Zenith Sporto
Like Tree23Likes

Thread: Zenith Sporto

Page 1 of 19 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 182
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    15

    Zenith Sporto

    Does anyone have some informations on the Zenith watch line called Sporto?
    I didnt find any info on internet.
    Thank you

  2. #2
    Member Tony C.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    1,465

    Re: Zenith Sporto

    With respect, either you are inexperienced in searching the 'net, or you need to try a bit harder. When the phrase "Zenith Sporto" is entered in a Google search, there are over 13,000 results returned! You will find plenty of information using that simple search.

    Also, you will find a good deal of info by searching this very forum for "Sporto"!

    Regards,

    Tony C.
    FBPB likes this.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    15

    Re: Zenith Sporto

    perhaps i was not clear. I cant find informations regarding this line as reason of name, period of time in which this line firstly appeared, etc. I can find only details on some Sporto watches, but nothing regarding the whole line.

  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Member Tony C.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    1,465

    Re: Zenith Sporto

    The Sporto line seems to have originated sometime in the late '40s (based on the style of the early dials and cases), though Manfred Rossler's book suggests that the model was introduced in the 1950s. They were powered by hand-wind movements until the '60s, at which point the new "AutoSporto" were powered by automatic movements.

    A variety of good quality movements were used in the Sportos, including some 28,800 hi-beat autos in the '70s.

    The model was apparently marketed as being particularly resistant to shock, moisture, dust, and magnetic fields. This was similar to marketing used by other brands to promote their "sports" watches (e.g. the IWC Yacht Club, etc.), though Zenith appears to have been one of the earlier proponents of such watches. They were also trumpeted as being 100% manufactured in-house by Zenith.

    I only own one, an unusual, and particularly elegant example from the '50s. As you can see in the movement shot, they sometimes featured a plastic cap over the movement, which was designed to help keep dust, moisture and humidity at bay.



    MrCairo likes this.

  6. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    15

    Re: Zenith Sporto

    i found a very similar watch (but with steel dial) in the shop here round the corner.
    Unfortunatelly I dont know the price in market for comparing to it!

  7. #6
    Member sempervivens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    4,322

    Re: Zenith Sporto

    The Sporto line seems to have originated sometime in the late '40s (based on the style of the early dials and cases), though Manfred Rossler's book suggests that the model was introduced in the 1950s. They were powered by hand-wind movements until the '60s, at which point the new "AutoSporto" were powered by automatic movements.

    A variety of good quality movements were used in the Sportos, including some 28,800 hi-beat autos in the '70s.

    The model was apparently marketed as being particularly resistant to shock, moisture, dust, and magnetic fields. This was similar to marketing used by other brands to promote their "sports" watches (e.g. the IWC Yacht Club, etc.), though Zenith appears to have been one of the earlier proponents of such watches. They were also trumpeted as being 100% manufactured in-house by Zenith.

    I only own one, an unusual, and particularly elegant example from the '50s. As you can see in the movement shot, they sometimes featured a plastic cap over the movement, which was designed to help keep dust, moisture and humidity at bay.

    Interesting question and reply here. (BTW : is that black dial original ?)

    So the main era for the Sporto's were the 1950's, then the Sporto lost terrain to the AutoSport's in the 1960's, and ended in the 1970's.

    The "autoSport" model being the automatic version of the "Sporto" (though the name of the model is "AutoSport" - not "AutoSporto").

    It seems to me that the 'Sporto' line of watches was discontinued altogether in favour of the new "Defy" line in the 1970's.
    Certainly both names co-existed for some time, but it seems to me that the Sporto line was phased out around the time when the Defy line began (in 1970).

    There are Sporto's perhaps as late as 1975, and some examples which seem to date to around 1945, like this one:

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f27/my-12-4-p-6-zenith-sporto-340251.html

    An interesting detail is that the inside of the caseback was usually also signed 'Zenith Sporto' (at least in the 1950's).

  8. #7
    Member Tony C.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    1,465

    Re: Zenith Sporto

    Quote Originally Posted by sempervivens View Post
    Interesting question and reply here. (BTW : is that black dial original ?)
    ...

    The "autoSport" model being the automatic version of the "Sporto" (though the name of the model is "AutoSport" - not "AutoSporto").
    ...

    An interesting detail is that the inside of the caseback was usually also signed 'Zenith Sporto' (at least in the 1950's).
    Yes, the black dial is original. You are correct about the automatic models being called AutoSport, though the case-backs often still had Sporto engraved in them (on the outside). Here's an example...


  9. #8
    Member sempervivens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    4,322

    Re: Zenith Sporto

    You are correct about the automatic models being called AutoSport, though the case-backs often still had Sporto engraved in them (on the outside). Here's an example...

    Wonderful caseback, thanks for sharing.

    I spotted another very old Zenith Sporto with black dial : I'll include pictures in attachment. They look to be sister-watches, one with white and one with black dial. Notice that both have chrome plated cases (perhaps only from the 1950's onwards they usually had steel cases). The serial numbers 3627407 and 376... may date these watches around 1947-1948.

    I've seen a Zenith with serial numbers 3579307 (8531661 on the caseback) dated by Zenith archives : 11 February 1948.


    To be on the safe side, I would conclude that the old Zenith Sporto with white dial with serial number 3627407 on the movement (8542981 on the back) dates to 1948 (or perhaps 1947).


    It has a movement 12-4-P-6. This movement can probably be dated between 1945 and 1947. So that confirms dating this watch to 1947-1948.

    Considering this evidence for the existence of a Zenith Sporto as early as 1947-1948, it may be remembered that Omega around that time (1947-1948) also created their first line of wristwatches : the Omega Seamaster.

    BTW : Hartmut mentioned in one of his posts, that Zenith cal. 12-4 is very similar to the (later) cal. 126 (which can be dated from 1947 tot 1956).
    Hartmut also mentioned that there is some evidence that cal. 12-4 was originally based on a Blancpain movement :
    "If you look at the Zenith calibre lists, the 12-4 series has "Rayville" in the comments section as the original maker. In case anyone is not familiar with this maker, the name is a corruption of "Villeret" which is where the company was located. It has now moved to Le Brassus and changed its name back to what it originally was: Blancpain. On the basis of this evidence, I would suspect that Zenith obtained Blancpain wrist watch calibres at a time when they were mainly a pocket watch maker (which is what they were prior to WWII). Later, they acquired the rights to these or copied them when the patent had expired or based their own calibres on them - the most likely option since the movements are not absolutely identical (if you look at the bridge shape).
    Hartmut Richter"
    Here are pics of the white dial Sporto from around 1947-1948 :















    Here are pics of a cal. 126 from around 1955-1956 :





    As you can see for this last one, the case was all steel and the Sporto logo and numerals are in relief on the dial.

    To conclude this contribution, here is a link to a post about a Zenith Sporto with cal 2572, which may be dated around 1975. The last one ?
    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f27/zen...orto-1709.html

    (And in attachment, as already mentioned : a black dial Zenith Sporto, probably from around 1948 ?)
    Attached Images Attached Images



    mdatta likes this.

  10. #9
    Member Tony C.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    1,465

    Re: Zenith Sporto

    Excellent fleshing out of the date range issue. In Rossler's book, there is a hand-wind 28,800 example from 1974 shown on page 143, so there were at least some non-automatics produced late in the game.

  11. #10
    Member LouS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,759

    Re: Zenith Sporto

    great thread. Thanks guys!

Page 1 of 19 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •