The Gallet Multichron 30M, when first introduced in its early form at the start of the 1900s, was considered the first wrist-worn chronograph and also the first waterproof chronograph wristwatch. While this example is a later version, released around the 40’s its iconic ‘clamshell’ case retains these characteristics as a solid, high-quality watch, capable of withstanding tough conditions.
The clamshell case is considered one of the most iconic case designs of the 20th century. Famous for its two part case, with its four screws on the backside of each lug, the patented design that was acquired by Gallet was meant to keep the watch waterproof and tight. Not surprisingly, it was developed prior to WWII, with the military in mind. As soldiers were often in adverse conditions, they needed a reliable timepiece and the clamshell case certainly stood up to the test.
As it is quite a unique and recognisable design, any chronograph with the clamshell case today demands a premium on the market. Furthermore, the Gallet 30M has become especially well-known due to its distinctive looks, often incorporating multiple scales on the dial. This one has a telemeter and a tachymeter.
With this specific example, it features the characteristic red print for the scales, contrasting beautifully with the dial that has developed a warm champagne tone. Flipping the watch over it is powered by the Venus 150 movement, a column wheel movement that Gallet used extensively due to its high quality. Additionally, this Gallet is housed in a much rarer clamshell case, most recognisable by its angular downturned lugs that are reminiscent of the muscular Spillman style case.