Zenith watch identification

Thread: Zenith watch identification

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Portsmouth UK

    Zenith watch identification

    Hi, I've recently purchased a small Zenith wrist watch. I'll try and load some images,

    It appears to be 1st WW period? The problem I am having is identifying the movement. It appears to only have the following markings, unless someone can tell any where else to look:

    Under the balance 101/2 - 2 and on the second bridge plate Zenith and I assume serial number 3081084 on the main bridge.

    I'm trying to get a new balance for the watch and without a calibre its proving difficult.

    Thanks in advance to anyone that can help me.
    Last edited by plasmajim; July 25th, 2008 at 17:06. Reason: picture link added

  2. #2
    Member Mars Mountain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Re: Zenith watch identification

    Hello and welcome plasmajim. There seems to be a problem with the image in your post. If you wish to add a link to your message, highlight the appropriate text and click the link tool. This is a link to your album. It is also possible to upload pics directly into your post. Simply "go advanced" and click "manage attachments". Good luck!

    Your watch looks nice, I am not familiar with the caliber but my guess is that the 10 1/2 part notes the size of the movement in lignes. I'm sure Hartmut knows more. The dial looks brand new, refinished?

    /Mars Mountain

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  3. #3
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Re: Zenith watch identification

    Welcome to the forum also from me. The movement is a relatively standard Zenith pocket watch movement from the pre-WWI period. Those movements didn't have any real calibre code, they were designated merely on the basis of size. E.g. Ranfft's Zenith 16''' (''' stands for old french lignes, one ligne is approximately 2.26mm):


    Yours would then be a Cal. 10.5'''. I presume that the "Version 1" (10 1/2 - 1) of that movement was the lepine version (small second hand at right angles to the crown) and the "10 1/2 - 2" (your version) the savonnette movement (small second hand opposite the crown). Movements of such size, particularly savonnette versions, would probably have been put mostly into ladies pendant watches but ladies watches movements frequently found their way into the early wrist watches of the inter war period when few genuine wrist watch movements had been developed.

    However, your movement dates to the mid-1930s (judging by the serial number). This seems a little late for such a movement - at that time, Zenith already had other circular, more "genuine wrist watch" movements. Nor do I readily accept the theory that it is an old stock movement originally placed in a new case when the demand for ladies pendant watches was minimal and the alternative would have been to trash the movement. I have seen a mid-1930s watch with a movement with a serial number dating the calibre back to 1917.

    The ones who can best answer the question as to when it was made are Zenith. Write to them (info@zenith-watches.com - but don't expect an answer until after the summer holidays), give them the serial number and let us know what they say.

    Good luck!

    Hartmut Richter

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