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Gallet is the world’s oldest watch and clock making house with history dating back to Humbertus Gallet, a clock maker who became a citizen of Geneva in 1466. The Gallet & Cie (Gallet & Company) name was officially registered by Julien Gallet (1806–1849) in 1826, who moved the family business from Geneva to La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Prior to this date, operations commenced under the name of each of the family patriarchs.
Gallet is best known during the 20th century to the present day for its line of MultiChron chronograph wristwatches. Produced primarily for military, industrial, and other professional applications, Gallet’s MultiChron watches often incorporated a number of advanced timekeeping innovations.
A Gallet timepiece of particular renown was the Flight Officer time zone chronograph. Commissioned by Senator Harry S. Truman in 1939 for pilots of the United States Army Air Forces, the Flight Officer (a.k.a. Flying Officer) had a rotating 12 hour bezel and the names of 48 major world cities printed on the periphery of the dial (face). These features made it possible to calculate changes in the time as an aviator flew across lines of longitude. Besides being the first time zone calculating wristwatch, the Flight Officer was one of the world’s first wrist chronographs to be housed in a water resistant case. Truman wore a Gallet Flight Officer during his terms as 33rd president (1945–1953).
Léon Gallet set his sights on the rest of the world markets. In 1864, Léon’s brother, Lucien Gallet (1834–1879), established the company’s first US location in Chicago with a New York City office following soon after. Together with Jules Racine, a cousin of the Gallet brothers living in the US,the company began its expansion into the American market.
When the worldwide economic downturn of the 1930’s caused international trade to plunge by as much as two-thirds, it suddenly became unprofitable for the Gallet Company to continue production of many of its recently established brands. Gallet chose instead, to consolidate its efforts back into its primary area of expertise, that of the manufacture of high quality professional-use timepieces. Under the family name, the Gallet Company continued to flourish by providing hand-held timers and chronograph wristwatches toallied military and industrial clients during the years leading up to and through World War II.
A wartime Gallet timepiece of particular renown was the Flight Officer time-zone chronograph (1939 – present). Commissioned by Senator Harry S. Truman’s senatorial staff in 1939 for the United States Army Air Force, this wristwatch made it possible to calculate changes in the time as a pilot flew across lines of longitude
Gallet is the world’s oldest watch and clock making house with history dating back to Humbertus Gallet, a clock maker who became a citizen of Geneva in 1466.
- The first wristwatch with a center-originating sweep second hand for heart rate calculation (1912)
- The first wrist chronograph with a waterproof case (Gallet MultiChron, 1936)
- The first chronograph wristwatch with multiple time zone calculator (Gallet Flight Officer, 1938)
- The first miniature chronograph wristwatch for professional women (Gallet MultiChron Petite, 1939)
- The first chronograph wristwatch with additional 24 hour GMT hand (Gallet MultiChron Navigator GMT, 1945)
- The first 24 hour reading wrist chronograph (Gallet MultiChron 24, 1947)1896 Swiss National Exposition, Geneva — Silver Medal
1905 Universal Exposition of Liege — Grand Diploma of Honor
1912 Kew Observatory, London – “A” Class Certificates, Special and Series Prizes for the Best Chronometers at Neuchâtel
1913 Kew Observatory, London – “A” Class Certificates, Special and Series Prizes for the Best Chronometers at Neuchâtel
1914 Swiss National Exposition, Berne — Grand Prize in the Chronometer category
1917 Canton Observatory, Neuchâtel — 1st Place Award for Chronometer Accuracy
FULL HISTORY OF GALLET FAMILY FROM 1466-2009 AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS OFFER
GALLET WAS A MAJOR PARTNER & BACKER WITH JULES RACINE. 1864 – Léon Gallet’s brother Lucien Gallet establishes the company’s first US location in Chicago, with a New York City office following soon after Together with Jules Racine, a cousin of the Gallet brothers living in the US, the company expands its distribution to the American market.AND GALLET WAS A MAJOR PARTNER & BACKER WITH EXCELSIER PARK;
Jeanneret and Fils created Usine du Parc, by 1890 the company is called Alb and produces anchor watches from 13 to 24 lines, calendar watches and chronographs under the trademarks Colombe and Diana.In 1894 the factory is renamed Jeanneret Frères and produces chronographs. On March 21th 1891 a sport stopwatch called “Excelsior” is patented by Alb. Jeanneret et Frères, it has a movement side bridge in the shape of J; which l becomes a trademark for Excelsior Park
By 1902, the company is named of Jeanneret-Brehm and Co and sells s stopwatches under the Excelsior trademark.
In 1911 Jeaneret -Brehm & Co, along with Gallet, introduce two button (Crown Push and Side Pusher) and Henri Jeanneret-Brehm, a member of the esteemed Jeanneret family of St. Imier watchmakers, purchases the Magnenat-Lecoultre factory with financial assistance from the Gallet company. By 1918, The Jeanneret-Brehm company becomes Excelsior Park and offers stopwatches and chronographs .
ORIGINAL RADIUM DIAL
JULES RACINE & CO
[Gallet, J. Racine Co.]
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