Update: Why the Gallet Flight Officer sold for $6250
Split Second articles will cover previously discussed topics in a fraction of the time. Sometimes watches are cut from an article to improve pacing or lower the word counts so this is where those stories will live. Vintage, modern, updates, questions; it will all go to Split Second.
Last week I told you about a Gallet Flight Officer for sale which sold for $6250 over the weekend. This is why I think it didn't fetch a higher price.
Firstly let me say that whoever bought this watch for just over $6000 got a seriously good deal. Gallet chronographs are not yet fetching the astronomical prices that vintage Heuer, Rolex and Omega are at the big themed auctions so now is the time to buy before Aurel Bacs sets his sights on them. $6000 for a watch isn't cheap but it could have gone for more and the reason why it didn't boils down to three words: Museum. Style. Restoration.
The seller's description of the restoration says that it involved "cleaning, lubrication, and calibration of the mechanics while not polishing away the watch's precious history, all timekeeping and time recording features function perfectly and accurately". This is totally acceptable and above board but there is no mention as to whether the dial was restored. Dial conditions make up a large proportion of a watches value and I think the amazing condition of this dial actually worked against the sale price.
I've never seen a dial are sixty years old that looks so amazing, so practically perfect in everyway. No puffing on the numerals, the text running outside the dial is crisp with the alternating red cities still bright and vibrant. It's truly a museum quality piece but as the seller didn't directly address whether the dial had been restored, some potential bidders might have been thinking that something that seems too good to be true usually is. The dial is marked as 100% original in the breakdown description of the watch but all it would have taken was the words "Dial has not been restored" for this watch to have reached the seller's estimate of $7000-8000. Just that extra pinch of detail might have clinched that extra $750.
Ultimately though I'm just second guessing as sometimes watches just don't sell for as much as you expect. It happens everyday and sometimes all the description in the world won't change a potential bidder waking up on the wrong side of bed.