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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I usually spend all my time on the vintage side, as I collect vintage 20s-40s chronos, art deco and WW1 trench-style watches - but I have been focused more on Zenith recently - this is slightly interesting because I have to scroll, alphabetically, to the bottom of both 'themes' and now 'watch brands' because of my focused interests....having acquired a 'Vasco da Gama' inspired, gold EP recently, I’m continuing my Zenith focus.

I have now ventured into Pilot's watches with this newly arrived, 1933 (based upon movement serial number) Vintage Zenith, 41 MM Pilot's 'Special' Zenith....black, enamel dial in fab shape, case and movement also in great shape......rotating bezel with pointer...acquired at auction from a long-time military watch collector, so it's a good idea I guess to acquire Vintage/Zenith, from a much more experienced collector !!

I may have to spend even more time here on the Zenith forum, thanks for letting me post vintage here ! Cheers to all on a Friday, S

z pilot dial.jpg
z pilot outside case.jpg
z pilot inside case.jpg
z pilot movement.jpg
z pilot crown.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm Fascinating by Zenith brands now. Very col piece. I have never seen a glass case back as well as metal. Extra protection?
@howards4th - I hadn’t seen a clear one before, it’s just a dust cover I believe like a cuvette for the movement, and the movement looks pretty good so maybe it’s working !

I have been fascinated as well by Zenith, first by EP chronographs and then now this style of vintage pilot watch - because a number of my vintage Eberhards have enamel dials, which I really like, the dial plus the size plus the history drew me to this...cheers ! S


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Congratulations, that is outstanding. I can't read the movement number, could you enlighten me here? The thing with these Pilots (and some other models as well) is that Zenith used older movements, whereas the case numbers indicate production ca. 1936 (I think). The early 1930's are very confusing anyway, due to the Great Depression it seems many movements remained on the shelves until later in the decade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Congratulations, that is outstanding. I can't read the movement number, could you enlighten me here? The thing with these Pilots (and some other models as well) is that Zenith used older movements, whereas the case numbers indicate production ca. 1936 (I think). The early 1930's are very confusing anyway, due to the Great Depression it seems many movements remained on the shelves until later in the decade.
Thanks SV - as always for your ‘deep’ zenith knowledge !

The movement number is 3033012 - placing it in 1933 using normal Zenith movement serial lookups - in searching others for benchmarking while researching, the few that are around have movement serial numbers around these numbers.

The write up from the auction details is attached - this watch, I’m wearing having coffee, is really immaculate, cheers as always ! S


IMG_3602.png



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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
@sv - I’m curious now about this case material, I found this sold example saying one with a somewhat earlier movement ser number but what looks like an identical watch - with no hallmarks, was described as having a silver case....I would be surprised if that’s ‘the case’(!).....these must be early steel...S

IMG_2133.png



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Good point. It is a mysterious case, it looks like steel. But no hallmarks, no signature even, only the case number.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
None of the 3-4 watches available now that are all about the same otherwise, have inside case signatures, just serial numbers ...

IMG_2136.jpg



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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Also this one - they all have signed dials and movements... not cases ...sorry next pic...




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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
IMG_2135.jpg



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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Another...

IMG_2137.jpg



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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
one more...

IMG_2138.jpg



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Thanks for posting those. They all have case numbers in the 81xxxxx range, which I would date c. 1936; shortly after Zenith started this new range of case numbers.

Looking up a few myself, I found confirmation that it is actually a nickel plated case. Similar to the Serbian Railroad watch (which just preceded it) and the small "driver's watches" (with crown at 12) from the same period.

I also found an interesting one with an inscription dating it to 1937, which then confirms a possible production date c. 1936/37:

15833136


I quote: 'The Malou Dohodou is the Czech name for the Little Entente, which was an alliance that was comprised of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Romania and existed from 1921 to 1938. They staged air competitions and we can assume that a talented Czech airman won the title of "Matador" in 1937.'

As for the movements, those may be older, ranging from 296xxxx to 303xxxx. They have been dated by Zenith as far apart as 1931 and 1936. Reportedly a cal 15 NSI or cal 15-2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for posting those. They all have case numbers in the 81xxxxx range, which I would date c. 1936; shortly after Zenith started this new range of case numbers.

Looking up a few myself, I found confirmation that it is actually a nickel plated case. Similar to the Serbian Railroad watch (which just preceded it) and the small "driver's watches" (with crown at 12) from the same period.

I also found an interesting one with an inscription dating it to 1937, which then confirms a possible production date c. 1936/37:

View attachment 15833136

I quote: 'The Malou Dohodou is the Czech name for the Little Entente, which was an alliance that was comprised of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Romania and existed from 1921 to 1938. They staged air competitions and we can assume that a talented Czech airman won the title of "Matador" in 1937.'

As for the movements, those may be older, ranging from 296xxxx to 303xxxx. They have been dated by Zenith as far apart as 1931 and 1936. Reportedly a cal 15 NSI or cal 15-2.
@sv, thanks as always, for not just your DEEP Vintage Zenith knowledge, but your willingness to share that knowledge with less experienced collectors - I knew the ‘silver cased’ representation I showed wasn’t most likely correct.

But I also thought nickel-based cases were less shiny so ‘collect and learn’, thanks, S


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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I also found this one on EB that has movement and case serial numbers very close to mine, with a Zenith extract available which is described as having a nickel case as well as a ‘steel with mat plated finish’ case, so the description is somewhat inconsistent.... this one also has some kind of ‘aviator (or German Eagle?) icon’ on the back ?

This dial is similar but this case also with the ‘mat’ finish is Not shiny compared to others ...S

IMG_2157.jpg



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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
IMG_2158.jpg


Pic yes...btw, this was just FYI ... S


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Always interesting to see an extract from the Archives. This one dates the movement production to June 1935. Fits quite well with possible production of the finished watch in 1936.
 

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Great research as always! Congratulation on the vintage Pilot!

Mine is an earlier example: case 8066xxx movement 2462xxx. Cal 15'". Chrome-plated case, dated cca 1920 (almost identical to the one in Rössler page 132). I love the loud ticking of it! :)

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