Some of you may know this watch of mine. Zenith Special (GFJ) movement bezel wind and set. Some clever person managed to turn it into a wristwatch without severe modification. Yes they took off the mounting ring but otherwise still original and right. I confirmed that is the correct dial.
But I got a few more from my watchmaker. one I want to make a wooden case for to leave it unmodified. But this one was In need of help. After staking the center post I turned my attention to the dial. It is again a Zenith (GFJ) like the other but had a not correct Tavannes dial. The movement is also not one with seconds. I checked and it is not a broken pinion. So what to do? Find an original correct dial? Sure and win the lottery at it too.
So I decided to be different. Well I like the style of dial but I am not looking to pass it off as anything other than a nice dial. But honestly it looks good as a complete watch. Ok I am sure I heard someone mutter Franken. Well it was modified long before me. I just fixed it and put a different dial on just because I like it.
So I went a bit further. First attempt at hand relume. The leftover in the hands was not original so it was no loss. Also added a gasket under the bazel....seems like a good idea. Finally made a basic Horween strap and used a ca 1930s buckle.
Well, just for overall style, I prefer the first one (the "original" Zenith). The protruding lower rim on the second one doesn't really suit it.....
July 19th, 2019
Re: A Bezel Wind Project
True. I still prefer the Zenith. I just wish this one had not been modified the way it was but I cant be too picky. The Eterna will retain all its original form. The case will be a nice hard wood cylinder that the entire casing will sit in and have 3 screws holding it in place. The cylinder will not be much more in diameter than the outer ring. Playing with various ideas on how to attach the band though. Either a bottom plate that will allow a "nato" strap to pass through or possibly a way to attach a standard band. Still designing it. But what I do know is I want to preserve the case and make it a wearable piece. The Zenith would have had that mounting ring too but it was cut off. As far as I can tell all these types of conversions happened in eastern Europe. I still would like to have a noncoverted one for the collection that still has the box.
I am still thinking that the conversion of the GFJ movements was done by Zenith. The Eterna cases state "Brevet" but no number which means the cases were patented in either Switzerland or France but most likely Switzerland. So you have a Swiss patented case but The Swiss company records don't state much about these movements. The internal design to the way the Eterna winds is very different than the Zenith and they don't cross fit the outer cases. This indicates movement/brand specific cases.
But this one I wanted to bring to a usable functional state. The 49mm bottom with the 40mm top does make it a bit awkward. But I think they did it so they could make the fixed lugs. The Zenith though was a more elegant solution that did not require a huge chunk of steel being machined. I am on the lookout for more of these and I saw one Eterna that was a conversion to a pocket watch using what appears to be a base metal or aluminum case. I may relume the hands in the Eterna as someone was very sloppy on it.