Gallet Multichron Commander

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Gallet Multichron Commander

Post by koimaster » September 11th 2020, 11:39pm

When 2nd LT James Richard Hoel was shot down while on a mission on 17th May 1943, his bomber crashed into the Maas River in German-occupied Holland, along with the Gallet Commander wristwatch he had received as a gift from his employer before he left for the war. He was captured and sent to Stalag Luft III, where he helped dig the tunnels in the escape attempt that would be the basis for the movie “The Great Escape”. Hoel never made it to the infamous tunnel Harry; he stayed, at Stalag Luft III, until that prison was closed, and he was marched to Stalag VII-A Moosburg, where he remained until the war ended. Surviving ordeal after ordeal as a POW, recovery of his lost watch mattered much less than making it home. Fast-forward to 2003: Hoel received a phone call from England, the man on the other end claimed to have found the missing chronograph. Hoel never thought that, 60 years after the crash, he would be reunited with his Gallet Commander chronograph.

Such is one of the many colourful stories about Gallet chronographs and their owners. Not surprising, given the company boasts, perhaps, one of the longest watch- and clock-making histories, dating back to 1466. In 1939, Gallet was the only company to design, make and market a chronograph for women. The MultiChron Petite remains the smallest chronograph ever produced, and was a favourite of the “Ninety-Nines”, the world’s first organisation of women pilots, originally presided over by Amelia Earhart. The slightly larger MultiChron Commander made it the perfect unisex chronograph; something of a rarity even today.


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1946-2006

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