Those Watch Guys | Vintage Mechanical Watches

Vintage Mechanical Timepieces

Watch Snippets: Gallet "Snow White" MC12H

Watch SnippetsCraig MooreComment

Many of you may recognize this watch as its posted quite frequently on both of our companies Instagram pages. In reality I just wear it that often.

This particular Gallet Multichron 12H has been in the website’s possession for just over a year and is long overdue for an article. Sam had held this watch in his personal collection until last December before I was able to acquire it. I cannot emphasize enough how glad I am that I was finally able to get it from him in such great condition. Of all the watches I have ever owned, the Gallet Multichron 12h is my favorite and one of the most difficult to acquire. In general, I have a wide range of tastes that spans from 1940’s military watches all the way to funky, sporty, divers from the 1970’s. Having a diverse taste in different style watches, allows me so many more opportunities to acquire interesting watches while creating more possibilities in finding a very special watch that rounds out your collection.  The Gallet Multichron 12H “Snow White” is that special watch, so lets take a more detailed look at what makes this watch so special.


The dial is what makes a Snow White different from other similar Mulctichron’s from Gallet and the nickname is something that has caught on (somewhat) recently on Instagram. The watch has a clean non-luminous dial with no telemetry or tachymeter scale and blue’d steel hands without any lume as well. The blue’d steel hands seriously bring the eye towards them and reminds me of what Nomos has been succeeding at for years now bringing minimalistic design starting with the simple blue’d steel stick hands. I’ve said it for a while now if Nomos ever makes a chronograph it will look similar to the Snow White. What you get is a well-balanced clean slick looking dial that screams CRISP! With Gallet being as popular as it is today, finding a good example is very tough to come by so when they do it’s important to jump on it fast. Will Gallet be the next Heuer? Probably not, but don’t be surprised if you see them at the big auction houses in the coming years.


What boxes do I need to have checked off before purchasing a vintage chronograph? First off, a large steel case preferably in the 36-40mm range, with brushed sides that are still sharp. Also, long lugs that are beveled and 20mm between them as I find strap size plays a huge part in the comfort factor when wearing a chronograph. Call me snobby, but for me from a practical point of view having a 12-hour register is a must. I have nothing against 30/ 45-minute two-register watches but for use having that extra register just makes sense. When travelling by plane or car, my chronograph is always seeing use for the purpose of what it was made for. Something that it seems may have been overlooked back in the day when these pieces were made are crowns and pushers. How they are proportioned to each other and the rest of the case is a huge aspect for me and out of any chronograph I’ve ever owned the Gallet has the best proportioned with its large un-signed crown and caped pushers. It just works so perfectly when looking head on and I think many will agree. The Gallet Multichron 12H possesses all of these great qualities.


When removing the watertight case back, one will find the Excelsior Park 40 movement staring back at them. It’s a wonderful looking movement with proper finishing and aesthetic design for a movement of its quality. Now, I’m just going to go right ahead and say this, the EP 40 is in my humble opinion is better than the Valjoux 72 and for good reason. They both perform in similar ways with buttery smooth action thanks to the column wheel, but what sets apart the EP 40 for me isn’t just the mechanics, but how less frequent you see this movement when compared to the Valjoux 72. Not saying I’m one who runs away from anything mainstream in a sense, but the sheer fact that the EP 40 is so much less seen makes it that much more attractive to me. Plus having the registers more in the middle with the EP 40 makes a world of difference on Gallet’s with scales on the outside as you’ll find the V 72 models registers leak into the scales.


This Gallet was, believe it or not, an eBay find about 13 months ago during the good ole’ days. No question that the once gold mine of a source for finding quality vintage watches has become a desert. But that’s a story for another time. The Gallet listing was one that everyone dreams of seeing when searching eBay late at night with most rare findings by estate sales sellers with poor photos and a vague description calling it a broken watch because it needs a new battery.  After a few offers, Sam was able to obtain the watch and when it arrived it was perfect. A totally un-touched example with a clean dial, un-polished sharp case, the original crystal that needed a few tubes of Polywatch. Finally, after a full service and two-month wait the watch was back and that’s right when the obsession first started for me. Fast forward to December and Sam was nice enough to sell the Gallet to me. And I must say since that day it has been on my wrist more than any other watch over the past 6 months. I have enjoyed every moment I have worn it and not even for a moment have thought about letting it go.  


 Excelsior Park 40

Excelsior Park 40

The wear ability is fantastic being able to compete with modern size watches while it sits comfortably on the wrist. Like I mentioned before having a 20mm lug width is always a plus as it brings extra heft while also giving the owner more options for pairing it with a strap or bracelet. For me, the best combinations are dark to light brown shell cordovan straps or beads of rice bracelets with straight ends. Both bring such a clean look that makes the dial really pop. Gallet has become a key player in the steel chronograph game in recent months so finding one in good/ original condition is getting harder by the day. Prices for waterproof models can range from $3,500-$6,000 depending on dial layout and other small differences. Like most popular watches these prices are likely to increase, especially since (like I mentioned before) they will most likely be seen at big auction houses soon. So, happy hunting and do not get discouraged if you keep coming out of a long online hunt empty handed. The harder the find, the better the find.

FYI we have one in the shop!