Gallet is known as a historic and storied Swiss manufacturer of high-end timepieces – with this 1950s Gallet hour decimal stopwatch here being no exception – for professional, military, sports, racing, and aviation use. Gallet, as the world’s oldest watch and clock making institution, dates back to the late 1400’s, in Geneve.
The timing functions on this Gallet are controlled by two buttons on the case. Pressing the top button starts the timer running, pressing it again halts it - pressing the button at the 11 o’clock position resets the two timers. Or, pressing the button at the 11 o’clock while the stopwatch is still running will also reset both hands, with both starting automatically again – a complication known as a fly-back stopwatch.
Fast forward four hundred years, in 1864 family patriarch Léon Gallet set his sights on the world markets – Léon's brother, Lucien Gallet, established the company's first U.S. location in Chicago, with a New York City office following soon after. Together with Jules Racine, a U.S.-based cousin of the Gallet brothers, the company began its expansion into the American market.
Due to the American consumer's preference for domestically styled products, the Gallet Company created numerous new lines to accommodate all American price points. Lower priced watches were supplied to the average working man, as well as expensive high-grade and complicated timepieces in solid gold cases for the wealthy. By the end of the 19th century, the Gallet family was manufacturing and selling over 100,000 timepieces per year.
Alas, the global Depression in the 1930’s ended all this, and Gallet returned to solely manufacturing high-end time pieces. Under the family name, the Gallet Company continued to flourish by providing hand-held timers – akin to the one for sale here – and chronograph wristwatches to allied military and industrial clients during the years leading up to and through World War II.
Modern day Gallet is one of a small number of independent Swiss brands that continue to operate their own in-house manufacturing facilities – a relative rarity now.
This Gallet comes with a Pelican travel case.
1950s Gallet Hour Decimal Fly-Back Stopwatch
DIAL: Brilliant and highly detailed original white Gallet-signed dial, with original minute and second hands.
CASE: Original 49mm x 62mm stainless-steel case.
CRYSTAL: Acrylic crystal, no scratches or blemishes.
MOVEMENT: Original Gallet mechanical movement, counting hour decimal with a 30-minute totalizer.
CROWN: Original unsigned crown, stopwatch reset at the 11 o’clock position works as designed.