No watch transaction is boring. Some may be routine… but they are all interesting!
Recently I located what appeared to be an early Gallet chronograph for sale by a private owner in Canada, who wanted to sell locally. After sending several messages with no response – I solicited the help of a friend who was located within the country. My assumption was that perhaps the seller didn’t like Americans or preferred not to do business internationally…Whatever the reason, the seller responded to my Vancouverite associate and not to me. Perhaps he found the Canadian accent with which my friend typed reassuring… Eventually he agreed to sell the watch to my friend. The seller turned out to be ex Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), which, among other things, is basically the organization which decides who wins and loses the Stanley Cup each year – the Canadian CIA.
My friend wrote a check to one of the seller’s several spy aliases, and addressed it to a Canadian Police headquarters. A box containing the watch appeared on his doorstep a week later… Some time later I had the watch in my hands.
What arrived was a Valjoux 72 Chronograph with a pleasing copper patina, rusted blued hands, and a super clean movement. And, coincidentally, the same week a friend shared a 1965 catalog advertisement documenting a nearly identical watch, described as a “Gallet Double Button, Plain Dial Chronograph”. Although, while this watch contains the 13 ligne Valjoux 72, the advertisement details a “14 Ligne” caliber – which likely would have been a Valjoux 71 or Excelsior Park JB40. Close enough to share a photo of the article in any event! That is all for now.
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