JLC Memovox in gold/steel versus steel/steel
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  1. #1
    Member Phranz's Avatar
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    JLC Memovox in gold/steel versus steel/steel

    [email protected]!
    Dear vintage lovers and experts!

    I would appreciate very much your help in making a decision between a JLC Memovox, cal 825, beginning of the 60`s with a topcase in 14c solid gold, backcase in steel, and an other one with the same reference and age in steel/steel. As I know, no one can validate watches just from descriptions or even fotos, my question is a general one:

    Given hypothetically, that both watches would be in the exact same condition, movement /case serial numbers very close, for the purpose of comparison lets say identical. Everything original, untouched and never been opened.

    1) What is the value difference in percentage, how much, would you think, is the g/s combination more expensive?
    2) What is from a collectors view the more desirable combination, if the price would not be important (hypothetically )

    To be not so completely vague, here a foto (not the sharpest one I ever made) of one of these twins. Sorry, I have no pic from the s/s.

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    thx for your attention
    Phranz

  2. #2
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    Re: JLC Memovox in gold/steel versus steel/steel

    I would go for a SS memovox. Personal taste. Heck if I have the money I will get both! both are absolutely stunning looking watch..imho this is one of the best memovox design/combination and I like the hands a lot...

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Member GhentWatch's Avatar
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    Re: JLC Memovox in gold/steel versus steel/steel

    SS for sure. Don´t like semi-gold cases.
    Vintage Chronographs and Divers are my thing.

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  5. #4
    Member joeuk's Avatar
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    Re: JLC Memovox in gold/steel versus steel/steel

    I am not a gold person so steel for me.

  6. #5
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: JLC Memovox in gold/steel versus steel/steel

    Well, since the case is not really bicolor but all gold with only the case back in SS, I'd probably prefer the gold one but that's just personal taste. The price difference should be material value (gold content at current prices) at a minimum, plus the additional value that the collectors are willing to generally pay for rarity. On something like the Rolex Daytona, the second part is negative (the SS version is more sought after, for unknown reasons ).

    Hartmut Richter

  7. #6
    Member jackruff's Avatar
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    Re: JLC Memovox in gold/steel versus steel/steel

    I somewhat agree with Hartmut - in some of the higher end collectable watches of which memovox is one, the case material to a degree is irrelevant...it's the market value or perceived value of the collectable that commands the premium not what it is made of...Gold in some models may attract a premium but it is not necessarily proportional to the intrinsic value of the gold....I think most modern men prefer silver to gold however this is a big generalization...
    So many watches.....so little time.....

  8. #7
    Member Phranz's Avatar
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    NEVER BEEN OPENED BEFORE?

    A warm thanks @all for your comments and expertise!

    To summarize, what I have understood so far: g/s versus s/s is a matter of personal taste, not the deciding question but more or less irrelevant to a collectors choice, beside a premium.

    So, now away from hypothetics to a little background story with some more fotos of the g/s.

    Some days ago a local dealer showed to me, after some previous warmup visits with lively discussions, something, he says having been for at least 10 years in his safe. He said that it had NEVER HAD BEEN OPENED since it left the manufactury. I have not the knowledge to find out if this is true. Having learned my lesson, I insisted to have a look at the inside, otherwise no purchase. Well, he was a little reluctant, but what could he do? *g*

    Fotos are`nt really sharp, as it can happen probably to every mobile amateur fotographer, being under pressure having in front of you an excellent piece + hard nosed dealer + behind you other customers waiting impatienly + bad lighting. Sorry for that, but anyways, if everything falls into place and should I purchase it, I will post better ones.

    Under a magnifying glass I could see some micro scratches allover the glass, and one can detect little traces of wear on the case and specially visible on the JL signed crowns. The movement completely untouched from any watchmaker ever? To my amateurish eye the dial looks like new, only with slight patina. Hands, lume, indices untouched, everything in perfect condition. The alarm sounds fresh and loud in comparison with 2 other in s/s that I had a chance to have on my wrist before. There is a hallmarking at one lug, looks like a ´W` but to small for me to identify.

    * Any dating possible?
    Movement S/N 1639xxx.
    Caseback Nr. 93xxxx.
    gold/steel


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    * Given, that it had not been opened since ±50 years, and in spite of having obviously not being worn extensively, it still probably would need a cleaning/oiling service?

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    .................................................. .................................................. ...........

    From the other piece of my interest in s/s from a different seller I don`t have fotos right now, but I had it on my wrist. It is in a very beautiful, freshly serviced condition, but it has not the same excellence as the g/s. It would cost circa 40% less than the g/s. I have learned, that it is not so easy to get the right parts for these old memovoxes. This s/s comes with a jewellers warranty of 2 years, an important argument to me, as beeing a novice to collecting ±50`s vintage.

    JLC E855 / K825
    Movement S/N 1484232.
    Caseback Nr. 838714.
    steel/steel


    *Also any dating possible for this one?

    It will be finally of course my decision. I am in general more attracted to the look of steel, but in this case…..hmm. As I cannot afford both of them, I am in a wiggle waggle, which one.
    Therefore opinions, hints, considerations, expertise are most welcome!

    Phranz
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  9. #8
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: NEVER BEEN OPENED BEFORE?

    It's a difficult one. The SS is 40% cheaper and by the time you pay for the service on the G/S one, you are probably at somewhere like 60% cheaper. On modern watches, the price of (solid) gold ones (i.e. including case back) is about 80-100% extra compared to the steel version but on vintage ones, I believe this goes down to about 50%. I would therefore do some calculations and see how big the difference after servicing really is and what you can afford. On this model, gold versions are still rarer and in the long term more valuable. Set against that, they scratch more easily so if it's going to be a daily wearer, this should be taken into account (I'd be inclined to get the SS one then). Good luck in making a decision.

    Hartmut Richter

  10. #9
    Member Phranz's Avatar
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    Re: NEVER BEEN OPENED BEFORE?

    Vielen Dank Hartmut!

    I will for sure take your very helpful considerations into account, as even before! You cannot know, but I was reading a lot in the Zenith forum some weeks ago, when I was in the purchase process of my first Zenith`s. It ended up with an Automatic Bumper cal 133.8 and a Sporto cal 40 ........

    regards from Austria

  11. #10
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: NEVER BEEN OPENED BEFORE?

    "Kein Problem!" You can't really go wrong with a Zenith Cal. 133.8 (the very rare date version - Cal. 71 - is even better): first watch (some have suggested: first wrist watch) with a truly modern direct central seconds mechanism. And bumpers are somehow cool. Of all the Memovoxes, I would choose a Cal. 825 too.....

    Hartmut Richter

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