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Gallet-made Desert Storm/Desert Shield watches

  1. SeanO

    SeanO Jan 4, 2020

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    they have a long and undistinguished history of "re-inventing" themselves. Too many look backs to a "fantasy" past.

    along with a couple of corporate re-boots in the last 10 years you could say they're a nothing company with no future and a malleable past.

    much of the good regard they're held in is as a result of the boom in golden age chronograph values and the place Gallet had in that market (not over valued but still with cachet) for collectors and aficionados who were slow to the market for the usual suspects.
     
    Waltesefalcon, krogerfoot and Larry S like this.
  2. Larry S

    Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Jan 4, 2020

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    That about sums it up. Little more of a pulse than UG. In their heyday they had some fantastic designs. I have have four in my rotation.
     
  3. SeanO

    SeanO Jan 4, 2020

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    I love my two as well. Won’t blind me to reality though.
     
  4. krogerfoot

    krogerfoot Jan 4, 2020

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    The fabled Gallet Flight Officer/Flying Officer model is another minefield of crazy just-so stories. The thing that got me started wondering how much can be believed about Gallet watches was this article in Timepiece Chronicle about a seemingly untouched example of a WWII-era Flight Officer.
    gallet_flight_officer_chronograph_8.jpg
    The caseback engraving struck me as just looking nothing like what you'd expect a government-issued piece of equipment to look:

    s-l1600-2.jpg
    It makes zero sense that the manufacturer would engrave by hand boilerplate officialese onto every item they supply to a government client during a war effort. "PROPERTY U.S.A. ORD. DEPT." rather sounds like an imagined recreation of what a WWII military-issued piece would have on it. According to one watch collector, Gallet USA has explained that "genuine military markings would be hand engraved in a more period appropriate type style," which again is inconsistent with basically every other military-issue watch I have ever seen, especially US watches.

    The poorly hand-engraved inscription reminded me of the look of another "military issue" Gallet Flying Officer model, supposedly supplied to the Swiss air force in the 1970s.

    s-l1600-3.jpg

    Every example of the "AS 7584" Swiss armed forces Flying Officer model has a clumsily executed Swiss Cross on the caseback, clearly done inexpertly by hand, with no two being identical (although the AS 7584 stamp lines up perfectly—believe me, I've taken to Photoshop to check this).
    eNrl09.png

    Gallet Flight/Flying Officer watches are beautiful, but the sloppy engravings on the back of the purported Swiss SA watches look, candidly, like shit. There might be some fascinating explanation for everything; I don't know. But one thing I haven't seen is evidence that any Gallet chronograph was ever issued to any military organization anywhere, and the only people who seem privy to whether all this is true or not are also in the business of selling off a collection of oddly pristine antique watches.
     
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  5. Larry S

    Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Jan 4, 2020

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    Ugh...With good examples rare and selling at a premium, there is simply no rhyme or reason for this kind of mutilation.
     
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  6. asrnj77

    asrnj77 Jan 6, 2020

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    Marathon is not a model name used by Gallet. They are a completely different company that was sub contracted by Gallet to make these affordable quartz military watches. None of them produced for the military ever said Desert Storm or anything ridiculous like that.

    From the Marathon website:

    The company that was to become Marathon Watch was founded in 1904 as Weinsturm Watch, later to be named Wein Brothers. In 1939, Morris Wein founded Marathon Watch, supplying fine precision timepieces throughout North America. Since 1941, Marathon has been manufacturing timing instruments for the Allied Forces, and today the fourth generation of the family continues the tradition with a wide range of instruments measuring time, temperature and distance. Marathon watches combine military durability with Swiss engineering and craftsmanship to ensure the highest level of quality and precision.

    Marathon products are manufactured with the utmost care and go through various quality control measures. This attention to quality is supported by a commitment to excellent customer support to ensure the best possible product experience.

    Marathon ~ Best in the Long Run .
     
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  7. krogerfoot

    krogerfoot Jan 7, 2020

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    This is certainly worth looking into. Some Marathon-branded watches definitely seem to have Gallet movements, including the one Gallet is promoting to potential eBay bidders now, and some quartz military-issue Marathon watches have Gallet stamped on the back.

    Screenshot 2020-01-08 09.59.47.png
    As I've commented before, if I had a watch that was going to be featured in a book about historic pieces, I would think the time to sell it would be after publication and not before, but that's just me.