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I posted this in the Zenith section and they recommended I try here.

Where would everyone recommend I get this watch fixed? The watch functions, although the stem is broken and the large second hand-chronograph resets to 11:55 instead of 12. I'm sure it could use a service after an unknown amount of years of sitting in a drawer. I'm located in Los Angeles, although I'd be happy to ship it somewhere reputable. Any opinion would be greatly appreciated, thanks

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Fantastic looking watch and well worth spending the money to get it fully serviced. I've been reading about a one-man shop called "Chronodeco" who seems to be fairly highly thought of. He's in Oregon. I too live in Los Angeles and I can't think of anyone I'd recommend to service any watch. Everyone I used is out of business and I don't trust the ones I have used or that I've spoken with. Possibly downtown in the jewelry district, but that's hit-or-miss unless you already know someone.
 

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After an unknown amount of years in a drawer, it shouldn't even be wound before the movement gets properly serviced.
Chronodeco was quite often mentioned here, and the opinions were usually good. He shouldn't have a problem with an El Primero, as he seems to be focused mainly on chronographs (except, as he states on his website, ones by Pierce).
Generally, when choosing a place to have the watch serviced, you need to avoid three types of people, who deal with watches, but do that badly:
1. Jewellers- they're going to do it badly, possibly pull of some shenanigans with swapping the movement or whatnot, and then charge you the worth of a new Zenith El Primero.
2. Battery swappers at a shopping centre- they don't really do anything else than swap batteries in quartz watches, so trusting them with repairing a mechanical watch- let alone a chronograph- is out of question.
3. The manufacturer's service centre or sending the watch over to the manufacturer- they usually hold authenticity and the original condition of vintage watches in astonishingly low regards. They swap out what doesn't need swapping, polish what doesn't need polishing, and then charge a price acceptable only to some petroleum sheikh. Omega's service centres don't exactly enjoy a good reputation when it comes to handling vintage watches, and sending one over to Bienne is the best way to ruin a watch. Dunno how about Zenith, but given that buffing out the case appears to be a part of the basic service as described on the Zenith website, I wouldn't let them handle my '48 cal. 126-5.
 

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If you dont want to send it to Zenith direct due to cost, I would try Al of Archers ArcherWatches.ca he does a lot of Omegas but also does other makes except JLC due cant buy parts off them. People from all over the world sends watches to him but you may need to wait.
 

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I would second that- seen some of Al's work over on the Omega forum.
 

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I just have to say that is a beautiful watch. I really need to get a Zenith in the rotation.
Who doesn't? A great brand, I'm really happy with my two Zeniths with calibres 126-5 and 2542. With the El Primero, it's getting more and more difficult, the fleecers at Hodinkee are unfortunately hyping them just now. First, an El Primero being sold at a little more than the Chrono24 average from a year, two or three ago at an auction (where prices are higher than the Bay or C24) was called a bargain, and now they've sold an A386 for three-four times that price. The original A384, A386 and A385 were already targeted by these... ehhh, that's where the manners come in, there's just no polite term that describes them adequately. That leaves the rest of the 1970s El Primeros, which haven't yet been hyped to that price level, but it's just a matter of time.
 

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You almost have to go non-Zenith (Movado, etc.) to find a decent price on a chronograph with an El Primero (or should that be El Tres-ero?) movement.
 

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I love complicated movements, but for some reason I don't wear them as often. When I pick up a Zenith it will probably be of the 3 hand variety. Both my wife, and my wallet will appreciate that. :)
 

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There are many Zenith El Primero's including models that are less sought after and which are therefore available for a very reasonable price.

And even the nicer and more costly models among the El Primero's, say a Zenith Rainbow El Primero: if you compare these with the Rolex Daytona's with El Primero movement, you will find the original Zenith El Primero's are great value.
 

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I agree, the El Primero is still today a fantastic value in many models.

I have been fortunate enough to to own a Siffert Heuer Autavia, a Longines 13ZN, a Mido Multicenter Chrono, and an Omega Speedmaster. These watches are all amazing and I would rank all right up there with the El Primero.

For myself, I find that I don't wear the chronos. Therefore I try to focus on less complicated watches.

The watch that is the subject of this thread is gorgeous and I certainly would not hesitate to recommend the El Primero to anyone looking for a quality vintage chrono.
 

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Please do share the make and model(s) of the reasonably priced watches with El Primero movements! I've only recently realized I may be able to afford one of these off brands, but I don't have a list to work with in my search. I know of Movado and one other that escapes my mind right now, but please do elaborate.

There are many Zenith El Primero's including models that are less sought after and which are therefore available for a very reasonable price.

...
 

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Please do share the make and model(s) of the reasonably priced watches with El Primero movements! I've only recently realized I may be able to afford one of these off brands, but I don't have a list to work with in my search. I know of Movado and one other that escapes my mind right now, but please do elaborate.
Just keep looking for 'Zenith El Primero', that should be enough. Many of these have model numbers but it is rather pointless to look for a model number. 'Zenith El Primero' is enough. Don't settle for anything less either.
 

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Please do share the make and model(s) of the reasonably priced watches with El Primero movements! I've only recently realized I may be able to afford one of these off brands, but I don't have a list to work with in my search. I know of Movado and one other that escapes my mind right now, but please do elaborate.
The 90s models. Like the Prime. I have seen those go for just slightly above £1000. Movement finishing is rudimentary but a steal for such a fantastic movement. Has a sapphire caseback as well which is quite uncommon for 90s watches


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Please do share the make and model(s) of the reasonably priced watches with El Primero movements! I've only recently realized I may be able to afford one of these off brands, but I don't have a list to work with in my search. I know of Movado and one other that escapes my mind right now, but please do elaborate.
Ebel also used the Elprimero and they also had their own in house chronograph and I believe Ulysse Nardin uses that movement now.


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Haven't heard of UN using the El Primero. TAG Heuer uses it as the cal. 36, but since THs with the El Primero are quite recent, the pre-owned pieces have hardly lost enough value to be anything close to "affordable" or "reasonably priced".
Guess that leaves only some of the 1970s Zenith and Movado models, which so far stay under the radar.
 

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Haven't heard of UN using the El Primero. TAG Heuer uses it as the cal. 36, but since THs with the El Primero are quite recent, the pre-owned pieces have hardly lost enough value to be anything close to "affordable" or "reasonably priced".
Guess that leaves only some of the 1970s Zenith and Movado models, which so far stay under the radar.

yup UN didn't use the Elprimero, I was actually referring to UN buying over Ebel's In house caliber 137 chronograph.

The Ebel Elprimero doesn't cost too much as well, but personally,I don't find it to be an attractive looking watch at all :/
 
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