Zenith Cal.2542 9ct 1958
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed
A Beautifully Well Cared For And Lightly Used Example
All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition
Immaculate 9ct Yellow Gold Zenith Swiss Fully Signed Case
Good Size 34mm Diameter Case, Including Zenith Signed Crown
Incredible Calibre 2542, 17 Jewel, High-Grade Hand-Wound Movement
Beautiful ‘Art Deco’ Silver Dial with Wonderful Breguet Standard Arabic Numerals
High Quality Brown Lizard Strap & Matching Gold Plated Buckle
High-Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included
VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
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 1950s saw Zenith produce some of the finest watch movements available from any manufacturer and technically, the company was very advanced. The watch we have here is an excellent example, having a semi hi-beat movement and also a very high grade, single piece 9ct gold watch case, which prevents moisture and dust from either entering the case from the rear, as the case-back is solid and not removable, or via the bezel, since it doesn’t have one! This watch also features outstanding breguet style standard Arabic numerals which gives this watch an incredibly bold look upon the wrist.
The wonderful ‘art-deco’ silver dial, with bold black breguet 1 – 12 Standard Arabic numerals and matching original black ‘stick’ hands, is in the classic 1950s, slightly high-tech style. This is an impressive dial due to the contrast between the silver of the dial and the yellow gold of the case and the very bold but beautiful dial furnishings.
The dial carries the Zenith signature star and is simply signed ‘Zenith’ just below 12.
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 spots be found. This is remarkable for a watch over 50 years old and indicates the watch has seen little real use.
As this dial is in original, unrestored condition, this has been left untouched by our restoration team due to its superb condition. Usually, we restore the dials of the watches we sell, however we decided in this case to leave it alone, due to its unusually good condition and to retain its originality and charm for those who prefer this. It also helps to contrast with almost all of the other watch dials you see on our website, which have been restored. The hands, likewise, have also been left in their original untouched condition.
Please note, studio lights, professional-grade digital cameras, and macro lenses can be very unkind to an unrestored vintage watch dial. Also the dial here measures less than 1.25 inches across, so the image you’re seeing may be between 5 – 25 times larger than the watch itself. Therefore please keep in mind you are seeing many tiny flaws which cannot be seen, or will be very hard to see with the naked eye, even under close examination. Suffice to say, on the wrist, in natural light, this dial looks much better and carries a great deal more charm than the photographs portray.
The Zenith Calibre 2542 movement specification is also quite special, beating at 21,600 beats per hour rather than the more usual 18,000 or 19.800. When one listens to this movement ticking, one can definitely hear this is a semi hi-beat movement. 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 ‘6 beat’ because it beats at 6 beats per second. It was a very successful movement used in Zenith’s top of the range hand wounds, remaining in production between 1965 and 1969.
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 +12 seconds per day! Please note, this timing is outstanding for any watch of this age. The power reserve is still high for a semi hi-beat movement at 50 hours when fully wound. The watch movement is signed Zenith, Swiss Made, 17 Jewels and carries the Calibre number 2542.
The Watch Case
The 9ct yellow gold, Zenith Swiss-made watch case measures a large 34mm, excluding the Zenith signed crown. The watch case has been professionally cleaned before being carefully inspected and very gently hand-polished, which was all that was required to bring it back to its current tip-top condition. The case has no scratches, dings or other marks visible to the naked eye.
As can be seen, the inside of the case-back is signed ‘Zenith’ and ‘Swiss Made’ with 9K 0.375 Swiss hallmarks, the exterior of the case back carries the serial number 860D473, as can be seen in the accompanying photographs.
Please note – our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap and Buckle
The watch is fitted with a high quality brown lizard strap and plain gold-plated buckle which we feel suits the watch perfectly. However, if a different colour or different style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to provide your choice, free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown and black in stock in plain padded leather, crocodile skin or lizard skin and can also obtain most types and colours from our partners at ‘Watch Obsession’ within 48hrs. Please take a look at their huge range of straps if you wish here.
Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating this watch to 1958.
Detailed particulars will be included with our purchase receipt for your interest and security. 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 high quality hardwood presentation box shown in the photographs is included.
If you would like to pay by bank transfer we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you. Paying by bank transfer for a 3% saving will not affect your 12 months warranty. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or Bank Wire Transfer we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
Please check the import duties and any taxes your government may apply, these are different for each country and unfortunately out of our control.
We understand there may be some ‘loopholes’ that may help you avoid these charges, however attempting to use these could impact our ongoing ability to serve our growing international customer base.
For those that happen to visit the UK on occasion we are of course more than happy to store your watch until we can meet you in our offices in Kensington, London, and your watch directly to you there.
As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no quibble sale or return policy.
This is a very impressive vintage Zenith hand wound wristwatch, which is ready to wear and very 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 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 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.
Please note, we also welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or a small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.
We will also be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
If you have any questions please call us on 020 7727 7095 or if calling from overseas on +44 207 727 7095.
Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.