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The Gallets have been making watches in Switzerland since 1466, when Humbertus Gallet became a citizen of Geneva. Nearly four hundred years later, in 1826, Julien Gallet registered the name Gallet et Cie for his watchmaking company and relocated to La Chaux-du-Fonds, the valley nestled in the Jura mountains that has spawned such horological icons as Rolex and Heuer. With new connections in La Chaux-du-Fonds Julien Gallet was able to extend the reputation and distribution of his pocket watches throughout Europe. The purchase of Grumbach & Co. in 1855, by Julien's son Léon, allowed Gallet to increase production and attract the best watchmakers of the day, whom Gallet allowed to register patents in their own names.
The manufacture has long been on the forefront of horological innovation. They’ve achieved an impressive number of wristwatch “firsts," including the first waterproof chronograph wristwatch, the first wristwatch with a 28,800 BPH escapement, the first wristwatch with rotating outer bezel, and the first chronograph wristwatch with a 24-hour GMT complication. Considering how often we see these features in watches from nearly every significant brand today, one cannot overstate Gallet’s contributions to the watch industry.
Of the many watches produced by Gallet in the 20th century, the MultiChron chronographs are some of the most significant and collectible today. Although they are refined and stylish, they were initially intended as tool watches for military and industrial professionals, with many featuring decimal, pulsometer and telemeter tracks on the dials. The Gallet MultiChron Regulator (or Regulateur) was introduced in 1923 and marked another milestone for Gallet.
Since the MultiChron Regulator was intended for professionals whose jobs included timing events--like pilots, doctors, and referees--Gallet subverted the typical "compax" dial layout that most chronographs used: chronograph sub-dials at 3 and 9 o'clock and the hour markers surrounding them. Instead, the hours and minutes were displayed in a small register at 12 o'clock, above the minute counter at 6'clock, in stunning gilt that contrasts sharply with the black of the dial. This configuration also made reading/using the regulator/telemeter scales much easier and offered an unobstructed view of the minute counter.
The MultiChron Regulator was powered by the Venus Caliber 140. Due to Gallet's purchase of the èbauche manufacturer in 1923, Gallet enjoyed exclusive use of Venus's movements, but did furnish them to brands like Rolex and Girard-Perregaux.
The Regulator proved a hit with pilots, and saw combat on the wrist of none other than Colonel Don Blakeslee, who has the distinction of flying more combat missions than any other pilot in the Second World War. The Regulator that we have here dates from the second execution of Regulator, produced from 1935 to 1945, the same period in which Colonel Blakeslee wore it. Examples from this period are a relatively rare find, especially in as good condition as this one is--an honest example of a timepiece that is as handsome as it is timeless.
Stainless steel case is approximately 34mm (excluding crown and pushers). Venus 140 Manually-Wound Chronograph Movement. Circa mid to late 1930s.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition over all, with moderate signs of use and wear in keeping with its age, including some scratches and tool marks on the sides of the case and the lugs. Dial is in very good condition with crisp printing and fine overall patina. Unsigned crown; unsigned case back does have some signs of use and wear but is in otherwise very good condition.
Includes one 18mm after-market beads of rice bracelet and two 18mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle