WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner
1 - 20 of 54 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,929 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After I had experienced the fine chronometer quality of the A277 chronograph (with cal. 146 HP), it didn't take much time for me to fall for another 'early' Zenith chronograph, now with cal. 146 DP.

The difference between cal. 146 H and cal. 146 D : the first is a 'triple register chronograph' which has 30 minute and 12 hour counter, whereas the second is a 'double register' chronograph which has a 45 minute counter
(except the Cairelli CP 2 where the cal. 146 DP is executed with a 30 minute counter).

These are some snapshots in poor light but it will give an idea I hope

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Material property
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Strap
Watch Watch accessory Analog watch Silver Strap

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Material property

(this is a movement pic by the seller)
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Strap Fashion accessory


The crystal is in a used condition, with a small crack at 6 o'clock. I polished it a little and maybe will wait to change it until the watch needs a complete service. What do you guys think?

The last pic shows (on the left) a NOS Zenith 19 mm strap which I bought for it as an extra. (In the meantime I had already put it on another plain vintage 19 mm black leather strap, which probably also resembles the original).

The size of the watch is +- 38 mm without crown. It has 19 mm lugsize.

The movement and white dial and case in good condition, the lovely red second hand, the serial number close in range to the SN of my A386, these aspects and details easily sold it to me.

In the meantime I noticed some more finesses such as the different positioning of the numbers in the subdials.

Watch Number


Just like its bigger brother, A277 cal. 146 HP, it winds very smoothly and works very well and keeps excellent time, with a power reserve of ca. 41 hours.

It seems to me there isn't much known about these 'early' Zenith chronographs: not about the movement, nor about the different models.

Ranfft even hasn't got the caliber 146 in his list.

A few different models can be found on the internet, but I couldn't find an exact same one. One which resembles it best is its black & white dial sister watch on a French forum : zenith 146 DP (scroll down to see the pics of the watch I mean) : the same style of hour markers, same style of second hand (in a different colour) and a serial number that is very close.

Roessler also has a few entries and some information. He mentions in his caliber list that the 'P' version of cal. 146 introduced some small changes ("flat coil, shockproofing") and was executed in 1969.

More information could be found on the net about the Zenith Cairelli C.P.2, which has the same movement (except that it uses a 30-minute counter).
On a Swiss German forum ( • Thema anzeigen - Wohl eine der schönsten Zenith´s ) I found it confirmed that the 146 P movements for the Cairelli were made in 1969 (the dials for the Cairelli were apparently made later, in 1970). I quote :
"146H = Stundenzähler
146D = 45-Minuten-Zähler
146P bzw. 146DP = (Plat) Flachspirale ohne Spiralklötzchen, Glucydurunruh, Kif-Stoßsicherung,19800 a/h, 17 Steine,

Die Zifferblätter des Chronos kamen vom Fournisseur Lindner, bei dem Zenith am 11. März 1970 2500 Zifferblätter bestellte. Zenith selbst bestätigt, dass es von der Uhr max. 2500 Exemplare gegeben hat.
Das Gehäuse aus Edelstahl mit Schraubboden, Hesalithglas, Aluminium-Drehlünette,wassergeschützt,Weicheisen-Innengehäuse
Die Werke wurden wohl 1969 und die Gehäuse 1970 produziert. "

According to this post, the movements (cal 146 DP for the Cairelli's) were made in 1969, the dials for the Cairelli's were ordered by Zenith on 11 March 1970 from their supplier Lindner.

This concerns the Cairelli CP 2, but it indirectly seems to confirm what Roessler's mentions in his caliber list, that the change of cal 146... to cal 146 ...P dates to 1969 (and involved changes in the shockproofing and a flatter coil).

About the catalog reference... There aren't so many vintage catalogs available...
Based on my little research I would conclude that the catalog reference for this watch probably was A271. I found an earlier version (in the catalog ca. 1965) which had the ref. A2.71.
Some details such as the hour markers and the style of second hand and the lugsize, even the case size, may have changed over the years, but IMHO it could be that the main reference remained unchanged for the next five or seven years. Only the '.' was usually left out later, so A2.71 became A271.

As was the system in those days : A (for a steel case), 2 (for a waterresistant case), 7 (for a chronograph movement). The last number further defines the model (dial style, two or three subregisters etc).

To conclude, I would estimate this version dates to 1969. If it is correct that the movement cal. 146 DP was only made in 1969 (I think this is an interesting piece of information which is probably correct) that definitely would date it to 1969. Based on the serial number 384D358, I would also date it to 1969.

Naturally if anybody has any more information or catalog pics to share this would be very welcome.

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Metal Silver
 

·
Zenith Forum Co-moderator
Joined
·
20,347 Posts
Very nice watch and good write up. Thank you for that. I am not sure whether the red second hand is original - I have never seen one like that. It is more characteristic of 1950s chronographs in general. The model looks like one from the early to mid sixties otherwise (for technical reasons, no access to my Rössler, at present, I'm afraid so I can't dig up the reference number).....

Hartmut Richter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,878 Posts
Nice! The movement looks great too. I recently found this out, don't know if it's common knowledge: the minute subdial has divisions lines at 3 minutes each, for timing long distance phone calls. When this watch was made, it was common for phone companies to charge in blocks of 3 minutes each.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
665 Posts
Nice! The movement looks great too. I recently found this out, don't know if it's common knowledge: the minute subdial has divisions lines at 3 minutes each, for timing long distance phone calls. When this watch was made, it was common for phone companies to charge in blocks of 3 minutes each.
Dan is right about the long-distance charge timing feature - and the 45-minute standard for the minute sub-dial was, of course, to permit a referee to time the half in a football (soccer) game. One presumes that Signore A. Cairelli was not a fan!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,929 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks for such an informative post!

Dan
Thanks Dan. Since I did some research and had to piece some bits of information together from various sources, I thought it useful to share the results straight away.
Originally Posted by DragonDan
Nice! The movement looks great too. I recently found this out, don't know if it's common knowledge: the minute subdial has divisions lines at 3 minutes each, for timing long distance phone calls. When this watch was made, it was common for phone companies to charge in blocks of 3 minutes each.

Dan is right about the long-distance charge timing feature - and the 45-minute standard for the minute sub-dial was, of course, to permit a referee to time the half in a football (soccer) game. One presumes that Signore A. Cairelli was not a fan!
Thanks DragonDan and John Chris. Yes I'd say it is fairly common knowledge among watch lovers that the division lines of 3 minutes were useful in the past when making phone calls. I find those division lines anyway a nice detail, that adds to the legibility of the minute counter. (Quite different from the modern design : compare the much discussed minute counter in the modern El Primero line, where instead of enhancing the legibility, they have obliterated some of the minute divisions).

It is a 45 minutes counter instead of the more common 30 minute counter : yes, could be useful for soccer; but it makes sense anyway that if you don't have an hour counter, you can at least have a longer minute counter. It allows to time periods that are 50 % longer than with the ordinary 30 minute counter.

Very nice watch and good write up. Thank you for that. I am not sure whether the red second hand is original - I have never seen one like that. It is more characteristic of 1950s chronographs in general. The model looks like one from the early to mid sixties otherwise (for technical reasons, no access to my Rössler, at present, I'm afraid so I can't dig up the reference number).....

Hartmut Richter
Thank you Hartmut.
Yes the red second hand is rare, but original. You can see the same style of second hand in its sister watch with black and white dial, on the French forum. I will show a pic extract here : look at the lower part of the second hand and you will see it is the same style :

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery


Apparently Zenith regularly changed the second hands they used for the same chronograph model. Even the small hands in the subdials can be different sometimes : gold, blued, black.... You can observe for instance the A277 with different chronograph second hands and different hands in the subdials. Whereas the same models were produced for several years, each production batch during the years may have received their own style chronograph hands.

It is true that a red second hand would not have been unusual for the 1950's either. But Zenith also used red chronograph hands around 1970, e.g. the early El Primero's have red second hands. You can also see for instance Heuer Camaro's from around 1968-69 with several different colours such as orange chronograph second hands, or Heuer Carrera's in the early '70's with red or orange second hands. The sporty red chronograph hand was popular in those days; it still is even today.

It is also true that this model looks like 60's. The exact same style existed already around 1965 : same dial and case. But apparently it still had a smaller diameter in 1965 : 35 mm. And there are slight differences in the dial : the hour markers are different, and the chronograph hand. See catalog pic below.

People often tend to date these early handwound chronographs to the 1950's, forgetting that Zenith probably made more of these during the 1960's and continued making them until ca. 1970.

By the end of the '60s, Zenith still produced the same style of classical handwound chronograph and also added several colourful variants : you can find the same model with a completely black dial, or a black dial with white subdials; and in the gold and goldplated versions there is a gold dial with black subdials and a black dial with gold subdials. It was common in the late '60s to have a greater variety of different dials for the same watch. (And besides the dials, they could also swap the chronograph second hand, to bring about a small but significant change.)

The style of hour markers as seen in my watch was apparently used around 1969-70. You can see the same style of hour markers in the watch with black and white dial, shown above; and also in the two watches in Roessler on p. 228-229, where he shows a similar couple : one with white dial and one with black and white dial. The white dial is exactly the same as my watch, except for a higher SN and a different chronograph second hand. I would date that one to the end of 1969 or early 1970. Roessler dates both 'about 1960' : if you interpret that as '1960's' it is correct, but to be more accurate they were made in 1969-70. Their serial numbers 384D... and 812D... place them in the 1969-1970 period. Remember that the first El Primero's from 1969 had serial numbers starting with 4..D... and 5..D. At the most I'd say a Zenith with serial number starting 384D... could have been produced in late 1968, but not before 1968. And here 1969 is more likely than 1968, since Roessler mentions in his Early Chronographs Caliber list (on p.210) that caliber 146 P dates to 1969.

Roessler doesn't show reference numbers for the early chronographs. He doesn't give an overview of models, he shows a (more or less chronological) mix of samples.
Oddly, for the one sample with white dial on p. 228, he does mention a reference : "1305 HU", which however IMO was not a normal Zenith reference code. That may have been a reference used by a Zenith subsidiary in some other country ? (compare with references which can be seen in old Italian advertisements for early Zenith Defy's and which are completely different from the references used by Zenith Switzerland). The normal Zenith reference would have been A271 (or at least another number in the 27x line). Here is an example from ca. 1965 :
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Still life photography
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,759 Posts
Nice presentation, and a pretty watch, as all are the 146s. I have yet to understand how many variations of this watch really exist - I've counted twelve major dial-case variations, taking into account all case materials (18K, plated, stainless), both two and three subdials and both square and mushroom pushers, but not minor variations in hour markers and the like. Obviously, a whole field for collecting here. I agree with you that A 271 is the correct reference number for this model, and about their being minor variations in hour markers among these two register silver dial steel versions. In my observation, however, handsets fall pretty cleanly into two groups. One has simple stick hands without luminescence, and these are matched with blue steel chronograph second hand and subdial hands. The second has the more elaborate hands of yours, with painted strip down the middle. These have a chronograph second hand with a lancette tip.

Examples:
Stick hands (pic from around the web)


Fancy hands (pic from around the web)



Numerous examples of the "fancy hands" in Roessler, including a white on black two register a mere 350 case numbers away from yours (p229). I must say, you are far closer on the dating that Roessler.

I have not seen a red hand on any 146 other than yours, and I have not seen a hand with an "olive" at the short end on any watch other than yours and the grey dial one you show. I'm with Hartmut in that I have my doubts about whether they are original. I'm always prepared to be educated otherwise.

I leave you with a few more catalog shots
from a 1966 catalog - Zenith must have revised its reference system about twice a month in the 1960s

From the 1970 catalog, a three register version
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
773 Posts
I was taught in watch school that only 1 in 10 watches that are tested for "chronometer statis" pass. I have tried it on two occaisons with an egg incubater and a US Navy clock. This test takes 2 weeks and my best Rolex service and precision timeing of the watch(took an hour) they both failed. It is not easy and the school is right on that one. It wasnt my actual work it was the watches. Did you know that after you send a Rolex back to the mother ship for a service it is not a chronometer anymore? Rolex does not retest your watch for that. I almost fell of my watchmaker stool when i found this out from my instructor who had worked for Rolex for 17 years. 31
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,929 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks 31 Jewels.

Thanks Lou. Yes there must have been at least twelve variations, especially near the end in 1969-70 there seems to have been quite a range of handwound Zenith chronographs.

Those what you call fancy hands IMO are typical only for the gold and goldplatedwatches with yellow dials. I think those were only made around 1969-70, therefore with a cal. 146 P.



|> I didn't remember you had this perfect sample, did you show that before ? If I'm correct it has a cal. 146 DP and a 1969-70 S/N?

Limiting the handsets used by Zenith chronographs to two groups only, one with straight hands and one with fancy hands, is not correct IMO. The fancy hand seen above is more of a rarity, used for the gold(plated) chronographs of 1970. Interestingly, Zenith used a similar 'fancy' hand again for the 1990 Zenith El Primero Defy, which also had gold colour in the dials. Fancy hand goes well with the gold.

Watch Watch accessory Analog watch Fashion accessory Material property


Straight hands are common for the mid 60's; but olive hands were also used in the beginning of 1969, as has already been demonstrated by two examples.

And besides there were more types of hands, for instance this with a white paddle, used for the A277 with cal. 146 HP:

Analog watch Watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Brown


There are also a few examples where you can see that they tried the fancy second hand for the steel cased chronographs. I find that with the black and white dial the fancy hand goes quite well, but with the white dial I don't find it a good marriage. The classic white dial needs a classic hand, not a fancy hand! I don't think you will find many white dials with that fancy hand. The one in Roessler is the only one I've seen so far.

I will admit that the red second hand on mine must be rare. But what I don't understand so well is that you still have doubts even after seeing a second example of a chronograph of the same batch (384Dxxx) with the same style of second hand !

Are you just teasing and provoking me ? Do you only have doubts about the second hand on my watch or also about the one on the French forum ?
:think:

I don't know about you guys, but I doubt that I would have bought the watch if it had a fancy hand !

Anyway thanks for the challenge, so I looked into it a little further still.

Hands with straight ends were used often in the 1950's and 1960's and can be seen among several examples in Roessler.

But even more numerous in the history of Zenith chronographs are those with an 'olive' at the short end : they can be found in many of Roessler's samples of early Zenith chronographs over the decades, even going back as far as the 1920's!

The "olive" at the short end of the chronograph hand appears to be a Zenith classic in their chronographs !

Will you at least accept that the many Zenith chronographs with the olive at the short end of the chronograph second hand, as shown by Roessler, are all original ?

Something else : am I correct if I conclude that one and the same Martel Chronograph caliber was responsible for all the famous Universal Geneve and Zenith chronographs from the 1930's until the 1970's. As far as I understand they remained basically identical since the 1930's. Caliber 126, 136, 146, 156, 166 for Zenith : only small differences (in the size).

And since it was Martel who made the chronographs for Universal Geneve, it must have been Martel who invented the chronograph with two pushers , which was launched by Universal Geneve in 1932?

And as we already know it was again Martel who invented the first automatic chronograph, launched by Zenith in 1969. Only this time, Martel was fully owned by Zenith.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,929 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks Hartmut. That is already something. Personally I don't see any trace of it being repainted. I believe I would be able to see the difference if it was repainted : somehow the paint would make it thicker.
And then, what would the original colour have been ? Metallic blue ? Metal hands are not easy to repaint. And why would anyone have repainted it ? I don't see a possible motivation, if the hand was original blue, why anyone would wish to repaint it in red. No, I think it is original like that, colour and all, from the beginning. Either that, or the hand is not original at all. But since it is a perfect fit ànd having seen the same style hand on a chronograph of the same production batch, I am sure that it is 100 % original.

Time will tell. Sooner or later we will see more of these and learn more.

Thanks for the extra info. I am convinced that the red seconds hand is original to the watch, but I am stlll not quite convinced that it was red when it left the factory.....;-)

Hartmut Richter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,759 Posts
Well, I can see that was tactless here. I did not intend to annoy you. Let me try to articulate my method so that you can see at least that my comments were not arbitrary. Much of this is common sense, but perhaps it will be useful to make it explicit.

In determining authenticity, especially in scarce models, I rank a set of criteria. From least convincing to most, they are
1. context/provenance - does the watch come from a reputable source or a noted franken-meister? This is the least convincing because even the sincere seller may make an error, and even franken-meisters occasionally have the genuiine article. Does the watch come with box and papers, so-called NOS? Again, susceptible to manipulation, and doesn't really preclude substitutions.
2. a sighting of a similar watch
3. photodocumentation of a similar watch
4. photodocumentation of multiple similar watches, the more the better
5. homogeneity in the given feature among the majority of watches documented. The greater the percentage of watches with the feature in the population documented, the more convincing
6. images in company literature contemporaneous with the model - advertising, catalogs, illustrations from technical manuals. 'Contemporaneous' is optimal because companies are not necessarily aware or scrupulous about their own history. I remember Zenith itself exhibiting an A 386 with a service dial on their stand as an original at a show in NY in 2011.
7. homogeneity in the given company material regarding the feature in question

It should be apparent that the system tends to favor homogeneity, and may dismiss extremely rare variations as frankens.

Let's recall how this has played out in some recent discussions:
Case A. I recently maintained that the lume paddle in all 'Miura'-case Defys had colored lume based on my observations - that's a Level 5 for me. My observations were not homogeneous, however, but I dismissed this as lume replacement over the years. You produced company literature to the contrary. That's a Level 6 (but not 7, as most of the literature has colored lume paddles). I am now convinced you are right.
Case B. You recently maintained that a plain red-dialed Defy without shading to black at the rim and with painted instead of applied star might be an authentic variant. There was no evidence in support of this according to my little scheme. It was sold my a franken-meister (Level 1), and in addition the preponderance of differences were technically easier to execute than the established normal (not a consideration on my list, but an important modifier in the absence of higher-level evidence). I believe you agreed that significant doubts about authenticity were reasonable.

OK, so why did I say what I said about the second sweeper on your watch?

You offered Level 3 evidence regarding the authenticity of the olive-tipped hand (let's leave color out of it for the moment) - one other watch like it. I went to my photo library and found 32 watches in the same case (simple round case with straight "stick" lugs, both SS and 18K included). One (the same 2 dial white-on-anthracite one you show) had an olive-tipped sweeper, 19 had stick hands and 12 had "fancy" hands. Let's suppose that we want to be strict, and only consider stainless steel two-register mushroom pusher models - then the count is 1 olive-tipped, 10 stick hands and 3 fancy hands. Let's be even more strict and look at silver dial 2 register steel models with mushroom pushers: 7 stick hands, nothing else. So that is Level 5, and for me to a pretty convincing degree. In fact, I suspect that this actually underestimates the oddity of the olive hand, as I do not keep adding to my photo data endlessly once the details of a particular watch are established - I only add unusual pieces after a point.

Then I went to the literature. I have three catalog images with similar watches - the one you shows (A 2.71) and the two I showed above - all stick hands. So now, uniform Level 7, with consistent level 5. My conclusion was that the olive-tipped hand has a substantial chance of not being authentic.

Now, I've presented a thought process here systematically that in reality happens in a more organic fluid way. I am curious to hear reactions from the forum, both to correct errors and mistaken assumptions, and also perhaps to make it a little more sophisticated.

To address some of the further points you raise:
The fancy hand seen above is more of a rarity, used for the gold(plated) chronographs of 1970. Straight hands are common for the mid 60's
I believe you are correct about the fancy hands being used predominantly in the gold and gold plated models. The big exception is the white-on-anthracite two-register steel.

And besides there were more types of hands, for instance this with a white paddle, used for the A277 with cal. 146 HP: View attachment 645413
As this is a significantly different model, I don't think it is relevant here. One might as well bring the Cairelli into the discussion. I certainly do not maintain Zenith used the same second sweeper across all models with cal 146.

Do you only have doubts about the second hand on my watch or also about the one on the French forum ?
I doubt the other one as well, on the same grounds presented above

But even more numerous in the history of Zenith chronographs are those with an 'olive' at the short end : they can be found in many of Roessler's samples of early Zenith chronographs over the decades, even going back as far as the 1920's! The "olive" at the short end of the chronograph hand appears to be a Zenith classic in their chronographs !Will you at least accept that the many Zenith chronographs with the olive at the short end of the chronograph second hand, as shown by Roessler, are all original ?
Well, that's a little misleading. To the extent that these pre-1960 chronographs were original, they were original Universal Geneves and Gallets, not Zeniths. These manufactures supplied chronographs - not just engines - but whole, complete chronographs to Zenith. In the case of UG at least, Pietro Sala has documented this very well in his book. The olive hand in particular is very popular at UG, who used it all the way up to the death of the Tri-Compax in the 1970s. In any case, it is not such an exotic shape that it is wholly characteristic for any manufacturer. IN fact, I think its wide availability is one factor that favors substitution - it was simply easily available to watchmakers to plunk in.

Something else : am I correct if I conclude that one and the same Martel Chronograph caliber was responsible for all the famous Universal Geneve and Zenith chronographs from the 1930's until the 1970's. As far as I understand they remained basically identical since the 1930's. Caliber 126, 136, 146, 156, 166 for Zenith : only small differences (in the size). And since it was Martel who made the chronographs for Universal Geneve, it must have been Martel who invented the chronograph with two pushers , which was launched by Universal Geneve in 1932?.
That may well be correct about the calibers. UG used 285 (Zenith 146) as one of their basic tractors for that period of time, and my understanding is that their cals 281, 283, 287 and 292 were basically scaled versions of the same movement, at 12.25, 13, 14.5 and 15.5 lignes respectively. It could not have been Martel who created the two pusher chrono however, as Martel was only created in 1941 to meet increased demand that UG was unable to accomodate in its Geneva works. Martel was entirely a creation of UG in the same way that EP was created by Gallet.

In any case, regarding the main point, the subject remains open as far as I am concerned - I am always ready to be convinced by new evidence. And I freely admit that I am fairly strict in my application of criteria for authenticity. I do that because I hold authenticity to be important, not out of any desire to annoy. So, again, I'm sorry for the clumsiness of my remarks and I hope you will accept their sincerity as a mitigating factor.
 

·
Zenith Forum Co-moderator
Joined
·
20,347 Posts
Brunner/Pfeiffer-Belli in their book of wrist watches state in the overall chronology that the two-pusher chronograph was developed in 1934 by Breitling. Since they only used generic movements, it must have been an improvement of an existing calibre. They mainly used Venus calibres, maybe it was one of them. According to Ranfft, the Valjoux 22 had a two-pusher version from 1936, the Valjoux 23 from 1938 onwards so it looks as if it was neither of those two. I should also add that I have seen no verification of the Breitling claim elsewhere - not even in the general section on Breitling in the same book! Anyone else with more info?!

Hartmut Richter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,929 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
All right Lou, I will believe that you still have some doubts and maybe don't see it as clearly. I only hope that all these words will not be wasted, but that as a result we will all be changed, new men.

First of all may I say that your reasoning reminded me of that man who had calculated that a river was on average only 5 cm deep. So he wanted to wade through,…but drowned.


But I like your scientific approach and these are shared criteria, only we should perhaps discuss the right order of the criteria.

1. Regarding the source, where I got the watch from. Good criterium.


The watch came from a reliable source, a seller in France who occasionally sells fine watches such as Jaeger leCoultre among other trinkets.As a source I would rate it A+, just below a watch coming from its first owner (now you got me thinking in levels here :-d).

2. Opinion of a professional watchmaker : this could also be added as a criterium. The reset of the chronograph second hand was half a second off. The watchmaker fixed it and when he gave it back I specifically asked him if he had any remarks about the second hand. No, he said, it just needed realignment. It is not a final proof but it helps!

3. We have found two similar steel watches - cal 146DP chronographs, made in the same period, presumably first half of 1969, possibly made during the same week or month, since they are from the same production batch. And both have the olive hand : as proof of authenticity for the olive hand, I find that very convincing. I would say : this is enough, say no more. Let's get on with our business.
But you still have some doubts, you say this is only 'a level 3' proof.
On the contrary, here I should express doubts about your order of criteria. You are rating catalog pics - even those from a different period (1965-66) - higher than two corresponding actual watches from 1969. But wouldn't you agree that those catalog pics from 1965 don't apply to a watch from 1969?

Remember the discussion about the 1969 Defy second hand. You said: 'orange hands only are correct'. Now you admit that you were relying too much on incomplete documentary evidence, instead of your own observations of the actual watches out there. But I think you should change and adapt the order of your criteria accordingly! The actual watches are more important than documentary evidence.

You can't deduct from the 1965-66 catalog that the same model in 1969 should have the same stick hand. This is not a 'level 7' evidence, on the contrary it has no meaning for a 1969 model .

In the known catalogs of the 1969-70 period there is no A271. The G171, its 18 k gold sister watch, is the closest match in the 1969 catalog. A classic two register chronograph with a silver dial (in a gold case with rectangular pushers instead of a waterproof steel case with round pushers). But the catalog pic is too small to tell what kind of hand it has. It could be an olive hand, but the catalog pic is too small to be certain. And when I searched the internet for a gold watch model G171 from 1969 (with cal.146 DP) I found a couple G171's …with fancy hands. Although in the catalog it is clearly not a fancy hand! Still those fancy hands for the G171's made in 1969 seem original. I think this proves again that we should rely on the actual watches, rather than on the incomplete evidence from catalog pics. Catalogs don't show all the watches nor all the variations that existed.

Your theory about 'stick hands only' doesn't explain the many fancy hands either.


You are right about the homogeneity of stick hands for Zenith chronographs during the earlier '60s. But we also know that in 1969 Zenith suddenly started using many different hands.
Therefore, in 1969 there was homogeneity in the fact that they used many different hands. Zenith suddenly used red hands, white hands, fancy hands, and olive hands.
1969 was quite different compared to the preceding '60s.


The same applies for your pics in your personal database, where you found 7 steel chronographs with silver dials with two registers, all with stick hands. Impressive database, but probably those watches are all pre-1969.

All of the 1960's Zenith chronographs before 1969 had stick hands. This doesn't mean that Zenith didn't use different hands in the last production year, 1969. On the contrary, it is clear that Zenith used several new hands in 1969.


I already mentioned the A277, as a proof by analogy. The A277's made before 1969 had stick hands, but in 1969 they got a new style chronograph hand (a beautiful white hand).

The G271's made before 1969 also had stick hands, but in 1969 they received a new style chronograph hand (a fancy hand).

Since it happened with at least two other models (and several more, probably), why shouldn't it have happened with the A271 as well?

The A271's before 1969 had a stick hand, but in 1969 apparently two new styles of hands were used : olive hands and fancy hands.


I think I have made my point clear by now : though during most of the '60s Zenith only used stick hands, we can't ignore the fact that 1969 was different, and during 1969 probably only a minority of chronographs received stick hands. Taken into account the many examples of Zenith chronographs from 1969 with non-stick hands, we can also conclude there is homogeneity in the appearance of non-stick hands in 1969.

Now let's get on shall we… because there are some further points to address…

"It could not have been Martel who created the two pusher chrono, as Martel was only created in 1941 to meet increased demand that UG was unable to accomodate in its Geneva works. Martel was entirely a creation of UG in the same way that EP was created by Gallet."

But Excelsior Park was not created by Gallet. And Martel was not a creation by Universal.

Martel was an independent company, founded in 1911. I did some research and I think I found the origin of the mistake that Martel was founded in 1941. Probably somebody misunderstood something and then others started copying his mistake. I'm surprised that you picked this mistake up, although you could see in Roessler (and elsewhere) that Martel chronographs certainly existed already in the 1930's.

Now it doesn't matter who was the first to launch this mistake about Martel, but we should correct the mistake. Actually we should dedicate a thread with everything we know and can find in the honour of Martel watch co.

Here is a first draft :
A SHORT HISTORY OF MARTEL WATCH CO and ZENITH CHRONOGRAPHS
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,878 Posts
Excelsior Park was not created by Gallet.
While it may be true that Gallet didn't go out and create a movement company, Excelsior Park was in part financed by Gallet, and retained at least one person from Gallet personnel in its staff. EP was later absorbed back into Gallet circa 1983.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,929 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the information. As far as I understood the origins of Excelsior Park can be traced back to at least 1890 in Saint Imier, when it was called the Usine du Parc (Park factory).

See Page Modèles

According to what you can read on that page, it seems to me Gallet only got involved with Excelsior Park after 1938.

While it may be true that Gallet didn't go out and create a movement company, Excelsior Park was in part financed by Gallet, and retained at least one person from Gallet personnel in its staff. EP was later absorbed back into Gallet circa 1983.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,759 Posts


2. Opinion of a professional watchmaker : this could also be added as a criterium.

Good addition. I would not rate this particularly highly, though - your placement above provenance and below similar watches seems about right. One might argue less important than provenance depending on the watchmaker of course. Ask Hans Schrag (the man who owned the Heuer factory service concession in the United States) about a Heuer and I'll take that answer as second only to that of Jack Heuer himself.

Remember the discussion about the 1969 Defy second hand. You said: 'orange hands only are correct'. Now you admit that you were relying too much on incomplete documentary evidence, instead of your own observations of the actual watches out there. But I think you should change and adapt the order of your criteria accordingly! The actual watches are more important than documentary evidence.
Quite right about documentary evidence being undermined by its incomplete nature. However, when it is highly consistent with the evidence of the actual watches, then I begin to believe it.

In the known catalogs of the 1969-70 period there is no A271. The G171, its 18 k gold sister watch, is the closest match in the 1969 catalog. A classic two register chronograph with a silver dial (in a gold case with rectangular pushers instead of a waterproof steel case with round pushers).

I find this to be the more appropriate match, given your own observation that in general only gold watches were favored with 'fancy hands'



Your theory about 'stick hands only' doesn't explain the many fancy hands either.
Certainly it does, by letting the watches speak for themselves (level 5). There are enough 'fancy hands' watches, and they are consistent enough among models that it is clear to me that these are factory fittings.



All of the 1960's Zenith chronographs before 1969 had stick hands. This doesn't mean that Zenith didn't use different hands in the last production year, 1969. On the contrary, it is clear that Zenith used several new hands in 1969.
The case number data does not allow me to be so certain of the date, but I agree that the fancy hands appear to be a later offering over the production life of the 146 engined chronographs.


Since it happened with at least two other models (and several more, probably), why shouldn't it have happened with the A271 as well?

Well, simply because the available evidence suggests that it did not - that is the whole point of my post. One has only the available evidence to work from.

All right Lou, I will believe that you still have some doubts and maybe don't see it as clearly. I only hope that all these words will not be wasted, but that as a result we will all be changed, new men.

Well, I will be surprised to learn that either of us feels much need for change, but you will tell me if you are coming around!
:-d

Rest assured, I will continue looking for more evidence, as do all of us who contribute here. As you know from the past, I am not embarrassed to be proved wrong - gosh knows it has happened enough and I have no doubt it will happen plenty more in the future.
:)


About the Martel stuff, you will see my post on the appropriate thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,929 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Originally Posted by sempervivens
Since it happened with at least two other models (and several more, probably), why shouldn't it have happened with the A271 as well?


Well, simply because the available evidence suggests that it did not - that is the whole point of my post. One has only the available evidence to work from
What available evidence ? show me some evidence of an A271 from 1969 with stick hands : I have yet to see the first!

So far we have found only 4 steel chronographs from 1969 : two had fancy hands, and two had olive hands. ...enough evidence I'd say to conclude that they didn't make them with stick hands, but with fancy hands and olive hands.

And thanks for showing the A273 again, but how about showing us the G171 ?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,017 Posts
very interesting chrono:-! thanks for sharing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I'm trying to estimate the true resale liquid value (eBay) in USD of a Solid 18k Gold 146D (pretty sure it's a D, it has
dual registers with the 3 minute markers like the ones photoed here. Does anyone have any suggestions on
a close true market cash value (or a place to find SOLD prices online for the 146D) for a 9/10 condition solid 18k with leather
band in solid running condition?

Typically I use eBay sold data to develop real market value, but there just isn't any in the last 30 days to pull from.
If anyone has any place they can lookup or help me with a close estimate I'd appreciate it. Even "what would YOU pay
for such a watch" would be useful information.

Thanks again,
~WildIrishTime
 
1 - 20 of 54 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top