Zenith 12-4-p check

Thread: Zenith 12-4-p check

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  1. #1
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    Zenith 12-4-p check

    This is in the Ebay market, and my novice eyes don't see anything awry with the dial, crown, or movement of this Zenith 12-4-p.

    Does anyone see anything awry with the case? I would say it hasn't been re-plated, but that's more a guess than anything else.

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    Honestly, I stopped looking at Zeniths of this variety for a while, because it seemed there were so many out there that had been altered in some way, and prices just seem to be ticking up regardless of the slapdash redial or what-have-you.

    This one seems unrestored and in nice condition, and that's what I'm keeping my eye out for.

    Thanks for any thoughts you may have on this one.

  2. #2
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    Re: Zenith 12-4-p check

    Loks OK to me. Plated case showing signs of wear, stainless steel back with logo - all in good order. Movement serial number shows that it is from ca. 1946 so, if anything, we would need ot be able to see the case back serial number to see whether this tallies. sempervivens is the specialist for that.

    Hartmut Richter

  3. #3
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    Re: Zenith 12-4-p check

    Thanks for taking a look, Hartmut. I'm realizing now that there isn't a picture of the exterior case back. How did I overlook that! I just asked for it from the seller and will add it to this post.

    I'm still on the fence with this one, as the starting bid has been set at $375. But my birthday is coming up, and I suppose everyone here knows how that goes.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Zenith 12-4-p check

    Seller supplied a couple of the exterior case back upon request. They're low rez as Ebay message attachments that I can't seem to upload from my phone.

    I read the serial number as 2197051 but will check with the seller.

    I don't know how to verify if the case fits the movement and dial, so help would be appreciated. Thanks!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G850A using Tapatalk

  6. #5
    Member sempervivens's Avatar
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    Re: Zenith 12-4-p check

    I fully agree with Hartmut's comments. As for the caseback, I think it must be 819.... It should start with an 8 for a 1940's Zenith, so this may be ok, but if the second number is 1 it is a bit odd, as this would date it to ca. 1938, a lot older than the movement.

    However such inconsistencies are not totally unheard of. Usually it is the other way around: an older movement in a newer case happens more often, with Zenith using up old stock of movements. Here it would be an older case with a newer movement, which allows for two possibilities: either Zenith used a leftover case when they made this watch, or the movement was repaired and switched for a newer one (that or the whole watch is a franken).

    I would be inclined to suspect the second possibility: the watch was repaired, a broken cal 12-4 was switched with a cal 12-4-P. Nothing wrong with that, but it would mean that the whole watch is actually older and dates to the late 1930's. As for the beautiful design of the whole watch - case, dial and hands - I think this is possible.
    Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas, praeter ...

  7. #6
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    Re: Zenith 12-4-p check

    Thanks, sempervivens, for your insight. I'm still waiting for a response from the seller on the case back serial number.

    I haven't found a chart to help date Zenith cases, and I'm suspecting that it may be somewhat involved in interpreting the serial numbers. If there's a discussion or table out there that lays that out, I was wondering if you could share that? Thanks again for your observations and thoughts.

  8. #7
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    Re: Zenith 12-4-p check

    The seller identified the case back serial number as 8497501.

    This would be consistent with a 1940s Zenith, given the 8 as the first digit, as you mentioned.


    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G850A using Tapatalk

  9. #8
    Member sempervivens's Avatar
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    Re: Zenith 12-4-p check

    Very good, that confirms 1946 then, both for the movement and the case.

    I'm not aware of any chart to date Zenith cases, only a few Zenith aficionados who keep personal lists.
    Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas, praeter ...

  10. #9
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    Re: Zenith 12-4-p check

    Great, thanks again, sempervivens.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G850A using Tapatalk

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