Spotted: Wittnauer Ladies' Bolero for sale
Since writing about the watch company Wittnauer a few months ago, I've been keen to spot any that I see for sale in the real world. Hodinkee's weekly "Bring a Loupe" article featured a fantastic tri-colored Wittnauer Chronograph and currently Mentawatches have a gorgeous time-only military styled piece. Whilst looking around an antique store for a gift box for a present, I stumbled across a ladies' Wittnauer Bolero in a cabinet and had to take a few pictures of it. Not only is the piece in amazing condition, it also has a box, price sticker and price tag with it as well. Imagine if this said Longines rather than Longines-Wittnauer; I imagine it would be getting a higher price tag than $80. The piece is stainless steel with a very seventies integrated bracelet which appears to never have been adjusted. I would place the piece as mid-seventies simply because of the style of the Wittnauer printed name on it. Previous logos in the sixties were applied and had the winged emblem, while the seventies logos had a curvier look to the font. The dial has a nice pattern on it with applied hour markers. There seem to be some very minor scratches on the dial, however these could be buffed out.
For me, I just love how complete this piece is. I would perhaps guess that the box is not the original as it features a different font of the Wittnauer brand name, however with matching price tag and retailer price sticker I can't be sure either way. Everything seems to wind OK whilst I was in the store, however I have no idea how accurate the timekeeping would be. The original price tag lists the piece as "Bolero 21159, Brac. Wh. 17J $125.00" so today the price new would be close to $500. On somewhat of a side note, it's worth thinking about the "ethics" of looking for a bargain at antique shops and flea markets. It's every watch collectors' secret dream to be looking through a assortment of Timexes, Casios and "Rolexes" to find a hidden gem priced at $5. Hell, it's happened before. Several times! I've often wondered whether I'd let the person know after I bought it how much it was worth. If I was looking to sell it on for its true value, I'd probably try and return to the seller to give something back. Though if I was just including it in a collection, I'd probably just keep my mouth shut.
I saw the piece in Sanford Antique Mall in Sanford, NC. They don't have an online listing of their inventory, so if you're interested I would suggest the best way to secure the item would be to contact them directly at (919) 775-1969. www.sanfordantiquemall.com.