Problem with Zenith Sporto (cal. 940 alias ETA 205.911 Autoquartz)
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Thread: Problem with Zenith Sporto (cal. 940 alias ETA 205.911 Autoquartz)

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  1. #1
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    Problem with Zenith Sporto (cal. 940 alias ETA 205.911 Autoquartz)

    Hi all, I've had this watch since 2002, it was a gift from IBM to my father as a long time employee (the caseback is customized with the IBM Silver Club engraving, so from a certain point of view it is a special edition which could be interesting to collectors).
    Unfortunately, the watch stopped working after a while and my father had it serviced a couple of times, but after a few months the watch stopped working again each time. I've been told it was the accumulator which had to be replaced, and that using it just every now and then doesn't help the watch, but I strongly suspect there's another bigger issue.
    Now I've decided to pull it back out from the bottom of my drawer. I don't know if I want to keep it or if I should sell it (personally I'd wear it rather rarely, at most).
    Anyway, I phoned LVMH Italy (the only official factory repair shop for Zenith in Italy) in Milan, and I've been told that they still have spare parts for that, but the accumulator is hard to find (probably untrue as I can easily find it on ebay, even though I'm not sure it is really 100% original or just a "somehow compatible" modern replacement). So they say they'd probably have to just replace the whole movement, which would cost about 330-350 EUR (360-380 USD). Which is not exactly cheap for a quartz movement, considering also that I very much doubt that the watch is worth something like 1000 EUR or more, even if it is in good conditions aesthetically.

    If I want to keep the watch, then I must repair it, but maybe it is not worth the cost. If I want to sell it, I don't know if I'd make more money by selling it in perfect working order (with a 12-month LVMH warranty after repair) or as a watch to be repaired. What would you do? I don't know at which price I can sell it nor if and where I can find some Autoquartz expert who could repair it at a lower cost. I hope there are some fellow autoquartz owners here who can advise me.

    I attach here below some pics of the watch and movement. Does anyone know if Zenith customized the base ETA movement and how?


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    Thanks,

    Oscar
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  2. #2
    Member sempervivens's Avatar
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    Re: Problem with Zenith Sporto (cal. 940 alias ETA 205.911 Autoquartz)

    Hi there and welcome to the forum. Interesting as I didn't know Zenith ever made an autoquartz, less one named Sporto. The weak point of such watches has always been the accumulator which after all is just another battery which goes dead after so many years. So I wonder why you doubt that and haven't yet tried installing a new accumulator by your local watchmaker. Also I would not even try selling it but rather keep it as a memory of my father.
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    Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas, praeter ...

  3. #3
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    Re: Problem with Zenith Sporto (cal. 940 alias ETA 205.911 Autoquartz)

    Quote Originally Posted by Oskar_962 View Post
    Anyway, I phoned LVMH Italy (the only official factory repair shop for Zenith in Italy) in Milan, and I've been told that they still have spare parts for that, but the accumulator is hard to find (probably untrue as I can easily find it on ebay, even though I'm not sure it is really 100% original or just a "somehow compatible" modern replacement). So they say they'd probably have to just replace the whole movement, which would cost about 330-350 EUR (360-380 USD). Which is not exactly cheap for a quartz movement, considering also that I very much doubt that the watch is worth something like 1000 EUR or more, even if it is in good conditions aesthetically.
    It's certainly not the same as "quartz movement". The ETA auto-quartz is quite highly specified, adjustable and based on the ETA 2824 automatic movement. The rotor and winding bridge are the same. They have 17 jewels - more than even Rolex's quartz movement - and should be completely serviceable.

    An original accumulator for this movement would work fine if you can find a good independent watchmaker. Service documents for this movement do exist. If Zenith replaces the movement, they might replace it with a fully automatic ETA 2824, which is identical in size.

    Also if you keep the watch a long time, and service it regularly, service costs will outstrip its value in time. This doesn't mean you should throw the watch away :)
    fskywalker likes this.

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  5. #4
    Member WTSP's Avatar
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    Re: Problem with Zenith Sporto (cal. 940 alias ETA 205.911 Autoquartz)

    Nice watch, the auto quartz feature and design are quite unique for a Zenith.

    I have a Tissot Desire quartz watch that my father gave me. It can be purchase new for $300. After about a decade the movement stopped working and a new one had to be installed. Total price was $240. It’s just the way it goes with watches. Servicing costs as much or more than many watches over time. I think it’s a bit of a razor and blades business model. For the manufacturers. At the same time, it’s just the nature of the object.
    fskywalker likes this.

  6. #5
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Problem with Zenith Sporto (cal. 940 alias ETA 205.911 Autoquartz)

    Welcome to the Zenith forum! That looks like a nice watch (quartz or not) - far too nice to trash!

    It rather looks as if the whole thing can be taken apart easily by an independent watchmaker. So, the "battery" ought to be replaceable. I would scour fleaby or the like for a replacement and, once you have one, hand that to a watchmaker of your trust and have him swap it over. Here are two (batteries, not watchmakers!) that I found on fleabay in Germany after entering "MT920" (the parts number for that item) and "ETA 205.911":

    https://www.ebay.de/itm/Rechargeable...wAAOSwU91ahxRU

    https://www.ebay.de/itm/Ronda-Akku-2...QAAOSwnw5dxSNq

    Good luck!

    Hartmut Richter
    fskywalker likes this.

  7. #6
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    Re: Problem with Zenith Sporto (cal. 940 alias ETA 205.911 Autoquartz)

    Thanks to all for the replies.
    Alright, you convinced me, I'll have the watch serviced. As a first option I'll try with just an accumulator replacement which is quite cheaper than a movement transplant.
    I'll let you know how it goes.

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