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 two-piece Shackman case and a 28,800 beats per hour, hi-beat movement. Introduced in 1971 this made Zenith the first company to introduce a commercially successful hi-beat movement.
The dial is a silver starburst dial with applied gold black inlaid batons and matching original ‘stick’ hands, in the classic 60s/70s, slightly high-tech style. This dial slightly reminds us of the Mondaine SSB classic dial design adopted for use by Swiss Railways. The absence of a date window adds to the symmetry and balance of the dial. It is beautifully simple, functional and elegant, just as a dress watch dial should be.
Perhaps the most notable feature of this dial is its complete originality. The dial has not been restored or retouched in any way and even more remarkably, it is in tip-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 spots be found. This is remarkable for a watch over 45 years old and indicates this watch has led a charmed life.
The Zenith Calibre 2562 movement specification is very special, beating at 28,800 beats per hour rather than the more normal 18,000 or 19.800 of this period. When one listens to this movement ticking, one can definitely hear the difference. The movement almost purrs rather than ticks! The advantage of a fast beat movement is that the higher the beats per hour, the higher the accuracy – all other factors remaining equal. This movement is also known as the ‘8 beat’ because it beats at 8 beats per second! It was a very successful movement, used in Zenith’s top range and even in automatic versions of this same movement.
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, close 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 careful calibration. The movement has a micro regulator allowing for very fine calibration. This watch is therefore now running perfectly having been calibrated, tested and timed at +2 seconds per day! Please note, this timing is outstanding for any watch of this age and one of the best results we have seen this year. The power reserve is also excellent for a semi hi-beat movement at 50 hours when fully wound, as they tend to consume a lot more power than slower beating movements. The watch movement is signed Zenith, Swiss Made and carries the Calibre number 2562.
The Watch Case
We particularly like the superb straight lugs, and the high quality of this screw-back watch case which was made in the UK by D. Shackman & Sons for Zenith. Shackman are regarded as makers of the finest quality gold cases of their time and made cases for Rolex, Omega and many other Swiss watch manufacturers. The case is made of 9ct solid yellow gold and measures 34mm, excluding the Zenith signed crown.
The case has been cleaned, carefully inspected and lightly hand-polished by our case maker and shows every sign that it has been well cared for and lightly used. There are no scratches, dings or other marks visible to the naked eye. The inside of the case back is all correctly signed ‘DS & S’, for D. Shackman and Sons and carries London UK 9ct hallmarks which date this watch to 1972. The case also carries the case reference number 25336.
The Strap and Buckle
The strap fitted is a new high quality Brown ‘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 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 a presentation box as shown in the photographs.
This is a very impressive and very rare vintage Zenith gent’s dress watch, which is ready to wear and 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 on our prices… We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before we then restore them to the highest possible standards. We then offer our watches at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post sales care and service. This approach means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are some well known stores in West London which are highly 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 payment via Paypal as this is the quickest method of payment. However if you would like to pay by UK cheque or by bank transfer, we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving in transaction charges to you.
*Note – 12 Month warranty only included if the list price is paid.
If you have any questions please call on Landline 0207 727 7095 or Mobile 07515 949250
Or if calling from overseas on Landline +44 207 727 7095 or Mobile +44 7515 949250
Please note we welcome part exchanges.
Please take a look at our other vintage gold watches.