For a long time, these Mulco chronographs were not really considered high-end watches and clumped alongside all of the other ordinary chronographs that came out of the era. It wasn’t because it wasn’t good, but mostly due to the lack of knowledge out there at the time. With vintage booming over the past decade years and the trend continuing, collectors have started to realise that there are actually a lot of things that make Mulco chronographs so special.
Established in 1936, the brand faced a decline during the quartz crisis and ultimately met its demise in the early 1970s. Despite a lack of significant manufacturing resources and capabilities, Mulco still managed to create some of the most robust and interesting chronographs we see today by utilizing cases crafted by Spillman S.A, one of the best case makers of its era, and movements sourced from reputable suppliers such as Valjoux, Excelsior Park, and Venus.
The distinctive thing about Spillman cases is the angular downward-turning lugs that give the case a very muscular look. The one we have here features one such masculine screw-down case, flanked with pump-pushers and is powered by the venerable manual-winding Valjoux Cal. 22, a high-quality, column wheel movement that was used only on higher-end chronographs from that era.
Moving on, the gilt dial showcased in our example is truly remarkable. When a vintage watch incorporates a gilt dial alongside a multi-scale chronograph layout, it typically creates the blueprint for an absolutely stunning vintage chronograph, provided it ages gracefully – and our featured example certainly lives up to this expectation. Its intricate telemeter and tachymeter scales and luminous Arabic numbers are all still in glorious and stunning condition with very consistent ageing throughout.
As a result, Mulco chronographs have increased hugely in value over the years, especially those with black gilt dials. Needless to say, the one you see here today is one such example. As Mulco did not make many watches, they truly do combine the best of both worlds in horological collecting - rarity and quality.