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Discussion Starter #1
So I received another vintage Zenith yesterday, bought on an auction site. It is marked 220 S. Does anyone know anything about this or similar models? I recall seeing a 120 V somewhere for example.

Anyways, it has a clean looking caliber 2531 (early 1960's?) manual movement ticking away with 21 600 vph. It keeps time almost perfect so far. I like the style of the numerals.
 

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Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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Congratulations - nice model! Serial number looks like 57XXXXX which places it closer to the mid-sixties. Don't know much about the 220 S model - shows that it's about time I got that new Zenith book, I suppose.....

Hartmut Richter
 

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Thanks! Movement serial is 5725615, case 131A212.

I did a bit of googling. It seems as if 230 S, 240 S and 250 S had the same style case, but different variations of caliber 2532 inside (central seconds). Mid 60's feels a bit late for a sub second dial, which might explain why this certain model is less common? I'm only speculating here!
 

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The 25xy series had several versions, including the 25xy P (automatic), 25xy C (with date) and 25xy PC (automatic with date). The x has more to do with the speed (18000 A/h to 28800 A/h) whereas the y might be 0 for no second hand at all, 1 for small second hand at 6:00 and 2 for central second hand. If you study the relevant pages in Ranfft's pink pages, you can see that the basic structure was always the same so all these were variations on a theme. In other words, it was no big deal making all of them depending on market demand. Subsecond hands never went fully out of fashion so it isn't surprising that Zenith made at least the Cal. 253y in the 2531 version - as well as the 2511 and 2521 which is what you have here. The 2531 was made from 1964 to 1967 according to Ranfft so mid-sixties is quite possible.

One should also add that the fifties Zenith movements (e.g. Cal. 106 or 126) had direct subseconds whereas the 25x1 movements had indirect subseconds. This shows the shifting emphasis to a central second hand - the "main version" was always designed with a direct central second hand. It should perhaps be added further that Zenith are actually the inventors of the direct central second hand (Cal. 133).

Hartmut Richter
 

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I've used the watch daily for a week now and it keeps time remarkably well. It has only lost eight seconds in six days! This makes it the most accurate watch in my little collection.
Well, is it any wonder in view of the fact that Zenith won 1565 prizes for accuracy in the category wrist and pocket watches?!

In case anyone wonders, sometimes the question comes up who came second in that list. Omega is second with 785 prizes, Longines comes in third with 717. No mention of the big "R" here. So, Zenith has narrowly managed to beat second and third put together!!

Hartmut Richter
 
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