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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody, I'm looking for some help identifying the movement of a 1950s (?) chronograph by Zodiac. I have the oportunity to buy it, but as I'm quite new to the horology world I (as well as the seller of the watch) have no idea of its engine. Every bit of information would be wellcome - opinions on the condition of the movement and the watch and its worthness also. Thanks in advance!
IMG-8774d8a4c7bbe397dc88b8a1c2f377e7-V.jpg IMG-8a2f64c7f1efb376549fe4395fe71553-V.jpg
 

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It's expensive to service/repair a chronograph, so IMO it doesn't make sense to invest that money in a piece that's in poor condition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
It's expensive to service/repair a chronograph, so IMO it doesn't make sense to invest that money in a piece that's in poor condition.
Yeah, I quit buying it. I was hoping to have something like a Lemania, Venus, or Valjoux inside - then probably I would have stepped in and buy it, but to my knowledge Landeron powered chronographs were the ''tourist's chronos'' of the day so not much value nor quality to be expected. Thanks again!
 

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Landeron movements are entry-level, and I'm not a particular fan, but there's nothing wrong with them per se. The bigger issue is that they were often used in low-end watches with poor-quality chrome or gold plating. If you can find a Landeron movement in a nice-sized stainless case for a good price, it would be a reasonable way to get into vintage chronographs. Venus 188 and Valjoux 773x based chronographs would also be a good alternative.

The bigger issue for me on that piece was the badly worn lugs. The plating was completely gone from the outside of the lugs. Just to be proactive here, you also want to avoid CHRONOGRAPHE SUISSE examples.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was interested in this piece for being a Zodiac and all the Zodiac chronographs from that vintage that I have seen were Venus, Valjoux or Lemania powered. As far as I know until the quartz crisis Zodiac was considered higher end brand - their Sea Wolf's one of the first purpose built dive watches in history, older than Rolex Sub and it seems their vintage chronographs represent a good horological value, but unfortunately no luck with this one - had to be the first Landeron engined one I've seen... The condition leaves much to be desired also.
 

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As far as I know until the quartz crisis Zodiac was considered higher end brand - their Sea Wolf's one of the first purpose built dive watches in history, older than Rolex Sub and it seems their vintage chronographs represent a good horological value, but unfortunately no luck with this one - had to be the first Landeron engined one I've seen... The condition leaves much to be desired also.
I wouldn't say "higher end" ... maybe "mid-tier". Don't get me wrong, I like Zodiac as a brand; however, the vintage pieces that I have held in my hands (and I have owned a few) have been solid pieces, but fairly utilitarian with mediocre finishing. Still, I think you will find widespread agreement that Zodiac made many good-quality watches, including some that are true classics and very stylish, like the Sea-Wolf, although even the Sea-Wolf has some quality issues, e.g. the materials used in the bezels. Apparently Zodiac made some entry-level models as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah,it seems that even in the golden age of watchmaking not everything was ''haute horology'' and entry level was ... what it's meant to be. Certainly although not a top-tier brand Zodiac used to be quite superior to what it has turned nowadays - as well as other brands like Bulova and Invicta a sad shaddow of its origins.
Thanks for sharing your vast knowledge man - was really helpfull.
 
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