The first movement is the same as one of the first watches I collected, a Borgel hallmarked London import 1915/1916 with the name "Electa" on the dial, but I now have several Borgel watches with this movement. The second I have illustrated has chaton set jewels, the third an early centre seconds.
I have identified it as being an Electa/Gallet movement on the basis of the name Electa on the dial of my first watch with this movement. But I have never been able to really prove this beyond doubt because it doesn't feature in any of the movement identification catalogues which I have, none of which have any Gallet or Electa movements at all. I would really like to nail this as a positive identification, but there is a problem. I doubt that this movement will appear in any old parts catalogues because of the story related in the other pictures I have included.
Although Gallet say (Gallet & Co) that they acquired Electa in 1855, the Electa 1903 advert clearly shows that a company called Société d'horlogerie Electa had the registered trademark at that time, i.e. 1903. The February 1907 transfer notice shows the rights to a design registered on 1st November 1906 being transferred from Société d'horlogerie Electa to "Gallet & Co., Fabrique d'horlogerie Electa". This would appear to correspond with the entry in the Gallet timeline which says that in 1906 "The company name "Gallet & Cie, Fabrique d’horlogerie Electa" is registered to reinforce Gallet's ownership and control of the Electa brand. Under the Electa name, Gallet produces its highest quality timepieces." These two items suggest to me that Société d'horlogerie Electa were still independent on 1st November 1906, and that Gallet actually acquired Electa after this date.
So far, so good. But now here's the problem. The 1914 announcement of "Radiations", which I believe in this context means something like "Strikings off" or "expulsion", appears to show Gallet & Co., Fabrique d'horlogerie Electa, in liquidation! The company appears to have struggled on under the administration of the liquidators because the 1923 advert shows that the Electa factory is offered for sale or to rent, including a machine shop suitable for making watch, ebauches or other parts. It would appear that this offer was not taken up because the 1926 notice advises of the dispersal sale of the Electa factory, land, and contents.
How this story fits in with the Gallet time line on their web site is a complete mystery to me. I guess that the Electa factory was purchased as a going concern and a new division of Gallet, Gallet & Co., Fabrique d'horlogerie Electa, was formed to run it. Evidently it was not successful and the main Gallet business had isolated itself sufficiently from Gallet & Co., Fabrique d'horlogerie Electa that the liquidation of that branch did not affect the main business. And presumably Gallet could have acquired the trademark of Electa from the liquidators if they wished to carry on using it, although the last mention of Electa in the timeline is 1915 and says "Gallet supplies hand held and cockpit mounted timers to the British Air Force during WW I. Movements are produced in Gallet’s Electa workshop and marked with the Electa name.".
This is why I doubt that Electa movement will appear in any old parts catalogues, the factory seems to have only run as a going concern for a few years, and then limped on under the liquidators for a few more years. Even if anyone had catalogued their movements, the dispersal sale would have been a final nail in the coffin and records would have been binned. So my only hope of a really positive identification for these movements is to find one stamped "Electa". If you have any further information on Gallet and Electa, or anything at all marked Electa, please let's see it!
Thanks for any help!
Regards - David
The same movement with jewels set in chatons
The same movement with centre seconds
Electa 1903 advert
February 1907 transfer notice