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  1. jsaen Jun 1, 2016

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    Hi all, I found a zenith A386, that looks in really good shape but I have some questions. You can find it either at http://www.rarebirds.de/ or https://www.chrono24.com/en/zenith/a386--vintage-el-primero-from-1971--id4474809.htm.

    As I said, I think it looks really good, but I have a question about the subdials. I've tried to read all the A386 and El Primero threads on this forum, but I've probably missed this. Specifically, are pointy subdials original, or are they replacement? Also, I've never been able to tell the difference between original and replacement hour and minute hands. Are those original, if not, can you educate me on how to tell the difference?
    4474809d_xxl.jpg
    4474809b_xxl.jpg
    4474809_xxl.jpg


    On a related note, has anybody else noticed that there are several nice looking A386 available, but they all seem to be $20K USD? Did something happen, like with the Cairelli?

    thanks for looking and teaching me something.
     
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  2. Mlafra Jun 2, 2016

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    this example looks indeed quite nice, but the pointy sub-dials hands are defeinetively service/replacement ones, the original ones have a flat top (and they are very thin for MkI and early MkII, becoming then thicker for later MkII and MkIII).
    The center red chrono hand I also believe is a later/modern replacement, I am not 100% sure though, it is more of a "feeling" it looks too "slick and shiny and new".
    As per the minute and hour hands I tend to believe they might be original but again, not 100% sure.
    Given the sub-dial hands for sure and probably also the center red chrono hand are replacements it wouldn't be impossible to conceive that also the remaining 2 hands are as well....
     
  3. Stewart H Honorary NJ Resident Jun 2, 2016

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    The chrono seconds hands are very prone to the pipe splitting when they are removed and refitted for service so for a well maintained watch, it is quite likely that it has been replaced at some stage.

    Of my three original El Primeros, one had the hand glued to the post, one was split and the other was OK because the watch had never been serviced before. From time to time, you do see tritium service hands for sale but at huge prices - c. €200
     
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  4. jsaen Jun 6, 2016

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    I believe this watch did sell for 16500€. I guess that's now the price of these. WOW.
     
  5. E-diddy Jun 7, 2016

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    the Hodinkee bump helped. it was on the market for four days before the bump -- a long time for decent a386 like this one. initial asking price was strong is why IMHO.
     
  6. dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member Jun 7, 2016

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    Really glad I picked up mine when I did, I expected them to go up but not quite this steeply.
     
  7. jsaen Jun 7, 2016

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    I didn't know about the Hodinkee bump. That speaks to some of the high price, but not most of it. Hodinkee has mentioned A386s before.
     
  8. Bienne2998 Jun 7, 2016

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    me too - so happy I was able to track one down a couple of years ago... really crazy nowadays...
    IMG_5935.jpg IMG_5926.jpg
     
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  9. jsaen Jun 7, 2016

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    stop taunting me. I did not get one. I have been waiting the last year to have the time and attention to do a good search. I waited to long.
     
  10. jfwoodman Jun 13, 2016

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    The A386 is a truly iconic design piece. And like early Heuer Carreras and manual wind Autavias, these early El Primeros are definitely on on upward trajectory (and rightfully so, methinks).
     
  11. mahamithra Jun 29, 2016

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    In prospective: The 386 is probably one of the iconic Zeniths, or at least the most well recognized. If you look at Heuer, Longines,Rolex and even Tudor. Their iconic pieces sell for far more than the A386. Zenith has lagged behind the great upswing in prices of the last few years. Still greatly undervalued for the quality and style. In MHO
     
  12. ELV web Jun 29, 2016

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    Edited Jun 29, 2016
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  13. lwong Jun 29, 2016

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    Congrats Eric! We'll have hoards of 386s at the next GTG, it seems - whenever we get down to arranging one!!
     
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  14. Bill Sohne Bill @ ΩF Staff Member Jun 29, 2016

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    Hi

    Guess I was luckily not to sell mine it.....

    Every time people ask about it...... They want the watch at 2006 prices....

    Bill
     
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  15. E-diddy Jun 29, 2016

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    Congrats! i would have bought it, but i was a few minutes too late. i like it. the hour subdial should be skinny (and not pointed) like the other two. i feel like they should have mentioned that in "what you should know". not a big deal, wouldn't have prevented me from getting it :)
     
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  16. 2putt Aug 8, 2016

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    My Zenith El Primero A386
    20160804_110403.jpg
     
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  17. LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Aug 9, 2016

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    Getting a lot of PMs, 2putt?:coffee: