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1960s Wittnauer Electrochron Watch Fetches $10,000 At Auction


Think that old watch that belonged to your grandfather isn't worth anything? Think again. Recently a 1962 Wittnauer Electro-Chron electric watch sold at an online auction held by Analog/Shift for $10,000. Granted, the watch had previously been owned by a famous 1930s Major League Baseball shortstop, "Rowdy" Richard Bartell, but it just shows that vintage pieces can escalate in value. Bidding on the watch started at $500.

The watch had first been presented to Bartell in 1962 when he attended an Old Timers Day at Yankee Stadium. He had begun his baseball career in 1927 and played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Giants, Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers. He is ranked, today, as the 38th Best Shortstop in Major League Baseball history. At the Old Timer’s Day, Bartell — along with others in attendance — was given the Yankee Special Edition Wittnauer Electro-Chron watch, which is powered by a Lantern 4750 electric movement that was revolutionary at the time of its unveiling in 1960.


The stainless steel watch had been found by Analog/Shift (procurers of vintage timepieces) and then came to be owned — briefly — by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who opted in partnership with Analog/Shift to put it up for auction, with all proceeds of the sale going to the Horological Society of New York.

Photos courtesy of Analog/Shift.