Waltham is a legendary American – Swiss precision watchmaking brand, which has been setting modern standards for the production of clocks and watches, and has over one thousand patents in the sector.
The American Waltham Watch Company, founded in 1850 in Massachusetts, created Waltham International SA in Switzerland in 1954. Since 1957, all Waltham high-end watches have been manufactured on the premises in Neuchâtel/Switzerland, 100% Swiss Made.
In 1850, Aaron Dennisson, Edvard Howard and David Davis founded Waltham Watch Company in Roxbury (USA). In 1854, the Company settled in the town of Waltham in the State of Massachusetts, and became the world’s first industrial watchmaking “manufacture”. In 1870 Waltham created the “Crescent Street” high-precision Railway watch. In 1912 Waltham launched its first feminine wristwatch, the “Lady Waltham”.
In 1954, over a Century after its foundation, Waltham relocated to Switzerland, the leading watch manufacturing country. In 1966 Waltham successfully launched the world’s first and only atmosphere proof self-winding mechanical watch in Japan, enabling durable chronometer precision. In 1987 Waltham began the manufacturing of watches with solid gold.
In 2000, for the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the brand, Waltham dedicated its latest creation to women, with a limited edition in pink 750 gold of 100 individually numbered new “Lady Waltham”.
The majority shares of Waltham International SA were purchased in 2011 by Antonio DiBenedetto, the current President and CEO. With vast experience in the world of luxury and jewelry and a passion for timepieces, it is Antonio’s mission to deliver the Waltham brand back to its former glory and create high-tech, cutting-edge wrist watches that will “instill today’s men with the courage to choose and dare to follow their convictions”. The same bravery that drove the innovative and unconventional spirits of the legendary men who, with a Waltham, were key figures in the greatest achievements of the past 160 years.
Waltham International SA has established offices in Lugano, Milan and New York City. Strategic partnerships with top manufacturers in the industry and an R&D division based in La Neuveville/Neuchâtel allow Waltham to launch its first brand-new collection of wristwatches inspired by its history in the aero-naval sector.
Precision, Innovation, Nonconformity: the values that have guided Waltham since its beginnings. The same values that fuelled the avant-garde spirit of all those men that have been key figures of the most audacious endeavors of the last 160 years. Dennison, in 1850. Lindbergh, when crossed the Atlantic with a Waltham. Shackleton had a Waltham when he conquered the South Pole, as did Peary when he first reached the North Pole. The Top Gun Pilots used Waltham on board of their Phantoms, like the heroes of the Allied Armed Forces, accompanied by Waltham in their epic endeavors at sea, on land and in the air.
The brand’s mission is to produce high-tech, cutting-edge, Swiss wristwatches that will instill today’s men with the courage to choose and dare to follow their convictions. Waltham offers Wristwatches of superior quality, with a mixture of unusual and advanced technological materials and a distinctive angular design, new icons of the contemporary luxury for men.
Waltham has never been inspired by history; Waltham is a part of history. This is why the models designed since the early 1900s for both the civilian and military aviation sectors have become the impetus for a redesign – now as then – of contemporary, high-precision, mechanical watchmaking.
An angular and bold design, with refined lines and uncompromising features that represent time: the brand-new Waltham Aeronaval Collection is the modern take on the brand’s glorious past, transforming wristwatches into icons of a new concept of contemporary luxury for men. The new collection is based on an innovative redefinition of time measuring functions, in perfect harmony with its bold design, and careful attention to detail that highlights every single feature, resulting in a daring, well-balanced timepiece, where nothing is left to chance.
In 2014, Waltham International SA returned to its origins with the Waltham Aeronaval Collection, featuring two aero-naval watch models that boast innovative design and technological functions, icons of a new concept of contemporary luxury for men. The new Waltham SOLO TEMPO and GMT are the modern expressions of fearless past endeavors, carried out by men who with a Waltham made world history through some of the greatest and most heroic achievements of the past 160 years.
|Waltham SOLO TEMPO|
Founded in 1850 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, it moved four years later to the small town that would give the company its name. Since its beginnings, Waltham has always stood out for the high-precision and superior performance of its instruments. These characteristics earned Waltham a place with the most important organizations and institutions at the beginning of the 20th Century, including the U.S. Military, and Railroad Companies in 52 countries across 7 continents. Waltham instruments were also selected by the pioneers of the time, such as Sir Ernest Shackleton on his trek towards the South Pole, Robert Peary when he conquered the North Pole, Charles Lindbergh on the first non-stop transatlantic flight, and the Pilots of the Top Gun School. All independent and courageous men who chose to share their achievements with a Waltham.
Waltham has never been inspired by history; Waltham is a part of history. This is why the new Waltham researched models designed for civilian and military aviation since the early 1900s to create a collection characterized by its bold and dramatic angular design, elegance, and uncompromising innovation. Two Aero-naval wristwatches where no feature is superfluous, creating beauty out of functionality: the WALTHAM XA (SOLO TEMPO), the forerunner and iconic model and the exclusive WALTHAM CDI (GMT) featuring the unique civil date indicator.
|WALTHAM CDI (GMT)|
Designed and manufactured in Switzerland, the pulsing center of the world’s watchmaking industry, the new timepieces redefine Waltham’s glorious history with style, elegance and technology, starting from their high-end, mechanical self-winding movement.
The wristwatches boast multi layered Titanium G5 cases with ceramic bezels, and other features that are representative of Waltham style, such as the dodecagonal case, the second counter at 12 o’clock in the XA and the GMT with a central date indicator and rapid time zone selector. An innovative interpretation of functions, in perfect harmony with its sharp linear design and careful attention to detail that highlights every single feature, resulting in a well-balanced state-of-the-art timepiece where no detail is overlooked. Genuine volcanized rubber watchstraps for better fit and endurance; sophisticated deployante clasps in Titanium G2; water-resistant up to 30 bar/300 mt, all elements that give these wristwatches great character.
Timeline (1850 to 2014)
1850: Roxbury, Massachusetts, USA, inspired by Aaron Lufkin Dennison, a visionary genius, the first industrial mechanical watch and clock manufacturer in the world is founded. For the first time, clocks and watches were not produced piece-by-piece and later assembled by individual craftsmen but rather, thanks to interchangeable parts and patented automated, precision watchmaking machines, they are produced in series.
1854: The Company moves to Waltham, the town that will give the company its name, and opens a model factory where it employs over 3,000 people at the height of its productivity. From 1850 to 1957, over 40 million timepieces are produced, making the Waltham company the world’s leading producer of clocks and watches. The modern American system of watch and clock manufacturing is not the only technique developed in Waltham; it also boasts the forerunner of the “assembly line”. Henry Ford, during a visit, is inspired to develop the automated production line for the legendary Model T revolutionizing, just as Dennison had for watchmaking, the manufacturing process for automobiles.
1863: United States President, Abraham Lincoln, becomes one of the first proud owners of the Waltham model 1857 Serial Number 67613, the first industrialized pocket watch. Currently part of a collection at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, this watch was presented to the President to celebrate the Gettysburg Address and the historical achievement that no one had been able to accomplish before him: the abolition of slavery.
1870: The first Waltham Railroad Watches are manufactured: high-precision pocket watches that are selected by railroad companies in 52 countries across the five continents, including the Regie Ferrovie Italiane, which adopted the Vanguard Model in 1907. This is the first watch to incorporate the “up and down” power reserve indicator on the dial, a Waltham patent that is still used in hand-wound timepieces. During the golden age of railroads, there were more Waltham watches in circulation around the world than all other brands put together.
1900: The new century begins and Waltham is in search of the highest possible precision for its clocks and watches. Manufacturers at that time had to turn to astronomical observatories in order to verify and certify the precision of their clockwork. Waltham – the first and only manufacturer in the world – decides to build its own astronomical observatory to ensure the quality of its vast industrial production.
1909: Waltham timepieces and precision instruments become faithful companions in exploration expeditions and courageous, ambitious endeavors. In January, the Anglo-Irish explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton treks towards the center of the South Pole, pushing himself further south than anyone had gone before. In April, the American explorer Robert Peary is the first man to reach the geographic North Pole. Accompanying them, was a Waltham: the only pocket watch that could withstand such extreme conditions while maintaining excellent performance.
1911: The Marine Chronometers, Waltham Model 1910, featuring an 8-day power reserve, are chosen by the United States, Canadian and British governments for all military and civilian ships. No other factory is equipped to manufacture such high-performance chronometers in such large quantities.
1915: With the onset of the First World War, Waltham manufactures the first wristwatches for the American armed forces: more practical in the trenches than pocket watches, they are made even more resistant by the addition of a metal cage that protects the case. But the war is also an opportunity for Waltham, and the military, to experiment with flight: the rudimentary military aircraft used in WWI are fitted with a Waltham XA Type 37 Model aeronautical clock.
1916: Waltham begins production of clocks and speedometers for automobiles. Precise and reliable even when exposed to strong and continuous vibrations, these instruments were supplied to Ford, Lincoln, Renault, Cadillac, and even Rolls Royce. In the forefront of this sector too, Waltham and world-renowned scientist Nikola Tesla patent the first Air Friction speedometer, creating the most precise automobile instrument capable of measuring speed, distance and time.
1924: Henry Ford commissions Waltham to build a grandfather clock that adorned his office until his death in 1947, after which it was donated to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn (Michigan).
1927: Charles Lindberg, an unknown US Air Mail pilot, has the instrument panel on board his “Spirit of St Louis” modified in order to fit a Waltham XA Type 37 aeronautical clock. Lindbergh boards his plane in New York on May 19 and lands 33 hours later in Paris, marking the first non-stop transatlantic flight.
|Waltham XA Type 37 aeronautical clock|
1928: Australian aviation pioneer Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, leaves Oakland, California, to land in Brisbane, Australia, completing the first non-stop flight across the Pacific Ocean. The aeronautical clock in his tri-motor aircraft, the Southern Cross is a Waltham XA Type 37.
1941: During the Second World War, Waltham’s experience in the aviation sector brings it on board the most emblematic aircraft of the time. These include the F6F Hellcat, with over 12,000 units built from 1943 to 1945 and fitted with the CDIA Model; the B24 Liberator bomber, the most widely produced military aircraft in history; and the legendary P-51 Mustang fighter plane, used until the 1980s.
1947: Waltham manufactures the Type A11 Navigational Watch. This wristwatch is the first to become standard military issue for all the American armed forces: in a waterproof version for the navy, and a dustproof version for all the other services.
1950: In response to military requirements and in collaboration with the armed forces, in the 1950s Waltham develops the Type A17 Pilot Watch and the wrist compass, standard issue equipment for the US Air Force and Navy.
1954: After more than 100 years in the United States, Waltham establishes Waltham SA in Switzerland, the new pulsing center of global watchmaking, where the Swiss Made brand begins production.
1967: The F4 Phantoms are legends of the US Navy even before they enter into service, setting new records in altitude and speed. They are therefore chosen by the equally legendary Top Gun Fighter Weapons School to train the best pilots in the US Air Force. Their control panels boast a Waltham Type A-13A, the official aeronautical clock of the US Department of Defense during the Cold War, that is fitted on board all American military aircraft ranging from U-2s to the C-130 Hercules.
|Waltham Type A-13A|
1981: After entering the Asian market at the end of the 1970s with the Vacuum Model, the innovative mechanical wristwatch that works in the absence of atmosphere, Waltham is purchased by the Japanese company, Heiwado & Co. and quickly becomes the most popular brand in Japan.
2000 : The success on the Asian market is celebrated with the incredible Radiant 2000, a model decorated with over 150 carats of diamonds and considered the most expensive wrist watch of the time.
2011: The majority shares of Waltham International SA are purchased by Italian-American entrepreneur Antonio DiBenedetto who sets a new objective: to create high-tech, cutting-edge wrist watches that can instill today’s men with the courage to choose and dare to follow their convictions. Inspired by the same courage that drove the innovative and unconventional spirits of the legendary men who, with a Waltham, became key figures in the greatest achievements of the past 160 years.
2014: Waltham introduces its first aero-naval high-end mechanical self-winding wristwatch collection. Inspired by the innovative models of the past, these daring state-of-the-art wristwatches, with sharp lines, and intriguing bold angular design, create new icons of contemporary luxury designed for modern fearless men: contemporary pioneers, innovative and unconventional just as the extraordinary Waltham owners who have taken part in the greatest endeavors of the past 160 years.
Official website: http://www.waltham.ch