Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
To collectors of vintage watches, Gallet stands out as a beacon of stability. When Julien Gallet established the Gallet Watch Company in 1826, the Gallets had been making watches for over four hundred years. And it was thanks to the influence of Julien’s son, Leon, that Swiss watches gained a foothold in the U.S. market.
At the end of the 19th century, the United States was undergoing a period of transition due to the American Civil War. The war saw an increase in industry, which remained true as the country settled into an uneasy peace. The introduction of coal-powered machinery gave rise to mass manufacturing, and watches were the first product with which America showed its industrial might.
Leon Gallet and his friend Ernest Francillon (of Longines) witnessed it firsthand during a trip to America in 1876. They saw that brands like Waltham and Elgin were capable of producing hundreds of watches a day. To Gallet and Francillon, there was one incontrovertible truth: the Swiss needed to adopt the American system of mass manufacturing—or perish.
Upon their return to Switzerland, Leon Gallet and Ernest Francillon—along with Constant Girard-Perregaux—formed the Intercantonal Society for the Industries of the Jura Area. Brands within the society combined their manufacturing resources to establish Swiss watchmaking supremacy in Europe. And thanks to Leon’s brother Lucien, the watches that their company made saw expansion into the American market.
By the time of Leon’s death in 1899, the Gallet Watch Company was making over 100,000 timepieces a year. Early triumphs included the creation of the first wristwatches made for mass consumption in 1892. The product was viewed as something of a novelty at first, but the concept took off after the widespread use of wristwatches during World War I, with Gallet leading the way.
Though the economic strictures of the Great Depression forced Gallet to reduce it output, the brand took the opportunity to streamline production, focusing on the kind of thoughtful, well-executed technical timepieces that today’s collectors simply love.
Like this chronograph, for example.
With a dial that incorporates both a 12-hour and 24-hour military layout, it’s clear that Gallet meant this chronograph to be used by pilots. In looks it resembles the Benrus Sky Chief, with a compact 35mm case (chrome-plated, in this instance) and a black dial. Powered by a Valjoux Calibre 7730 manually-wound chronograph movement, it exudes the same kind of precision and excellence that the Gallet family made their watchword.
Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.
We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns+
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.
Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.
We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.
We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.