A few days ago, I finally got my hands on a long-coveted grail:
For those who don’t know, the Excel-O-Graph is a slide-rule chronograph released by Gallet in 1965, and powered by an ExPark 40-68. It has also been documented in versions branded Excelsior Park and Sinn, which are otherwise identical. It is a seriously attractive watch, in the genre of Breitling, but to my eye even more appealing. This watch entered my consciousness early and aggressively. I first saw it in Jeff Stein’s 5-4-8 piece, where it reached out to me from among the bevy of other seriously attractive chronographs featured in that writeup. It was reinforced by seeing David Alstott’s example occasionally posted in the “what are you wearing?” threads in this forum. Many months ago, I started the obsessive collector’s stalk that I think we are all familiar with in one form or another for this watch.
That’s where Bill Gates comes in: any internet search for an Excel-O-Graph yields hundreds of hits for Microsoft Excel help sites, sales sites, how to sites, in eye-numbing profusion, all discussing how one makes graphs in Excel. I waded through page after page of this garbage, day after day, week after week, almost always with no relevant result. It was almost enough to make me give up.
One finally popped up, and I jumped on it, although it has some problems. This one was found abandoned in a desk drawer at a grass strip airport in the Midwest by a private pilot. It had no band and had velcro glued to the back. He meant to repair it but never having got around to it after three years, he sold it to me. It runs and keeps good time, including the chrono, but the hour totalizer just does its own thing – runs or not according to its mood, and never resets. The gasket on the snap back is rock hard and turning to dust, but the movement is clean. Obviously, service is a priority – can anyone recommend someone who has ExPark experience? I can’t imagine parts are easy to come by, should that become necessary.
A couple more shots...
And the ExPark 40-68, cribbed from the Invenit et Fecit website’s excellent history of Excelsior Park (Page Modčles)