New Waltham Watches:
A Modern Take on the Historical Brand
By Aaron Recksiek, CW21
Waltham watches will now be available in the United States for the first time in over 30 years. In 2011, Italian-American entrepreneur Antonio DiBenedetto, owner of Tanagro Jewelry Corporation, a custom high-end jewelry manufacturer, with a history of engineering in the aerospace industry, purchased the majority shares of Waltham International SA. This incarnation of the original Waltham name was established by the Waltham company in 1954 as a subsidiary in Switzerland to help serve their watch-part manufacturing needs. The Waltham Watch Company in the United States went out of business shortly after.
Waltham International SA, which has been producing watches off and on since the 1950s, primarily for the Asian markets, is a brand that has fallen out of favor on more than one occasion with the consumer market. DiBenedetto’s vision is to reestablish the brand as a high-end watch manufacturer with established values of precision, innovation, and nonconformity combined with design, technology, and superior manufacturing. His idea is to not re-create historical models but reinterpret what he believes is what made the brand a part of so many historical events, using some of the historical styling as an inspiration for pronounced, completely modernized models. With a quick glance at the company’s website, waltham.ch, they have associated the modern brand with
events that made the name an American horological powerhouse, ranging from producing the first wristwatches for the American armed forces during World War I to producing aircraft clocks that accompanied pilots on the first nonstop transatlantic and transpacific flights. There is no shortage of horological achievements the Waltham brand has at its disposal to tout its storied history.
The collection is currently made up of three different models:
The XA Titanium G5, pulling inspiration from the iconic XA Type-37 Aircraft clock used in the dashboard of Charles Lindberg’s Spirit of St. Louis on the first non-stop flight from New York to Paris. It includes a unique, small seconds subdial at 12:00.
The CDI Titanium G5, styled after the legendary Central Date Indicator Aeronaval clock, with a centrally located 31-day subdial and 24-hour indicator. It was used in the B-24 Liberator, the workhorse of the United States Army Air Forces during World War II.
The ETC Titanium G5, influenced by the widely used Type-A13 Elapsed Time Chronograph aircraft clock, with 60-minute elapsed time recorder and subdials at 3:00 and 9:00 for continuous seconds and a 24-hour indicator.
The company has so far lived up to their commitment to using all high-tech and modern materials. All three models come in three variations: Pure—all titanium, Eclipse—titanium mixed with PVD, and Blackmatter—completely PVD coated. All models come with zirconium oxide ceramic bezels, sapphire crystals, Super-LumiNova-coated dials, 300m water-resistant case configurations, and vulcanized rubber straps with deployant clasps. The base movement used in every model is a slightly modified Swiss Sellita SW-300 with various Dubois-Dépraz modules for the complications.
The manufacturing headquarters are located in Neuchatel, Switzerland, with commercial offices in Milan, Italy, and New York City. The company also holds an exhibit located inside the original Waltham Watch factory at 211 Crescent Street, Waltham, Massachusetts. The museum is open to the public Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.
The company has opened US distribution through only two Cellini Boutique locations in New York City, also dealers for Tanagro Corporation’s jewelry collections. The prices range from $5,500 to $8,200, depending on the model and configuration.
watchtime.com/wristwatch-industry-news/industry/the-new-waltham-watchesan-american-classic-returns-with-a-modern-swiss-twist/?utm_source=WatchTime+Daily+Update&utm_campaign=8a75652ebc-WT+Daily&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8338768216-8a75652ebc-14502197&mc_cid=8a75652ebc&mc_eid=db1a6ed37d • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waltham_Watch_Company • professionalwatches.com/2014/06/hands-on-with-the-new-waltham-aeronaval-xa-collection.html • waltham.ch/ • linkedin.com/company/waltham • forums.watchuseek.com/f11/waltham-watchesmade-france-573931.html • nytimes.com/2014/11/06/fashion/watches-travel-exploration.html?_r=0 • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waltham_International