Picked up a 70's Zenith Defy date
Like Tree15Likes

Thread: Picked up a 70's Zenith Defy date

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
  1. #1
    Member MisterV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    1,015

    Picked up a 70's Zenith Defy date

    Pictures first... sorry, phone only for now, need to set up a lightbox at home.

    Name:  IMG_20171115_085332.jpg
Views: 181
Size:  705.5 KB

    Name:  IMG_20171115_085343.jpg
Views: 185
Size:  700.0 KB

    Name:  IMG_20171115_085938.jpg
Views: 177
Size:  698.8 KB

    Name:  IMG_20171115_090239.jpg
Views: 180
Size:  735.0 KB

    So, please correct me if I'm wrong (I am basing this only on other models I've seen on eBay and so on): everything looks legit. Hands could be newer (just because the lume is a very different colour and actually seems to slightly work), but they are visibly old and the correct set. Plexi is likely a replacement, it's fully clear except one little scratch. Caseback (didn't attach a picture) is also original, with quite a lot of deep scratches (but the central logo isn't overpolished or anything). Crown seems to be original.
    Bracelet definitely not original (it was supposed to come with this Gay Freres ladder, and while authentic, I really don't like ladder bracelets so I don't mind).

    The case has likely been polished? All the facets (and this is a complex case! love it!) are quite visible, but the thing does have lots of dings and dents, and the edges of the facets seem to be rather soft. Then again, I don't know what the initial finish looked like.

    Date-setting doesn't work, so definitely in need of a service, but I got it for like 15% of the asking price for those eBay models. A relatively good deal I'd say.

    So, next steps:
    - service and date mechanism repair
    - request some cleaning of the dial? e.g. there's grime on the date window. Not sure whether the indices can be re-lumed.
    - should I request a case re-polish? Like, how bad would it affect
    - new strap - I was thinking of brown distressed leather, or some kind of contrast (like a dressy lizard strap? or a fun green one?).
    Last edited by MisterV; November 15th, 2017 at 10:24.
    "My complication had a little complication." (c)

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    4,257

    Re: Picked up a 70's Zenith Defy date

    yes the case was sadly overpolished
    hands and hour markers could be relumed to match in color
    there is nothing todo about dial cleaning without destroying it
    bubba48 and badbackdan like this.
    Chaos is my focus

  3. #3
    Member MisterV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    1,015

    Re: Picked up a 70's Zenith Defy date

    Is a case refinish generally possible? As it's not a thin and elegant piece, perhaps there's some leeway in the amount of material that can be taken off the case to add just a bit more sharpness to it.

    Edit: just have to point out that the pictures make it look like some edges have been so polished they're completely round, or even invisible. This is not the case, and is due to suboptimal lighting and picture quality.
    Last edited by MisterV; November 15th, 2017 at 12:12.
    "My complication had a little complication." (c)

  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Member Dan S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    6,383

    Re: Picked up a 70's Zenith Defy date

    I think the hands are probably original but have been re-lumed with no effort made to match the faded lume on the dial. That lume can be removed and replaced with lume that better matches the dial. I think it's probably not worth the risk to attempt to clean the dial. The discoloration is fairly uniform, and I think it's better to live with it than to risk serious damage from cleaning.

    The case can be refinished, but in my experience it's a very specialized skill, and only a few places really know how to do it well, and have the right equipment to do the type of work you are thinking of (i.e. machining each facet to sharpen the edges). ABCwatchwerks did something like this for me once (and also restored the various faces to have the correct polished or brushed finish), but the case wasn't as complicated as yours, and the watch I sent them was pretty valuable and rare, so I felt it was worth the cost and effort.

    I think this watch will look best on a vintage bracelet.
    MisterV and thoth like this.
    -- Dan (formerly known as @badbackdan)
    ------- @oldwatchdan on Instagram -------

  6. #5
    Member Dan S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    6,383

    Re: Picked up a 70's Zenith Defy date

    Weird, I left a detailed post, and it's completely gone.
    [Edit: I re-appeared now, I guess there was a temporary glitch in the forum software.]
    Last edited by badbackdan; November 15th, 2017 at 14:43.
    -- Dan (formerly known as @badbackdan)
    ------- @oldwatchdan on Instagram -------

  7. #6
    Member MisterV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    1,015

    Re: Picked up a 70's Zenith Defy date

    Quote Originally Posted by badbackdan View Post
    I think the hands are probably original but have been re-lumed with no effort made to match the faded lume on the dial. That lume can be removed and replaced with lume that better matches the dial. I think it's probably not worth the risk to attempt to clean the dial. The discoloration is fairly uniform, and I think it's better to live with it than to risk serious damage from cleaning.
    Thanks for the advice. I don't want to clean/refinish the dial to 'make it look new', don't mind the patina at all, it's more that I feel there's some grime in some places that shouldn't be there (e.g. date window). Is it possible to re-lume the dial without touching the rest?

    Quote Originally Posted by badbackdan View Post
    The case can be refinished, but in my experience it's a very specialized skill, and only a few places really know how to do it well, and have the right equipment to do the type of work you are thinking of (i.e. machining each facet to sharpen the edges).
    As I'm having a custom watch made from scratch by a watchmaker, I trust that he knows how to handle metal, - I'm asking him for advice and perhaps assistance there, as a little side-job or so. If he'd take it.
    The issue I think is finding the original finish. Were all the surfaces brushed or polished?..

    A GF vintage bracelet of that era goes for nearly twice what I paid for the watch head (and that's the less expensive bracelet option). Whether that would be a worthy investment remains to be seen... for a model that's not exactly the most popular thing out there, and that I intend to wear casually, and only perhaps sell at some point later. Just the dings are very prominent. But then again, the case refinishing might be so expensive as to render it unreasonable, so... decisions, decisions.

    I think instead of investing a ton I would rather pick up a full Zenith Captain 'tortoise' (or star trek, whatever one prefers) from that era with original bracelet - a piece that I'd wanted for a while now, and that looks to be more desirable for buyers, to not lose a lot of value in the long run.
    thoth likes this.
    "My complication had a little complication." (c)

  8. #7
    Member Dan S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    6,383

    Re: Picked up a 70's Zenith Defy date

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterV View Post
    Thanks for the advice. I don't want to clean/refinish the dial to 'make it look new', don't mind the patina at all, it's more that I feel there's some grime in some places that shouldn't be there (e.g. date window). Is it possible to re-lume the dial without touching the rest?
    Of course you can re-lume the dial, but I wouldn't do it in this case. I'd just have the hands re-lumed to match the dial. It's a matter of taste of course. I read your original post about "grime" on various parts of the dial, and my response about leaving it alone applied to that. It's risky to mess with it since even in the bast case you're unlikely to leave the dial with an evenly distributed patina, and in the worst case, the dial could be seriously damaged.

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterV View Post

    A GF vintage bracelet of that era goes for nearly twice what I paid for the watch head (and that's the less expensive bracelet option).
    There are many other vintage options (e.g. JB Champion or various generic vintage bracelets) that would look appropriate. I don't think that straps look great on these "hidden lug" cases, but that's a very subjective opinion.
    MisterV likes this.
    -- Dan (formerly known as @badbackdan)
    ------- @oldwatchdan on Instagram -------

  9. #8
    Member v8chrono's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,506

    Re: Picked up a 70's Zenith Defy date

    Nice watch, a good find, please remember thought when you pick things up please bend your knees and keep your back straight.

  10. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Wegberg, Germany
    Posts
    3,727

    Re: Picked up a 70's Zenith Defy date

    Hi there,

    the dial is likely corroded because the crystal is leaking. This model is designed for a mineral crystal with gasket, screwed down with the polygonal bezel.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft

  11. #10
    Member sempervivens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    4,330

    Re: Picked up a 70's Zenith Defy date

    The date mechanism may not need repair. Note that this is a cal 2552 PC or 2562 PC which don't have a crown-related quickset for the date. To advance the date, you have to move the hands back and forth between 7 pm an 12 pm.

    The crown is not original (the original has a Zenith star).
    badbackdan, MisterV and skyjacknl like this.
    Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas, praeter ...

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Similar Threads

    1. Replies: 196
      Last Post: May 29th, 2015, 16:53
    2. FS: 1969-70 Zenith Defy Charcoal Dial, ref A 3645
      By LouS in forum Watches - Private sellers and Sponsors
      Replies: 1
      Last Post: September 11th, 2013, 03:32
    3. WTB: Zenith 60's-70's defy
      By coleraine in forum WTB - Wanted to Buy
      Replies: 5
      Last Post: January 9th, 2013, 00:08
    4. adjusting date on an early '70's Zenith Defy
      By damonbecker in forum Zenith
      Replies: 4
      Last Post: May 15th, 2008, 03:16
    5. just picked up my defy aero
      By hankr37 in forum Zenith
      Replies: 1
      Last Post: March 3rd, 2007, 00:36

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •