Founded by Paul Wyler in 1923, Wyler SA started off as a brand reputed for its tough, rugged watches, especially after the introduction of their reputed Incaflex shockproof balance (1927). To prove their reliability, the brand dropped some of their Incaflex watches from the top of the Eiffel Tower (1931, 1956) and the Seattle Space Needle (1962); all kept working perfectly afterwards. Distributed as Wyler Vetta by the Binda Company (1930) in the Italian market, they proved very popular in the country and became the official timepiece of the victorious Italian soccer league during the 1934 World Cup. Later, in 1944, Albert Einstein commended his ten-year-old Wyler’s waterproof ability after a boating accident, which gained the brand massive notoriety in the American market. In 1992, the Binda Group acquired the Wyler brand, and produced a number of centenary pieces, relaunching the brand under the old Italian market monicker ‘Wyler Vetta’ in 2015.
This particular model of the Wyler Diver Lifeguard 660 was produced in extremely limited numbers, and allegedly sold in the American market through mail-in orders from Boy’s Magazine in the early 1970’s. The watch features a Swiss Valjoux 72 chronograph movement, as well as a Singer-made ‘Paul Newman’ panda dial —a combination only seen in the famous Rolex Daytona of the same nickname.
Located in the United States after a five-year search, this vintage diver was found in dire need of restoration, and taken to Los Angeles Watchworks for a comprehensive, one-year refurbishment, consisting of a complete case refinish, careful replacement of its unique, pressure-mounted acrylic crystal, and a comprehensive service of its V72 heart. The bent and damaged hands were replaced with Daytona hands, and an Oyster-style bracelet was added for a closer looks to its Rolex brother.
Now showing in its full restored glory, this is a timepiece we will treasure for many, many years to come!