Zenith Cal.12/4/P/50 18ct 1945


100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Restored, Serviced and Guaranteed

A Beautifully Well Cared For & Lightly Used Example

Superbly Restored Chalk White Dial With Roman Numerals

34mm Diameter Case, Excluding the Correct Unsigned Crown

Mint Condition 18ct Yellow Gold Zenith Swiss Waterproof Case

Wonderful ’40s Style ‘Index’ Hands and Blued Steel Seconds Dial

Superb Cal.12/4/P/50. 15 Jewel, Incabloc Hand-Wound Movement

All in Absolutely First Class & Simply Amazing Condition

Zenith Presentation Case Included

New High Quality Black Calf Leather Strap

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

VGWL 12 Months’ Warranty Included*

Free UK Special Delivery

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

Sold 3rd Nov '21
VGW Reference: Z711
Price £2,750 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, notably the El Primero which debuted in January 1969 as the worlds first automatic chronograph. The company has supplied movements to many other manufacturers for fitting into their watches, including Rolex for their Daytona Chronograph!

The origin of this watch lies in the military grade specification of Zenith’s equivalent steel watches, developed during WW2, but here with a fancy gold case and dress watch dial. The antimagnetic movement and screw-back case construction are the same as used in the Zenith ‘Pilot’ watches developed around the same time, which capitalized on the significant advances made in waterproof, shockproof and antimagnetic watches. These watches, including this much rarer 18ct gold model, are now becoming highly collectable.

Other notable aspects of this watch are its distinctly 1940s style in both the dial and its robust, ribbed 18ct yellow gold watch case and teardrop lugs. This watch is in superb all round condition.

The Dial

The unmistakable 1940s character of this watch is defined by its relatively sparse, Chalk White dial, which carries applied roman numerals and ‘bullet’ hour indices and also, by the simplicity of its ‘Index’ hands and blued steel seconds hand. These contrast beautifully with the dial and the yellow gold Rococo style ribbed case. This is a vintage watch which more than most others, is unlikely to be confused for one of the plethora of ‘Heritage’ watches which many of the large brands are marketing today.

This is the original dial which has been restored to the highest standards by one of the best dial restorers in the UK.

The Watch Case

The heavy 18ct yellow gold watch case measures 34mm, excluding the correct, unsigned crown. The two-piece case comprises of a sturdy ribbed case body, which carries an integral bezel. The case has more than a touch of the Rococo style about it, along with its heavy teardrop lugs. This is very similar in style to a Longines design of this period, two examples of which we have restored and sold within the past 12 months. However, an important difference here is the heavy screw-down case-back and waterproof nature of the case.

Zenith has always been highly regarded for its innovation in many aspects of watch design and manufacture and here again, Zenith takes the lead. As can be seen, this watch proclaims to be ‘all three proofs’, ie Waterproof, Shockproof and Antimagnetic, making this a quite advanced timepiece for this period.

The case has been cleaned, carefully inspected and very gently hand-polished, as this was all that has been required to bring it back to its current tip-top condition. The inside of the case-back carries Swiss Geneva 18ct hallmarks and externally it is signed ‘Zenith’ ‘Swiss Made’ with the case serial number 421990.

Note – even though this is a robust, waterproof case, as ever our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.

The Movement

The gold-plated Zenith Cal.12-4-P-50, 15 Jewels, 18,000 is a mid-issue of the 12-4-P family, based on an earlier military specification. This led to this movement becoming a highly successful for Zenith, remaining in production for almost 20 years. These are superbly designed and very highly regarded for their accuracy and reliability, making this watch perfectly suitable for everyday use, should you wish.

This movement has been fully overhauled and serviced, involving fully dismantling the watch and movement, ultrasonic cleaning of all the parts and close inspection of all the critical surfaces under high magnification, then replacement as required with genuine new original parts, careful reassembly and oiling, using all the correct lubricants to the manufacturer’s specification, before final testing and calibration. This watch is now running perfectly having been calibrated and timed at +8 seconds per day. This timing has been confirmed on our electronic timegrapher and is truly outstanding for any watch of this age.

The watch movement is simply signed ‘Zenith’ and carries the Calibre number 12/4/P/50 and the Serial No. 3544508 which dates this watch to 1945. This particular movement is in first class condition and with regular servicing, say around every 4 years, we would fully expect this watch to run happily for many generations to come. We are therefore very confident offering 12 months’ warranty on this watch movement*.

*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.

The Strap and Buckle

The strap fitted is a new high quality Black Calf Leather strap with a generic 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 plain, padded leather, alligator, crocodile or lizard skin.

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 1945.

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”.

This watch also comes with the Zenith presentation case shown in the photographs.

In Conclusion

This is a rare and intriguing example of a military spec watch, with an attractive dress style dial and case. This makes this the perfect watch for all occasions and one which is ready to wear and perfectly practical for everyday use. If treated with care, this watch will make an excellent investment or heirloom piece. Zenith has always benefitted from a first class reputation for the superb quality of its vintage watch movements and just like Longines, Zenith watches have also been noticeably increasing in value of late.

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 also 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 or 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!

Thank you.