ZENITH Sporto - WWII German Trench Art?

Thread: ZENITH Sporto - WWII German Trench Art?

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  1. #1
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    ZENITH Sporto - WWII German Trench Art?

    I just purchased this Zenith Sporto - 17j, stainless steel, 4x signed, screw back. I am not sure if it is the correct vintage for WWII, but it in not a military watch. The odd thing is that someone did a crude engraving of the **** eagle and swastika. Could this be a personal watch that a soldier decided to decorate on his own. Any help - please!

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  2. #2
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: ZENITH Sporto - WWII German Trench Art?

    Interesting watch you have there! I would say that it has a Cal. 40 or 40T which is essentially the same as the Cal. 106 or 126 with an extra capstone on the escapement wheel and a double arm on the fine adjustment. This was made from 1955-1960 (1958-1963 for the 40T) so, if my assumption is correct, it would definitely not be a WWII watch. It doesn't really look like it anyway - Incabloc shock proofing, general looks don't fit, etc. What surprises me is that it doesn't have any serial number on the movement - most Zeniths from that time which I have seen have them.

    As for the engraving, it looks far too crude to have been put there "officially". I also support the theory that some die-hard supporter of principles such as "Lebensraum" put it there himself. If it offends you, try and ask Zenith for a new one - or invest in getting a new bottom with glass window so that you can permanently see the movement!

    Hartmut Richter

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    Re: ZENITH Sporto - WWII German Trench Art?

    Thanks for reponding! You are correct, it is a Cal. 40, but no serial number anywhere. I don't find the back engraving offensive, just curious. I do not think I will try to source a new back for it. But, like you, I suspected that it was a bit later watch than WWII.

  4. #4
    Member D N Ravenna's Avatar
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    Re: ZENITH Sporto - WWII German Trench Art?

    In my younger years, I spent quite a bit of time studying the German military of WWII. The eagle/swastika is not of the era. Ceratinly someone had a steady hand, but they did not choose to replicate something military of that era. Perhaps a sympathetic, non-German police group?

    At any rate as Hartmut said, the watch itself was made well after that era was over.

    Interesting find.

    Regards,

    Dan

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    Re: ZENITH Sporto - WWII German Trench Art?

    Thanks, Dan

  6. #6
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: ZENITH Sporto - WWII German Trench Art?

    Quote Originally Posted by original_chronokid View Post
    I just purchased this Zenith Sporto - 17j, stainless steel, 4x signed, screw back. I am not sure if it is the correct vintage for WWII, but it in not a military watch. The odd thing is that someone did a crude engraving of the **** eagle and swastika. Could this be a personal watch that a soldier decided to decorate on his own. Any help - please!
    It could have been from some post WWII supporter of **** principles I suppose. Given the number of faked WWII collectibles I wonder if it is not an amateur fake that someone attempted to pass off as being from WWII.

  7. #7
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    Re: ZENITH Sporto - WWII German Trench Art?

    Yes, that's another possibility. Although the engraving, though reasonably good, is still sufficiently crude to only convince the most gullible.....

    Hartmut Richter

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