A prototype Gallet with an interesting story
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  1. #1
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    A prototype Gallet with an interesting story

    Here’s a story for you all.

    I had met a guy at the bar I work at who was asking me about the watch I was wearing. We then got to talking and he had brought up that his father was big into watches. Fast forward a couple of beers, his story began turning into his father's story. Here's the jist. He was a referree for the Chicago Bears when there wasn't better alternatives for keeping track of the game. Him being a watch collector himself, was aware of Gallet's chronographs at the time, and suggested that the team commission a timer for him to keep track of the football games all in one. Gallet was commissioned to build a timer specifically for American Football games. They had to rework all of the internals as well as work with another Chicago company on producing a dial for it. Together, a prototype football timer was made and sent to him. This was right around the time where the war efforts became full fledged and the the timer never saw the green light for production. The company that made the dial to it followed suit with the war efforts and disbanded. The only working prototype was in his father's hands. Interesting story so far, but it got better. Through a series of moves, he had misplaced the watch and hadn't seen it in decades. After getting curious on my own, I began researching the old Gallet pocket watch timers, and even picked up an old boxing one off of eBay. About 2 months after speaking to him, I saw an image of what looked to be a different type of timer. It was an old listing on ebay described as "gallet football timer". After getting in touch with the company that was selling it, they had relisted it for me to purchase. It had been listed and relisted well over 6 months with no takers. I thought there was no way. It came, and I gawked over the thing. It's intimidating size as well as the internals were really something to see. About 3 weeks later, I ended up seeing the man who told me the story, and I told him to bring his father in the next week. When he came in, I presented him with what I thought was his old pocket watch, only to see him light up with excitement. He wasn't too familiar with eBay but I tried to tell him that I was his own personal sleuth for finding the whereabouts of his old timepiece (it was dumb luck I really wasn't expecting to find it). We talked for about 2 hours where he filled me in on some of the other details about the watch and what it was like being on the field with the players. Crazy stuff. Before he left, he handed me the pocket watch telling me that he appreciated me looking for it and that was enough for him to be happy.

    Here are some pictures of the watch. It’s in perfect condition —not even the slightest of a hairline on the porcelain dial.
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  2. #2
    Member MZhammer's Avatar
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    Re: A prototype Gallet with an interesting story

    That is amazingly cool, a piece of history and something you must take special care of. Might make sense to go to the Bears hall of fame/museum.
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    Re: A prototype Gallet with an interesting story

    Great story and really interesting watch. You are a true gentleman for finding this (possibly) unique watch for an elderly man, helping him re-live some good memories. Chapeau!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MZhammer View Post
    That is amazingly cool, a piece of history and something you must take special care of. Might make sense to go to the Bears hall of fame/museum.
    It truly is. I have thought about it before, but I don’t know the right people to make sure this doesn’t just end up in their archives not to be seen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tohono Rat View Post
    Great story and really interesting watch. You are a true gentleman for finding this (possibly) unique watch for an elderly man, helping him re-live some good memories. Chapeau!
    Definitely unique! It was a fun experience for me personally and too many things had to go right for this to happen.

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    Re: A prototype Gallet with an interesting story

    Just a suggestion - ask the old chap to write a history of the watch and how it came about, detailing his previous role etc. See if you can find records of his time with the team.

    Basically, if the watch is ever up for sale or passed on or whatever, the new recipient can see the full history of the watch and understand its importance/uniqueness.



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    Re: A prototype Gallet with an interesting story

    Enjoyed reading your story of the Gallet prototype and your stroke of luck the prototype.

    Thanks for sharing.

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    Re: A prototype Gallet with an interesting story

    Quote Originally Posted by Baldrick View Post
    Just a suggestion - ask the old chap to write a history of the watch and how it came about, detailing his previous role etc. See if you can find records of his time with the team.

    Basically, if the watch is ever up for sale or passed on or whatever, the new recipient can see the full history of the watch and understand its importance/uniqueness.



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    This is also important for establishing its value as a collectible. I signed story of its origin from its original caretaker would be important provenance.

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    [QUOTE=Baldrick;49150201]Just a suggestion - ask the old chap to write a history of the watch and how it came about, detailing his previous role etc. See if you can find records of his time with the team.

    Basically, if the watch is ever up for sale or passed on or whatever, the new recipient can see the full history of the watch and understand its importance/uniqueness.

    Brilliant idea! I’ll absolutely check back in with them the next time they are in. My only concern is whether or not I can validate any of this with other sources. I’ve tried doing patent searches and company searches with the names that are on the dial, only to be left without information. I’d love to find a way for someone to check Gallet’s archives for when they worked on this watch, but it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NC_Hager626 View Post
    Enjoyed reading your story of the Gallet prototype and your stroke of luck the prototype.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Absolutely! I figured it was a story worth telling and wanted to get it out there.

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