Zenith is one of the oldest watch manufacturers, est.1865 and one of only a handful which has always produced its own movements. The company has an almost unparalleled record of technical achievements and notably in 1929, Zenith won world renown at Kew Observatory (England), when a Zenith wristwatch won first prize for an accuracy of better than 0.6 seconds per day. During the late 1940’s and throughout the 1950s, Zenith held the lead in producing the most commercially successful and technically advanced, chronograph wristwatches. Later, Zenith became the first in 1969, to develop a high-frequency automatic integrated column-wheel chronograph powered by the legendary El Primero movement beating at 36,000 vibrations per hour. This obsession with precision, as well as this constant quest for technical innovation, has been duly rewarded; the Manufacture has been awarded 2,333 chronometry prizes as well as eight medals, making it the most titled brand in the field of precision. The company has also provided a huge number of movements to many other manufacturers for their more technically advanced watches, including even Rolex for their Daytona Chronograph!
The 1960s and ‘70s saw Zenith produce some of the finest watch movements available from any manufacturer and from a technical standpoint their watch movements were very advanced. The watch we have here is an excellent example, having a superb Swiss made 18ct case and a 28,800 beats per hour, hi-beat automatic movement. Introduced in 1972, this made Zenith the first company to introduce a commercially successful hi-beat automatic movement.
The silver starburst dial, here with gold black inlaid batons and matching original ‘stick’ hands is in the classic 1960s, slightly high-tech style. On point, the date position at 4:30 hours suggests the watch was an advanced, or should we say an avant-garde style, which was so on trend at the time. Zenith adopted the 4:30 hrs date position during this period and this has since become a Zenith trademark. It is actually a very sensible spot, since as one rotates the wrist to view the date, the 4:30 through to 6 is the first portion of the dial to reveal itself. This dial is also slightly reminiscent of the Mondaine SSB classic dial design adopted in use by Swiss Railways.
However, perhaps the most notable feature of this dial is its complete originality. The dial has not been restored or retouched in any way. Even more remarkably it is in top condition and shows no signs of ageing visible to the naked eye. Only very close up, under high magnification can some of the slightest signs of scratching and some very light spots be found which is remarkable for a 50 years old watch and indicates the watch has seen little real use.
The Zenith Calibre 2562 PC movement specification is also quite special, beating at 28,800 beats per hour rather than the semi-hi-beat at 21,600, or the more usual 18,000 or 19.800. When one listens to this movement ticking, one can really hear this is a hi-beat movement racing. Generally speaking the higher the beats per hour, the higher the accuracy of the movement, all other factors remaining the same. This movement is also known as the ‘8 beat’ because it beats at 8 beats per second. The example we see here, with a date function, is one of the first of this model produced and this movement was used in Zenith’s top of the range automatics, between 1972 and 1975.
The movement has just been thoroughly overhauled and serviced by our watchmaker. This means fully dismantling the watch and movement, ultrasonic cleaning of all parts, inspection to the critical surfaces under high magnification and replacement as required with genuine new original parts, then careful reassembly and oiling, using all the correct lubricants to manufacturer’s specification before final testing and calibration. This watch is therefore now running perfectly having been calibrated and timed at +5 seconds per day! Please note, this timing is outstanding for any watch of this age. The power reserve is still high for a hi-beat movement at 43 hours when fully wound. The watch movement is signed Zenith, Swiss Made and carries the Calibre number 2562PC.
The Watch Case
The Swiss made case is of a very high quality two piece construction, in 18ct solid yellow gold. It is stylish, sturdy and highly elegant and measures 34mm, not including the Zenith signed crown. The press fit case back is of full thickness and has never been engraved. It is tightly fitting and presses back with a very reassuring ‘pop’. The case has been cleaned and carefully inspected and then lightly hand polished by our case-maker and shows every sign it has been well cared for and lightly used. There are no scratches, dings or other marks visible to the naked eye. The case is Movado Zenith signed, with ‘Swiss Made’ and includes the reference numbers 30 1152 290 along with Swiss 18ct Hallmarks.
The Strap and Buckle
The strap fitted is a new high quality Cerise ‘croc’ leather strap with gold plated buckle. Please note if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to oblige, free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown burgundy and black straps in stock, in plain padded leather, alligator, crocodile or lizard skin.
The Box and Papers
Although there are are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating the watch to circa 1972.
Detailed particulars will be included with the receipt, along with our 12 months Warranty*. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will be provided at the time of sale along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If this watch proves to be anything less than totally authentic, or not as described, Vintage Gold Watches of London will offer you a full refund at any time”.
The watch also comes complete with he high quality hardwood presentation box as shown in the photographs.
This is a hugely impressive and very rare vintage Zenith gent’s dress watch, which is ready to wear, very practical for everyday use and if treated with care, this watch will make an excellent investment or heirloom piece. Zenith have always benefitted from a first class reputation for the superb quality of their watch movements and just as in the case of Longines, which have been undervalued in the past, this is beginning to show in the way Zenith watches are increasing in value.
A word about our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before restoring these to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post sales care and service. This approach inevitably means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are a number of well-known stores in West London which are very successful, charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore consider our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
We are happy to accept Paypal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you wish to pay by bank transfer, we will be pleased to pass on a 3% transaction saving to you. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or International Bank Wire Transfer, we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
Please note we welcome part exchanges and if you have a watch or small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.
We will be happy to Service, Repair or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
If you have any questions, please call our landline 020 7727 7095 or mobile 07515 949 250. If calling from overseas our landline number is +44 207 727 7095 or mobile +44 7515 949 250.
We will be happy to answer any questions and offer advice about this or any of our watches listed for sale. If you would like some general advice regarding any aspect of vintage watches, including buying, selling, or collecting, we will also be very happy to hear from you. We await your call!
Finally, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine Vintage Gold Watches!