Zenith 9K Cal.40 Hand Wound 1955 ‘Explorer’


100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Restored, Serviced and Guaranteed

Size Large, 34mm, not including the Zenith Crown

A Beautifully Well Cared For And Lightly Used Example

Mint Condition 9ct Solid Gold Zenith Swiss Fully Signed Case

Wonderful 50′s ‘Dauphine’ Hands and Subsidiary Seconds Dial

Pristine Cal.40 17 Jewel, High Grade Gold Plated Manual Movement

All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition

New High Quality Tan ‘Croc’ Leather Strap

VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*

Presentation Box included as shown

Free UK Delivery Next Day Delivery!

FedEx International Worldwide £45

Sold 17th Aug '17
VGW Reference: Z239
Price £1,250 Sold


Out of stock

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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 1940s and throughout the 1950s Zenith held the lead in producing the most commercially successful and technically advanced, chronograph wristwatches. The company has supplied movements to many other manufacturers for fitting into their watches including Rolex for their Daytona Chronograph!

The most obvious and amazing aspect of this watch is the beautiful ‘explorer’ dial, with original Dauphine hands and subsidiary seconds dial at 6 o’clock. However, the quality and condition of the gold plated movement has to be seen to be believed!

The Movement

This watch carries one of the early examples of the 18,000 bph Cal.40, 17 Jewel hand wound movement. This movement remained in production between 1955-1960 and was highly successful for Zenith, appearing in numerous models and case sizes and introduced the Incabloc shock proofing system which was a significant advance at the time. 

The movement also features a large, Kif-Duofix escapement wheel which enables fine calibration of the movement. Amazingly, the movement is gold plated throughout and so retains its original, bright, sparkling finish.

The movement has just been fully overhauled and serviced by our watchmaker. This involves fully dismantling the movement to all its components, ultrasonic cleaning of all the parts, inspection of all the critical surfaces under high magnification and replacement as required with genuine new original parts. Next, careful reassembly and oiling, using all the correct lubricants to manufacturer’s specification before final testing and calibration. This watch is therefore now running, winding and setting perfectly, having been calibrated and timed at +9 seconds per day! Please note, this timing is outstanding for any watch of this age.  The watch movement also has an excellent 47 hr power reserve. It is signed Zenith, Swiss Made, 17 Jewels and carries the calibre number ’40’, along with the Serial No. 4,539,884, dating the manufacture of this watch to 1955.

The Dial

This stunning antique Silver dial with applied, gilt, alternate baton and Arabic hour indices and numerals has been previously restored to a very high standard. The original, restored, gilt ’50s ‘Dauphine’ hands are in excellent condition and catch the light wonderfully. As can be seen, typically of the period, this watch has a subsidiary seconds dial at 6. This is an elegant and impressive dial, typical of this period, in the ’50s ‘Explorer’ style.

The Watch Case

The large, heavy, high quality 9ct yellow gold case measures 34mm in diameter, not including the original Zenith signed crown. The wide bezel and strong swept back lugs help the watch present beautifully, holding the case a little higher on the wrist.

This watch case is in truly amazing condition. The high polished full thickness case-back is simply and beautifully inscribed, 9th October 1956, this presumably being the date the watch was first purchased. The case-back, bezel and main case body are all in beautiful condition with no scratches, dings or other damage visible to the naked eye. The watch has been lightly used and carefully looked after, which has meant the case has simply required a professional clean and gentle hand polish to bring back the almost new look of the watch!

As can be seen, the inside of the case-back is signed Zenith, Swiss Made, with London UK 9ct hallmarks and carries the case number 30098.

The Strap and Buckle

The strap fitted is a new, size long, high quality Tan ‘Croc’ leather strap with a gold plated buckle. 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 strap perfectly fits a 19cm / 7.5inch wrist, set on the middle hole of the strap.

The Box and Papers

Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures, and hallmarks are all correct, dating the watch to 1955.

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.

In Conclusion

This is a very impressive and very rare vintage Zenith, which is ready to wear, very practical for everyday use and if treated with care, will make an excellent investment or heirloom piece. Zenith has always benefitted from a first class reputation for the superb quality of their watch movements.

A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before then restoring them 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 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 to you.

*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is 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. Also outright purchases of similar watches. We will also offer Watch Service, Watch Repair & Watch Restoration, please see here.

Please take a look at our other vintage gold watches.

Thank you.