Antique and vintage watches can be defined as being over 100 years old or no longer in production and can be found at many jewelry stores, watch repair stores or online. Wittnauer watches began with Albert Wittnauer, who created his brand of watches in New York in 1880. In 1936, the Wittnauer watch company joined with Longines watches and became the Longines-Wittnauer Co. in a partnership that lasted until 1994. As such, many vintage Wittnauer watches have serial numbers that are listed under the Longines Company.
Turn the watch over to determine if the case back is a snap back or screw back. Most older watches, including most Wittnauer watches, are snap back cases. The case back will be smooth with a small notch on the side where a tool may be inserted.
Use a small tool with a flat blade, such as small standard screwdriver or a case knife, to loosen the case back at the notch and open the case back.
Look for a serial number stamped on the inner workings of the watch and write down this number.
Set the case back on the watch and line up the notch with the watch case. Press the case back gently with both thumbs into place.
Look up the serial number that was located inside the watch. There are several websites that offer manufacture charts that provide the corresponding date of the watch, including Pinnacle Supplies, Brittons Watches and The Watch Guy (see Resources).
If you experience any difficulties opening the watch back, take the watch to an authorized watch repair shop for assistance.
Meredith Jameson writes early childhood parenting and family health articles for various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from San Francisco State University.