Vintage Zenith watch 33,5mm
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  • 1 Post By deni2s
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Thread: Vintage Zenith watch 33,5mm

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  1. #1
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    Vintage Zenith watch 33,5mm

    Got this watch today. Will appreciate any thoughts and info.


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    33,5 case diamater, 18mm lug size, fixed lugs, two tone dial, blued breguet hands, movement looks like 106-50? Case number 8203523 (just inside), movement serial number - 3181871.

    According to serial numbers chart found online could it be from 1938?

    I am a bit surprised by such big watch size in those years. Dial looks original to me, love the two tone, and how balanced it looks. Hands look original too (or they are matched very well). Non-signed crown. IMHO probably one of the best looking military style watches I had seen (like the Longines RAF 6B/159 too, but that one is smaller). And condition looks very good - very clean movement and dial has some small evenly displaced dots on it (as many vintage watches this old have).

    Looks like movement has some kind of self-made seconds friction spring... Can anyone tell me how the movement should look originally, to understand, which part I should look for? Thanks!
    Last edited by deni2s; September 2nd, 2019 at 20:39.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Vintage Zenith watch 33,5mm

    That's a wonderful looking watch and I believe that your date assessment is nearly correct (I'd go for 1939). The movement is a Cal. 106, introduced in 1937 so it must be an early specimen. I think that the dial and hands are all original - they certainly go well together and Zenith did use those style hands around that time.

    As for the movement, the central seconds version was the 106-50 which had a fixed cock rather than a spring to hold down the central seconds gear:

    bidfun-db Archiv: Uhrwerke: Zenith 106-S.C.

    However, the earlier version of that movement had the designation 106 S.C. and that one did have a spring rather than a cock. Nevertheless, the spring should look a little different according to what I've seen: it should have a forked end which has a small rectangular bit of metal with a hole fitted, that the seconds gear pivot goes into. "Counter-Nevertheless", this has a rather longer arm, resulting in a screw hole that would be somewhere the other side of the click and mainspring gear - and your movement hasn't got that! In the absence of further evidence, I would therefore tentatively conclude that yours is all original and is a very early central seconds version of that movement.

    Hartmut Richter
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  3. #3
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    Re: Vintage Zenith watch 33,5mm

    Thanks for fast response! I have the same opinion, hands are proper style and also lengths are perfect (which is usually not with non-originals). And I must say this watch design-wise is light years away from cal. 10,5 NSI I have from 1937 - bigger, nicer dial, more refined hands, more modern case shape.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    As for the movement, the central seconds version was the 106-50 which had a fixed cock rather than a spring to hold down the central seconds gear:

    bidfun-db Archiv: Uhrwerke: Zenith 106-S.C.

    However, the earlier version of that movement had the designation 106 S.C. and that one did have a spring rather than a cock. Nevertheless, the spring should look a little different according to what I've seen: it should have a forked end which has a small rectangular bit of metal with a hole fitted, that the seconds gear pivot goes into. "Counter-Nevertheless", this has a rather longer arm, resulting in a screw hole that would be somewhere the other side of the click and mainspring gear - and your movement hasn't got that! In the absence of further evidence, I would therefore tentatively conclude that yours is all original and is a very early central seconds version of that movement.
    I was wondering about this as well. And I found this disassembled movement on ebay, which looks somehow similar config to mine - what do you think, it might work like that?

    And another question - could it be that it has a breguet coil? I know you mentioned before that 106 didn't had a brequet coil, but it looks to me that this one has it and I found some mentions of it on 106 as well (for example Zenith 106 )...

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  5. #4
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    Re: Vintage Zenith watch 33,5mm

    Oh, I see that disassembled is the one you talked about (attached picture) and mine doesn't have that screw hole near click.
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  6. #5
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    Re: Vintage Zenith watch 33,5mm


  7. #6
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    Re: Vintage Zenith watch 33,5mm

    And this probably answers my question if 106 had hairsprings with breguet overcoil....

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  8. #7
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    Re: Vintage Zenith watch 33,5mm

    Beautiful and interesting, rare specimen. I would also date it to 1938/39.
    Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas, praeter ...

  9. #8
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    Re: Vintage Zenith watch 33,5mm

    Yes, it definitely has Breguet overcoil. If the arms on the balance for the regulator and hairspring stud don't extend out as far as the edge of the hairspring on a movement, it must always have Breguet overcoil.

    Hartmut Richter

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    Re: Vintage Zenith watch 33,5mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    Yes, it definitely has Breguet overcoil. If the arms on the balance for the regulator and hairspring stud don't extend out as far as the edge of the hairspring on a movement, it must always have Breguet overcoil.

    Hartmut Richter
    Thanks, yes, that's the case here!

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