Galco Skin Diver
Galco Skin Diver. 50m. 17J AS 1950/51 manual wind. Swiss Made c1970’s. NOS
This is a cracking NOS vintage diver. Swiss made with a bulletproof ETA A. Schild 1950/51 manual wind movement. It’s nicely proportioned too, with a 37mm bi-directional aluminium bezel overhanging the case, it’s 41mm wide with the crown. The beautiful chrome-plated squared lugged case measures 47mm north to south. It’s rated at 5 ATM with a screw down stainless steel back.
Taking a 20mm strap, it really sits well on the wrist and is remarkably lightweight. It’s slim, being around 11mm high, it works really well on a NATO strap. I especially love the sweep seconds hand with it’s red tip, coupled with the 12, 3, 6 & 9 hour numeral markers sitting within the big lume blocks, which still glow nicely. All in all, it has a old school militray-esk look and feel about it.
Made by Gallet & Co
My first stab at researching this piece came up pretty blank. Deeper digging reveals that the famous Gallet & Co watch company registered the ‘Galco’ trademark in 1925. This information is from a book titled Swiss Timepiece Makers 1775-1975 by Kathleen H. Pritchard. The Gallet & Co website links directly to the Wikipedia entry within it’s ‘History’ section. Here is a snippet of their history…
Gallet is the world’s oldest watch and clock making house with history dating back to Humbertus Gallet, a clock maker who became a citizen of Geneva in 1466. The Gallet & Cie (Gallet & Company) name was officially registered by Julien Gallet (1806–1849) in 1826, who moved the family business from Geneva to La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
Further research shows that Galco stopwatches were made by the Jules Racine & Co company. In 1864 Chicago & New York offices were established by Jules Racine, who was a cousin of the Gallet brothers. In 1975, Upon the death of Léon Gallet, sons Pierre and Bernard assume management of the company. They acquire the Racine Company, which has been struggling as a result of devaluation of the U.S. dollar. (Taken from the Gallet & Co history Wikipedia entry)
Even without the history and Gallet connection, it’s a very cool vintage skin diver!