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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello All, I am new to this forum. I bought this watch from garage sale. It works perfectly besides its missing the top chronograph pusher cap, there is a tiny screw with threads which I can push to turn the chronograph on and off but the cap is missing. Looks like the cap will just screw on to this treaded screw. I looked at cousinsuk.com website but it is selling oem push screw with bolt! I am not sure what I need to buy! Any help will be appreciated. I am a amateur watch collector. Please let know where I can buy one. I want to buy only oem. I had sent this watch to zenith in New jersey and they sent it to Switzerland. I declined the service because they wanted to charge me 2200 USD and also change the hands of watch. I just got my watch back without service. I don't want to change the vintage look of it. Please look at the pictures of my watch. Thanks
 

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Well, if you want OEM you will have to spend the money, sorry. But in most cases, one cannot tell when a pusher has been replaced if the watchmaker does their job properly. It may require replacing both pushers to get them to match, but that is what needs to be done. Zenith has tightened up on its part distribution, so most people won't be able to get the OEM stuff done unless a watchmaker has squirreled away some parts. Please keep us posted! Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your response Dan. I own few high end watches but this is my first vintage watch. I was told that to keep the value up on this watch. I must not change the original vintage hands. Zenith was going to replace hands, both pushers, crown, crystal and major overhaul for 2200 USD. But I heared that will depreciate the value of this watch. I was offered 2000 for it on ebay as is but I decided not to sell it thinking it might be worth 6-8K, but I could be wrong. Do you think having Zenith replace the above parts and perform major overhaul on it will kill the "vintage" label of it! Thanks...
 

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Most luxory brands, like Zenith or Omega do not do partial repairs for the watch, if they see, it needs full service instead of just a pusher, crown or glass exchange. If they did it, everybody would replace only a crown at official service and go to a third party, non-official service for full job. So they did offer you a full job.
A pusher is sold as a one bloc, which holds the cap, the screw and the pusherbody. Inside of the pucherbody there are the gasgets that make the pusher waterproof. By now all the gasgets of 70's watch are gone and need to be replaced. That means the crown, 2 pushers, the caseback gasget and possibly the glass gasget.
A nice watch by the way. Concrats!
 

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Hello All, I am new to this forum. I bought this watch from garage sale. It works perfectly besides its missing the top chronograph pusher cap, there is a tiny screw with threads which I can push to turn the chronograph on and off but the cap is missing. Looks like the cap will just screw on to this treaded screw. I looked at cousinsuk.com website but it is selling oem push screw with bolt! I am not sure what I need to buy! Any help will be appreciated. I am a amateur watch collector. Please let know where I can buy one. I want to buy only oem. I had sent this watch to zenith in New jersey and they sent it to Switzerland. I declined the service because they wanted to charge me 2200 USD and also change the hands of watch. I just got my watch back without service. I don't want to change the vintage look of it. Please look at the pictures of my watch. Thanks
Welcome to the forum.

Nice one, Shiva, I like this model a lot and I get positive feedback each time I wear it.

IMHO you're right not to have it serviced by Zenith, because they overcharge for servicing vintage El Primero's. IMHO it should cost less to service a vintage, but Zenith Switzerland has the opposite tendency, since it seems they charge double or more for a vintage El Primero as compared to a non-vintage.

If they really wanted 2200 $ that is unheard of. Can you show us a scan of that quote? The previous record was a quote of 1459 $ for an A385 a few years back and I think that would have included a new dial, hands, crown and a strap. Now 2200 $ may be around the same as the value of the whole watch, since you said you had an offer of 2000 $ on ebay for the watch as is. And moreover I agree that changing the hands etc. may destroy the vintage look and feel of it.

Sorry I cannot help with the pusher, but I hope you will find a pusher from someone, somewhere, with some patience. If not, maybe you can buy a donor watch, sometimes this model or parts of it pop up for sale on ebay. It is not the rarest model, so with some patience you should get lucky sooner or later.

Do you have pictures of the bracelet? It looks like an interesting original bracelet.

Thanks for posting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello Semp, Thanks for the response..I wish I had kept the paper they sent me with 2200USD overhaul cost. Not not mention, I paid 75 bucks which I paid to NJ Zenith for shipping it to Switzerland and they kept my watch for almost 6 months. I just had my Daytona with zenith movement serviced at Rolex Service center and paid 1000 which included overhaul, new crystal, and new crown. I was very disappointed with dealing with Zenith for this vintage watch. They only communicated with me through paper mail no email. I agree with you, with some patience I might find the pusher. I am reluctant to spend 2200 dollars. I took this watch to the one and only zenith AD in Los Angeles they have onsite watch repair guy and offered generic pusher with service for 500 bucks. I declined because I was not convinced. I will take more pix of bracelet and post today. Band is also original Zenith.IF ANYONE KNOWS ANY WEBSITE WHERE I CAN BUY A PUSHER PLEASE.. PLEASE.. LET ME KNOW... Thanks
 

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Hello Semp, Thanks for the response..I wish I had kept the paper they sent me with 2200USD overhaul cost. Not not mention, I paid 75 bucks which I paid to NJ Zenith for shipping it to Switzerland and they kept my watch for almost 6 months. I just had my Daytona with zenith movement serviced at Rolex Service center and paid 1000 which included overhaul, new crystal, and new crown. I was very disappointed with dealing with Zenith for this vintage watch. They only communicated with me through paper mail no email. I agree with you, with some patience I might find the pusher. I am reluctant to spend 2200 dollars. I took this watch to the one and only zenith AD in Los Angeles they have onsite watch repair guy and offered generic pusher with service for 500 bucks. I declined because I was not convinced. I will take more pix of bracelet and post today. Band is also original Zenith.IF ANYONE KNOWS ANY WEBSITE WHERE I CAN BUY A PUSHER PLEASE.. PLEASE.. LET ME KNOW... Thanks
One of the main reasons why a brand like Rolex or Omega can be so successful, must be that at all times they offer a reliable service for a correct price.
Zenith Switzerland has been acting a little disoriented in recent years about the service to offer for vintage watches.
There shouldn't be so much difference between the 1974 Zenith El Primero or the 1994 Rolex Daytona; they're basically the same, so servicing the Zenith shouldn't cost more than the Rolex.
However the offer you got from the Zenith AD seems fair enough.
Looking forward to the piccies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
HI All, I just called Zenith Again, I verified how much they had quoted me to overhaul this watch. It is 2050 USD. I thought may be I miscalculated the currency exchange, but Unfortunately , I was right. It is insane for them to charge over 2 grand to service this watch. Please if anyone knows of any reputable watch repair guys for this zenith watch... I just had this watch opened up by an watchmaker near my house.. This watch has 3019 phc 31 jewels movement. The movement eventhough looks pretty but it is very dirty and and the gasket is totally worn. I assume that's why zenith is quoting me 2050 due to the the extent of work..but I could be wrong.. I have fell in love with this one despite the fact I own few high end watches.. but nothing like this one.. Now I am leaning towards sending it back to Zenith for the total work. Does anyone know if it would be cheaper if I send it directly to Switzerland for repair or it will be the same cost regardless if I send it to New Jersey Zenith or to Switzerland... Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: PLEASE HELP.. ZENITH EL PRIMERO 01.0210.415 vintage

HI.. All.. After doing intense search.. I was able to buy NOS OEM steel case, crystal, all new hands, new dial, new pushers and new crown. I won the auction on ebay for 700 USD. I am sure you guys must have heared of "Four Crown watch repair center" in los angeles, ca. These people were former employees of Rolex Service Center at Beverly Hills, Ca. Today, I took my zenith watch to them along with new parts I bought. They looked at the movement, and they showed me that its the same movement that was used inside Daytona before 2000. They told me that that they have overhauled hundreds of these movements in past 20 years. I googled them and I found nothing but positive reviews about these people on yelp and yellow pages. So they will over haul my watch and will basically transfer the overhauled movement into new case with new parts I gave them . All that for 700 bucks. I was quoted 2200 USD by Zenith of Swiss for the service of this watch. I bought the watch for 200 dollars from a garage sale and spend 1400 on it. Please advise me If my watch is worth what I am spending on it. I will post pixies once I get my watch back in few weeks....
 

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As you will be putting the watch in a new case, with new hands and a dial, you will have a frankenwatch. The watch will be worth what someone is willing to pay for it, whether that number is higher or lower than your investment. Had you restored it via Zenith, it would potentially be worth more, based on what they are going for. It is a tough call. But if you are happy with the watch and how it looks, you will have an El Primero at quite a bargain price. There is that! Please keep us posted. Dan
 

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As you will be putting the watch in a new case, with new hands and a dial, you will have a frankenwatch. The watch will be worth what someone is willing to pay for it, whether that number is higher or lower than your investment. Had you restored it via Zenith, it would potentially be worth more, based on what they are going for. It is a tough call. But if you are happy with the watch and how it looks, you will have an El Primero at quite a bargain price. There is that! Please keep us posted. Dan
I'm not so sure the result should qualify as a Franken watch, but I don't know if that's important in the discussion here.

Will the watch be worth 1600 dollar? Sure. A complete working 3019 PHC movement is usually priced around 1000 dollar, and that is without service. So just a serviced movement should be worth 1600 dollar.

Besides, you will still have extra, spare parts to sell: a crown, a pusher, a case, dial and hands, ...

Looking forward to the pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I thought frankenwatch would be the one which is chopped up with generic and oem parts in it! Even though I am giving it a major makeover, It will have 100% oem zenith parts. I basically wear my watches for a year or so then I sell them to get new one. That's how satisfy my cravings for watches. I was offered 2000 dollars for my watch on ebay in the condition shown in my pictures with missing pusher. I invested 1400 dollars in it thinking that if down the road I decide to sell it, it may bring me more profit. I will keep the old original dial, hands and case and I will sell them to the buyer of watch so if they desire they can revert back to the vintage parts. I am taking chances. I have noticed.. that mine is the only one for sale on any ebay site! No one seems to have this model for sale. I might just keep it due to the simplicity of it. I was under the impression that I might be able to sell it for 10k range due to rarity of it! That's why I decided to put 1400 in it. But I love this piece more than my Daytona, cartier roadster xl and montblanc timewalker........
 

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It's nice that you restored it with original parts, whereas you could have settled for a generic pusher.
It is a wonderful watch to wear, an unpresuming beauty, nothing hideous about it.
Only it is not that rare, there were 4000 made, so it is not rare.
 

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I thought frankenwatch would be the one which is chopped up with generic and oem parts in it! Even though I am giving it a major makeover, It will have 100% oem zenith parts. I basically wear my watches for a year or so then I sell them to get new one. That's how satisfy my cravings for watches. I was offered 2000 dollars for my watch on ebay in the condition shown in my pictures with missing pusher. I invested 1400 dollars in it thinking that if down the road I decide to sell it, it may bring me more profit. I will keep the old original dial, hands and case and I will sell them to the buyer of watch so if they desire they can revert back to the vintage parts. I am taking chances. I have noticed.. that mine is the only one for sale on any ebay site! No one seems to have this model for sale. I might just keep it due to the simplicity of it. I was under the impression that I might be able to sell it for 10k range due to rarity of it! That's why I decided to put 1400 in it. But I love this piece more than my Daytona, cartier roadster xl and montblanc timewalker........
Perehaps I was mistaken. In having read the thread, it seemed to me that the parts you had obtained, while Zenith parts, were not original to the model.

Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Dan
 

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Congratulations on the restoration! As others have mentioned already - it is not a rare Zenith model, but you love it and that's what matters in the end!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I was just curious.. the watch guy at fourcrownswatch.com looked at my watch and told me that the watch needs new balance wheel. I asked him if he will be able to get original zenith balance wheel for which I have to pay 57 dollars extra. He stated that this is same movement as rolex Daytona before 2000. And it is the same rolex balance wheel and it will fit. He also stated that you cant put just any generic balance wheel into the movement and they are exclusive to the movements.They do have an parts account with Rolex and they have serviced many daytonas which I have verified. I got couple of concerns: 1. My watch keeps perfect time with power reserve of 20 plus hours then why change balance wheel? Does anyone know if they can easily replace the original balance wheel with generic one! I rather have him rip me off for 57 dollars and just clean and put the same oem balance wheel back in the movement. Any input will be appreciated......
 

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I was just curious.. the watch guy at fourcrownswatch.com looked at my watch and told me that the watch needs new balance wheel. I asked him if he will be able to get original zenith balance wheel for which I have to pay 57 dollars extra. He stated that this is same movement as rolex Daytona before 2000. And it is the same rolex balance wheel and it will fit. He also stated that you cant put just any generic balance wheel into the movement and they are exclusive to the movements.They do have an parts account with Rolex and they have serviced many daytonas which I have verified. I got couple of concerns: 1. My watch keeps perfect time with power reserve of 20 plus hours then why change balance wheel? Does anyone know if they can easily replace the original balance wheel with generic one! I rather have him rip me off for 57 dollars and just clean and put the same oem balance wheel back in the movement. Any input will be appreciated......
Typically, you will need a new balance wheel when your watch does not work or does not keep consistent time through the positions. Since he brought it up, have him explain to you why it needs one. He should be able to explain it to you. Also, the EP beats at a faster rate than a Daytona. Ask him how that balance wheel is the same as an EP balance wheel. I don't know if there us a difference, but I would want to know. Cheers! Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
.. I just spoke to the watch repair shop regarding why they have to change balance wheel! He stated that he wants the watch to work for long time and he doesn't want me to bring it back after few weeks or few months saying its not working properly. Well, not quite the answer I was expecting. Next thing, I asked... Will they use Oem zenith balance wheel. He said" its the standard universal eta balance wheel " which zenith used initially. He told me that Zenith is company that utilizes eta parts in its movements!!!! I thought Zenith makes all the parts from scratch and don't use any of eta parts which are used in omega, longines, breitlings and so forth! Please shed some light on it.. Now I am getting worried. I don't want them to screw up my watch by mingeling eta parts in it. I think I should have sent my watch to Zenith Switzerland and should have paid 2100 USD for overhaul. But now its too late... Does anyone know if Zenith uses standard ETA parts such as Balance wheels, springs etc.... Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
...Sorry guys... After all the discussion.. He stated that its not the balance wheel..its the driving wheel.He may have to change.but not for sure. He said if its ok.. he will use the same one.......
 

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Zenith has told me that over 80% of its gears are made in house. The escapement, which includes the balance wheel, is made somewhere else. This should not be too surprising as these components are very specialized and only a few companies are able to make them. Cheers! Dan
 
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