Incoming Gallet MC45M "Snow White"

Joe_A

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I saw this pop up just yesterday and well . . .

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What can I say?

My resistance was low; I have no other excuse. :)

I have been on the lookout for an MC12 "Snow White" for a time and I have not found one in a condition acceptable to me . . . and at a price that I wish to pay. The two-register EP4 version here will do just fine! A plus is that it is a 1965-1967-ish model which employs a light-weight balance and mobile stud carrier and with Geneva stripes so, just the ticket. Not quite an EP4-68, but close enough.

This'll be my third Gallet, the other two being MC12s currently out for full service.

This one is not leaving my possession - if at all - until I get the other two back.

It does look like it may not need service anytime soon apart from replacing the seals perhaps:

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I expect to have possession by the end of next week.
 

Joe_A

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Wow! Beautiful watch and great amplitude. Please show us your MC12s when they're back in your possession.
Thank you. I'm chuffed about this one for sure. I should see it be week's end.

The "Evil Snow White" is down at Gallet and is overdue back. I'm hopeful it will return soon:

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The "Jim Clark" is out at RGM receiving a full service. I have also specified changing the pushers and having the hands re-lumed with matching Superluminova.

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I know that many would leave the hands as they are, but not I.

I have the black-face dialed MC-12s covered. :)
 

SteveHarris

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You've got some lovely Gallet's there Joe (y)

Always been a brand I've liked but for one reason or another, I've never picked one up... yet.

Steve
 

Joe_A

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You've got some lovely Gallet's there Joe (y)

Always been a brand I've liked but for one reason or another, I've never picked one up... yet.

Steve
Steve,

Until the rest of the watch-loving world catches up to the Gallet and Excelsior Park watches, as we say here, "You get a lot of bang for the buck" when you do find the right one.

The EP40 movement is every bit as good as the early Valjoux 72 movement with fixed stud carrier and the later EP40 movement and the EP40-68 is every bit as good as the later Valjoux 72 with mobile stud carrier. Ditto the EP4 and EP4-68 with the Valjoux 23.

The watch below has a late EP4 movement manufactured just before the -68 would have been stamped in 1968. So this watch is likely a 1966 or 1967 watch.

The Gallet folks maintain that the EP40-68 meets chronometer spec. and is superior to the Valjoux 72.

The photos below were just taken with enthusiasm, but not with a good camera or with proper lighting. The "camera" is an iPhone 8.

To set the stage . . .

The sky is very gray here in New York today, the lighting in my office is warm LED lighting and the large windows into my office are tinted blue. I look forward to putting up some better shots taken outside on a sunny day! ;)

Consider this post as a mere "receiving report."

For comparison:

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Bear in mind that the dial on the 45M is actually silver satin and without a trace of blue. The gray strap above is actually blue-gray. The strap on the Mk III Graph is gray-brown. I did a little fine-tuning in Photoshop to try and mitigate the effects of blue-tinted windows.

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Moving away from the window and under the warm LED light, we get this:

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And a close-up that shows that the indices, though painted on, are crafted with a texturized 3D paint:

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The blued steel hands look black some of the time and blue some of the time and occasionally even light blue.

It's all in the lighting.

I am really going to enjoy this new acquisition which arrived this morning from Nova Scotia.

Ryan, Raider44, is the very pleasant gentleman seller.

Price was 3000 CAD, so relatively reasonable for what you get!
 
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Joe_A

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I have not opened up the watch as yet.

More photos when I do . . .

Meanwhile . . .

As we know, our watches look better "in the flesh" than they do when photographed, and as far as colors go, they seem to change in varying lighting conditions.

Here are a few additional photos . . .

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Same shot closer up!

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Direct sunlight highlights the gray . . .

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No defect between the 3 and 3:30, just a reflection.
 
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SteveHarris

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Super Joe (y) love the way it changes colour.

The design does remind of Dornblüth 99.1. One of my favourites.
 

Joe_A

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Thanks Steve,

I was not familiar with the Dornblüth. I can see how one may relate to both.

When most watch enthusiasts mention the Gallet "Snow White," they refer to the MC12H version as seen here:


or here:


I believe the two-register 45M has all the appeal of the MC12 version and captures cleanly the minimalist aspect of the deliberately uncomplicated complication. ;)

Fratello staff have written a handful of articles about Gallet chronographs.

Here is one:


To be properly called a "Snow White" the hands need to be the blued steel type.

Note that Gallet used the same dial for the tritium lumed variety, hence the small "T" is present in each case.

The particular 45M version I discovered and purchased is housed in the 37.5mm case as used for the MC12H version.
 
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Joe_A

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So what does the movement look like?


Please excuse the lack of professionalism! ;)

I had the watch sitting in my timegrapher jig with a tissue to protect the crystal. The light sources were both warm and cool LED lamps. The highlighting of the Geneva striping was achieved by moving the iPhone around a bit.

Here is a snapshot:

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and:

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Looking at the first post in this thread you will see that the watch appeared to be running a little fast, as is desirable, and with a beat error rate of 1.0 msec.

After adjustment by me on the timegrapher we have this result measured with the dial facing up:

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Note the beat error is down to 0.3 msec. Having a mobile stud carrier allows the amateur to adjust for lowest practical beat error generally considered to be under 0.5 msec.

Nice amplitude!

* For a right-handed person who wears his watch on the left hand, the two most important positions are dial up (sitting at the desk) and crown down (walking.)


After these two, then one considers crown up which is how we generally allow our watches to sit when we are not wearing them. [Crown up when we have our elbows on the table or desk as well.]

Here is the crown down position:

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If we only had the two or three positions to consider, then setting to run a little fast in dial up and a little slow in crown down positions would be enough to consider.

One should also make observations as to how the watch performs when half wound and perhaps at the 24 to 30 hour period and then adjust for some estimate as to how the watch will be most often used.

I think most watchmakers would be satisfied with the above results.

I'll add some tables in a bit.

* Note, for a left-hand person wearing a watch on the right hand, after dial up, the next most important position would be crown up. One can see that a watch that is adjusted for a right-handed person may perform differently for a left-handed person.
 
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Joe_A

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If there had been any doubt up until now as to whether I may be a geek of some sort or not, this post should end all doubt. ;)

I mentioned above that I would be adding some timegrapher tables and so here they are, beginning with a legend and then a table of results from my initial measurements prior to adjusting the watch:

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And now for the first table:

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As discussed, for a right-handed person, the three most significant watch positions are dial up, crown down and crown up. To predict whether a mechanical watch will keep time accurately, one should employ some sort of weighted average based upon how many hours a day the watch will oriented in each position - an impossible task.

But . . .

If one averages the three most significant positions as I have done above, even without weighting the numbers, one may predict with reasonable assurance that the watch was running, on average, 6 seconds a day ahead. I can testify that this was about how the watch was running when I received it.

Leave well enough alone, right?

Wrong! :)
 

Joe_A

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My goal was to improve the timekeeping accuracy while getting the beat error as close to 0.0 as possible, sans fanaticism.

After adjustment, these are the results with approximately the same wind state:

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As you see above, I've got the beat error down to about 0.5, which is good.

Meanwhile, the average timekeeping accuracy should have been improved to about 3 seconds a day.

One will not know for sure until one has worn the watch for at least a week, but as of now, I am ahead one second in 12 hours.

Next table, fully wound:

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One can see from the above that the watch should run with a bit better tolerances when fully wound and with a slight improvement in beat error.

Finally, at the end of a day and a half, this is what we have:

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When the watch gets tired, it widens its range a bit.

Note that the amplitude is still good and the beat error is still pretty good.

All of the above tells me that I don't have to have this watched serviced soon.

I've tested a handful of watches, just barely enough to know that, when the internal friction due to dry bearing surfaces is high, the delta between fully wound and nearly unwound is greater than you see above.

Any questions?

Here are a few more gratuitous shots showing how the dial behaves in rather subdued office lighting:

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Most of the time, the hands are inky blue-black.

Now that I have overdone things, its time to stop!
 
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