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  1. Stewart H Honorary NJ Resident Feb 17, 2013

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    After a bit of inciting by a couple of people, who shall remain shameless nameless, and more than a bit of New Zealand Merlot I took a gamble with a poor photo and a low "buy it now" price.

    In the single e-bay photo, the dial looked faded out and there seemed to be a few dings in the case. With the price the seller was asking, as they say, "If it seems to good to be true, it usually is."

    A385 ebay photo.JPG

    Of course, sometimes they are wrong.

    DSC00596.jpg
    DSC00598.jpg
    DSC00599.jpg
    DSC00601.jpg DSC00604.jpg
    DSC00605.jpg

    The case has never been polished and the edges are sharp enough for a shave.

    The Fixo-Flex bracelet has gone and a new 'gator ordered for it before it goes off to a watchmaker for what will seem like years, with a big sign saying "Do nothing with the case)
     
  2. MMMD unaffiliated curmudgeonly absurdist & polyologist Feb 17, 2013

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    Well done Stewart! Looks like a peach.
     
  3. ulackfocus Feb 17, 2013

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    He shoots, he scores!

     
  4. dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member Feb 17, 2013

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    Very clean looking!
     
  5. danomar Feb 17, 2013

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    Congratulations! :thumbsup:

    Your dial has all the lume left and is nicer than mine. Great snag! Enjoy!
     
  6. Gavin It's the quiet ones you have to 'watch' out for. Feb 17, 2013

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    Congrats on a big payoff. Envious.::love::
     
  7. LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Feb 17, 2013

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    I love it when the gambler beats the house! Well played, sir. The A 385 remains a very underrated Primero
     
  8. Stewart H Honorary NJ Resident Feb 18, 2013

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    Just had the 385 on the timing machine and I could not believe the results. It is currently running within COSC limits in all 6 positions - admittedly, I don't have the temperature control to test it that way.

    DSC00611.jpg

    Admittedly it is breathing a bit heavily with an amplitude of 251 but considering it is 43 years old and was described as "serviced at least once", I'm sure you'll agree that it is not performing badly. The worst I saw was +4 seconds/day and 0.2 ms beat error. Don't forget, this is a high performance (36,000 bph) movement so Rolex de-tuned it for the Daytona. Why?

    By the way, the lottery ticket in the top right corner won me all of £2.70
     
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  9. LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Feb 18, 2013

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    Oh, there you go again. Not "detuned." "Improved." Just ask the Rolex guys, they'll tell ya. Removing the date - improvement! Slowing the frequency - improvement! It's an inevitable consequence of stamping "Rolex" on it.
     
  10. Stewart H Honorary NJ Resident Feb 18, 2013

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    ..... and another inexplicable £4,000 on the price.
     
  11. LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Feb 18, 2013

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    Another clear improvement...for Rolex.::money::
     
  12. MMMD unaffiliated curmudgeonly absurdist & polyologist Feb 18, 2013

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    My watch guy insists that Rolex actually did improve at least one part of the EP, specifically part 1482, ratchet gear/driving gear for crown wheel, by thickening up the arbor. He claims these frequently wear out on old EPs and less frequently on Daytonas. Unfortunately, the Rolex part doesn't fit in a 3019 PHC, so I had to hunt one down for my Espada.

    http://bit.ly/YuIO2Q
     
  13. LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Feb 18, 2013

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    Also, there's the matter of a Breguet overcoil, but I need some pretty sophisticated watchmaker to explain to me - real slow, so I understand it - if there is greater precision at 36000bph without an overcoil, or at 28800bph with one.
     
  14. avantnoire Feb 19, 2013

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    Took a gamble myself..happy with the result, so far..watch is at my watchmaker, getting checked out, and then as long as all goes well, should be here by weeks end..
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Feb 19, 2013

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    Case looks good. These silver-subdial A 385s remain a mystery - will be interested to learn the case number on this one.

    The capuccino dial should go well with your A 384 - another score for the Tropical Primero Master!
     
  16. avantnoire Feb 19, 2013

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    Lou,
    main reason I bought it..reverse chocolate...yes a nice compliment to my 'blemished' tropical...;)
    serial is 708D209
    best,
    D
     
  17. LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Feb 19, 2013

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    Good. Price was right I think. When you get it, the date off the bracelet would be useful. Send along some pics and we'll start a discussion about the silver-subdial models - an unsolved little Primero detail....
     
  18. avantnoire Feb 19, 2013

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    Date code is 3 70
    best,
    D
     
  19. John Chris Il Duca de Luca Feb 20, 2013

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    What' the mystery? The A385 came with both white and silver sundials, and both grey and cappuccino dials. The first black De Luca also came with both white and silver sundials. This is known, my moon and stars!
     
  20. LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Feb 21, 2013

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    Let me put some questions to you then..

    (For those of you not in the know, the issue concerns these two different dials for Primero ref A 385, designated
    The White on Fume (WoF) Dial...
    [​IMG]

    ..and the Silver on Cappuccino (SoC) Dial
    547777668bf7a8c390ce2292a8887c17.jpg


    Not an easy dial to photograph consistently, as very changeable in different light conditions, but trust me, these are different color schemes)

    The preponderance of dials are WoS dials. Of 25 examples of the A 385 in my database, 22 have WoS dials, and 3 have SoC dials. Well, so what? Zenith made a small production run with SoC dials.

    Based on caseback numbers, A 385s were made in 4 production runs. Surely, if it were original equipment, the SoC dial would be clustered in one run. But it is not. There are 2 examples from production run II (of a total of 10, the most numerous run), and 1 (of 3) in production run III, none in I or IV.

    Service dials, perhaps? That's a possibility except that the cappuccino color also happens to be the color that Zenith's black dial pigment fades to with light exposure. MMMD is invited to show his G 382 and avantnoir his A 384 in support of this. So then, "tropical dials"? But how do we explain the subdial color change from white to silver? That's not a tropical change I've ever seen. I initially thought these were the result of an unfortunate attempt at cleaning, but if someone took the white paint off, the numbers should be gone as well, and all the examples I've seen have numbers that are undoubtedly original.

    In sum, I don't think the SoC dials are original for the A 385. The likeliest possibility seems to me to be service dials that take light exposure poorly. I'd love to hear other thoughts and ideas.