Zenith ID needed
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  1. #1
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Zenith ID needed

    Now, I'm not sure if I've ever asked this one before - so apologies if I have, but time moves on and so does the available knowledge - and I know we have some good experts with this brand. The watch has some balance issues and I think the wrong roller jewel. But its always been an oddity for me so I'd like to know a bit more - and just how the case and movement relate to each other - if at all. And if anyone knows a good Zenith watchmaker... Movement is I think about 27mm - roughly.






    Thanks!


  2. #2
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Zenith ID needed

    Nice watch, a small shame about the case. The movement is one of the post-1905 set of movements. If you can see 27mm of it (presumably a little under that), it ought to be a Cal. 12''' N.V.S.I (even Zenith don't know what these letters stand for any more! The last one is a roman numeral 1, though). It is from 1920.

    Hartmut Richter
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    Re: Zenith ID needed

    I can't help you with the exact caliber name but its the predecessor of the 106-6. I call it the "shrunken NVSI". The NVSI ist listen with 15''' but this is smaler but you see it some times and therefore I'm sure all is legit. I don't know what exactly the roller jewel is but the only thing I'm a bid wondering is the missing of a compensation balance and a blue breguet spiral within this aera. But I've never examined this movement therefore it can be orginal and they've startet to use compensation stuff for the spiral ( like Nivarox later on) which was available at this period. Others might know it.
    The movementnumber date this part around 1920 and I'm sure sempervivens will date the hole watch more exactly.

    Sorry for less help
    Silke

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    Last edited by SilkeN; June 3rd, 2015 at 00:08.
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    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: Zenith ID needed

    Well that is a big help already, so thank you both!


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    Member mkws's Avatar
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    Re: Zenith ID needed

    I think there isn't much of a chance to restore the case. Well, the main block would require replating with chrome, but the caseback... I own two watches which have a mark on the caseback, made by a single-piece canvas strap, and if you look carefully, the most worn areas are close to the lugs, which would indicate the same thing here as well, but this one must have also been treated with... A chisel, perhaps? Or a knife? Someone really did his best to ruin a nice watch. Look at the way it's damaged- these deep scratches look as if they have been made with a sharp object. Attempts to open the case up wouldn't have resulted in that. I really wonder what the person who did this has thought about while doing this.
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  7. #6
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: Zenith ID needed

    I have a number of watches with caseback damage that is not dissimilar to this - though I think you are right that this one has some specific damage. As far as I can determine, most of it is caused by sweat corrosion of the base metal. All it needs is a scratch though the plating and then the case starts to dissolve away - its the one good reason for a bund when you have a watch like this.

    Here is an example of when engravings go wrong..

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  8. #7
    Member sempervivens's Avatar
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    Re: Zenith ID needed

    These are usually referred to as 'driver's watch'. Obviously because of the crown at 12.

    Although the movement number does indicate production ca. 1920's, the case numbers indicate production ca. late 1930's.

    It is interesting that Zenith used different case materials to build these: staybrite steel, nickel chromé, metal chromé...

    The movement numbers in these watches are wide apart and range between 2.200.xxx and 2.800.xxx, but the case numbers are all close to each other: between 8.124.xxx and 8.177.xxx

    From this I would conclude that ca. 1937/38 Zenith used a stack of remaining movements from the 1920's, and cased them in an avant-garde style.
    Last edited by sempervivens; June 3rd, 2015 at 00:48.
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    Re: Zenith ID needed

    This would explain the "modern" balance which looks legit but I've not seen within my ladys watches around 1920. But this is the time my core collections ends. Anyone any further informations wha they use..Paladiummix? I'm just curious . A very interesting orginal timemix because of missing a shock protection the hole balance part match with 1920 better than 1937/38.

    Kind regards Silke
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  10. #9
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: Zenith ID needed

    Quote Originally Posted by sempervivens View Post
    These are usually referred to as 'driver's watch'. Obviously because of the crown at 12.

    Although the movement number does indicate production ca. 1920's, the case numbers indicate production ca. late 1930's.

    It is interesting that Zenith used different case materials to build these: staybrite steel, nickel chromé, metal chromé...

    The movement numbers in these watches are wide apart and range between 2.200.xxx and 2.800.xxx, but the case numbers are all close to each other: between 8.124.xxx and 8.177.xxx

    From this I would conclude that ca. 1937/38 Zenith used a stack of remaining movements from the 1920's, and cased them in an avant-garde style.
    Ah! That explains the rather 'modern' case and dial compared to the earlier movement number. Thanks, that is very helpful. At least I understand now where it fits even if it is going to make getting it running perhaps even harder.


  11. #10
    Member Sdasurrey's Avatar
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    Re: Zenith ID needed

    Mirius - you mentioned a zenith-specific watchmaker but you have a general watchmaker I would assume ? I know you do some of your own work, but you may have seen before I use Mr Chang on Portobello road which seems to be the 'centre of the vintage watch universe' in London - usually top collectors are hanging around with him along with retailers and Simon from Watches of Knightsbridge.

    So certainly he can work on this watch or probably get the case fixed, cheers, Scott


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