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Could this be a Mk IV a386 case back type?

  1. ELV web Jul 18, 2020

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    From antiquorum recent auction. Case back looks like a mark III but flat. So is this a mark IV or is it just a mismatched case back or over polished star?
     
    53F045F2-423B-4F28-B2A7-8C800BCFE14A.jpeg DEC1FE1F-00CC-4125-911C-F3A9C51DA7FE.jpeg
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  2. wristpirate Jul 18, 2020

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    The serial number "707D" falls in the MK2 batch. And to my eyes appears more of a MK2 caseback with the Nato/Inverted Z logo etched on. I've never observed such a back on an A386.

    It is similar to the logo on the back of late production "D" serial A271 of the same period. An example:

    0988E4EA-FD7E-474C-9E85-8348ED70908A.jpeg
     
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  3. Medinatalzahra Jul 18, 2020

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    I am really glad you posted this question on the forum, as I had the same question. I bid on this watch during the Antiquorum auction (didn’t win it), but I had questions about this case back. The serial number is Mk2 (and highly legible), but I understood all Mk2 casebacks to be smooth (ie, no Zenith logo). The case back looks more like a Mk3, but isn’t. Any input from other experts on the forum would be appreciated.
     
  4. chronoboy64 Jul 18, 2020

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    As said it is an MK2 serial number. I also saw this in the AQ auction listing. It would be nice to see the inside caseback to assess in more detail. My gut tells me this caseback is not in original condition.
    HAGWE
     
  5. ELV web Jul 18, 2020

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    I also think that is the most viable explanation for now.
     
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  6. Medinatalzahra Jul 18, 2020

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    Thanks for the input. While you may be correct, that answer doesn’t really satisfy me. We know this is a MK2 serial number, which is on this case back. It appears to be in the correct location and consistent with other serial numbers. Are you suggesting it was forged? That seems unlikely to me. But, I also have no explanation, as I haven’t seen a similar MK2 caseback. If this were mine, I would run the serial numbers with Zenith; but in any event this thing is a mystery to me....
     
  7. Dre Jul 20, 2020

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    Was following this lot as well, better photos of the caseback below,

    C262AE4D-049D-4623-A02D-317475ACFAF0.jpeg D33EB0F7-9E55-4E25-B2D1-9494814D3C5D.jpeg

    IMHO it’s all original and the condition is just lovely. I’ve seen another Mk2 with that caseback below, I reckon it’s just an uncommon version of the Mk2 caseback.

    The logo looks very good and not amateurly done, and it is more likely for someone to remove that logo to makes it more legit Mk2, rather than adding it.

    9C634211-49D7-405E-910B-A79617DB32B6.jpeg 3612CAD6-0BCC-4403-B4CD-FBF03C1DAA72.jpeg
     
  8. chronoboy64 Jul 20, 2020

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    huge thanks @Dre
    with this pics I also vote for all original now ::stirthepot::
     
  9. DHKNOLA Jul 20, 2020

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    Great discussion! I was speaking with some about this watch the other day and neither of us were really sure the significance of this particular caseback, FWIW, sold for $29k I beleive.
     
  10. subregister Jul 20, 2020

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    Just as reference, after looking at several hundred pieces (case number project detail if interested), I have seen only 2 of these casebacks. Coincidentally both in the last several months. These are separated by a fair amount in case number (707D424 and 706D623)
    It does carry the same inside caseback markings we expect to see on a Mk2 (details here), though the Mk2 lacks the star on the caseback.
    I find it difficult to believe that this was an intended caseback for the Zenith A386 (Mk2). But as one-offs...I guess anything can happen during a run. I'll shoot Zenith a note and see what they have to say.
     
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  11. TexOmega Jul 20, 2020

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    Does that $29k include all premiums?

    USD??
     
  12. DHKNOLA Jul 20, 2020

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  13. subregister Jul 20, 2020

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  14. subregister Jul 20, 2020

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    Oh and yes, that is one darn strong price.
     
  15. Medinatalzahra Jul 20, 2020

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    Dre - Thanks for the photo of this second example (which clearly establishes for me these are genuine; even if outliers), and to Subregister for following up with Zenith!!! I will be interested to here what they have to say....
     
  16. ELV web Jul 20, 2020

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    I think it is fair to say it is genuine, but does it really belong to a386 is still something inconclusive in my opinion. Perhaps zenith could enlighten everyone.
     
  17. chronoboy64 Jul 22, 2020

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    The SP 1205 marking on the inside caseback indicates that it is an A386 caseback. A384 and A385 have different Spillman case reference numbers. IMO this is not in question after Dré´s pics.
     
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  18. ELV web Jul 22, 2020

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    I am sorry to say I still don’t buy it. Two examples popped up in recent times with the inner case back marks looking a bit fresh and shallow. Hopefully Zenith can be the one to clarify. @Dre inner case back pic vs. other mark II from the internet.
     
    96F0F6DF-247B-4D31-AEF9-AAB990DD6EF1.jpeg 954D16FD-017E-4F1F-AE01-10DAEB61817F.jpeg 38A156DB-ADF2-4C0B-9721-484F27A1F8CA.jpeg
    Edited Jul 22, 2020
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  19. ELV web Jul 23, 2020

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    Also the serial engravings evenness (compared to two conventional case backs of an A386 Mark 3 and an A3817). And the fact that the serial numbers are so far apart makes it inconclusive IMHO.
     
    01EF595E-5533-4DB7-8597-F5AAF76EBED5.jpeg F180C9DB-1B29-4817-9904-F3B66DCD47F4.jpeg 39A30CF7-D1A7-44A1-873B-1EEA8D34FF54.jpeg E3B33B7D-5653-4FCA-BA01-9029E0CFBC93.jpeg
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  20. DHKNOLA Jul 23, 2020

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    This fascinates me, largely because if a questionable case back example achieves the price this one did, what's an undeniably honest a386 going for? I wonder how the 30k asking one on here is doing...