that could last the test of time. This watch truly represents a moment in time. An everyman’s chronograph for which the design continues to influence the watches of today.
The 32mm stainless steel case is in very good condition showing only minimal scratches and still wearing its original vertical brushing on the case sides. The design is classic 50s with a very minimal bezel and semi decorative lugs. With limited known examples available it is hard to say for sure if the pushers and crown are original but they look correct for a watch from this era. The caseback is correct and thought to be original.
The Dial and Hands
The dial has aged to a beautiful cream color and is nicely accentuated by a blue tachymeter scale outer chronograph scale. Overall the dial is in excellent condition with no major flaws to note. The applied hour markers and hands are in rose gold with a notable font on the dial with distinct open 4 and 6. The hands, much like components on the case, look to be correct but with limited examples cannot be confirmed to be original.
The watch is powered by a hand wound Landeron 48 two register chronograph movement. The watch is running with all functions of the chronograph functioning as expected. The service history is unknown.
|Movement||Manual, Landeron 48|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Band Material||Leather Strap|