It's not often these days we see something we've never seen before. But this racing dial Mathey Tissot is exactly that, a Valjoux 72 quite unlike any other. Racing dials bring to mind Speedmasters, but a handful of smaller manufactures created dials with a similar design. Nivada, Baylor, and Wittnauer made small-run dials with a staggered chronograph track and bright red or orange, highly-legible indices. Up until a few weeks ago, those few were all we knew of. Then, a friend and collector introduced us to this charming Mathey Tissot.
Mathey-Tissot, not to be confused with Tissot, was founded in 1886 a built their name in complicated pocket watches. In the early years of wristwatches, they specialized in chronographs, entering six split seconds in observatory competitions, all of which achieved the highest possible rating. Their reputation in chronographs was so esteemed that Breguet selected them to manufacture their famous French military Type XX. In the mid-century this reputation evolved to meet market demand with many beautiful, less complicated V72 chronograph designs. This is one such example, but it's a bit special.
We've reached out to several collectors and not one has seen another like it. It's a stretch to say from this that it may be unique, but certainly these must have been a very small run of dials. We've not seen a single other documented racing dial example for sale, ever, historically online or in auction catalogues. There is always more to learn in vintage, even in something as seemingly innocuous as a V72 Mathey Tissot.
The details are delightfully vintage, right down to the tall pump pushers. We love the lugs on this 36mm case as well, which have an angular profile, flat top, and defined bevel. The dial is signed Swiss Made and has tritium pips separating the white and red 'racing' portion of each index. The numerical fonts are Singer-esque (the dial maker, not Porsche restorer), but this is likely a different manufacture. The hands are stout and luminous with cream tritium, except the subdial hands which have a thinness reminiscent of late pre-Daytonas. Best of all it's on its original MT-signed bracelet. This is a time capsule, extremely cool '60s chronograph that is not a replicable proposition in the market.