This is my first post on this wonderful forum.
My fascination for this brand and its history derives from three main reasons.
1. My father gave me my first watch when I was 16. A Zenith autosport. Despite punishing treatment, it has never missed a beat. I know it is not valuable, but still think it is quite handsome; dare I say, a timeless, simple and practical design.
2. A Zenith WW2 watch saved my great uncle's life. He fought the Russians on the eastern front in WW2. He was captured and sent to Siberia. He and his companions were meant by their captors to starve after they were dumped off a barge on the upper reaches of the Vasyugan river north of Novosibirsk. But he traded his Zenith watch for some sacks of seed potatoes and thus - with help from some Ukrainians who had been similarly dumped years before - managed to get through his first Siberian winter, and thereafter survive his 20 year sentence. His companions did not. I bought one recently and who knows? It may even be the very one!
3. The awesome original vintage El Primero 3019. Has there ever been or will there ever be anything like it? A masterpiece in conception and construction; for me the ultimate expression of the watchmaking art. My favourite is the all silver coloured dial ref 01.0210.415. Elegant, uncluttered and understated; not for me the multicoloured dial and hands - and I just love wearing it and thinking of what is inside it and listening to those 10 beats per second!
I have learnt much from reading posts re Zenith watches from the many contributors to this forum, particularly from Hartmut Richter, LouS and sempervivens. I have bought Manfred Rössler's book, with its wonderful photos but woeful english translation, and am still looking for but cannot yet find an english hardback version of Joel Duval's more recent work.
Why do you collect Zenith watches?