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Found Zenith While Visiting Family

  1. Ham Jan 26, 2013

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    Hi everyone. While home from school this weekend I came across this zenith watch in a box of things that belonged to my grandmother or her family. I don't know much about it, and I have not yet had a chance to open it up and find out the type of movement yet. The case seems suspect to me as it is in very good condition. Any feedback? Thanks!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Jan 26, 2013

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    Ham
    Case doesn't seem suspect to me at all - reasonably nice actually, with a partially recessed crown. Any numbers on the caseback?
    Overall, the even-number dial was a style that was popular in the 1950s, but the watch is otherwise pretty generic. I doubt we'll be able to tell you much without a look inside.
     
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  3. Ham Jan 26, 2013

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    Thanks for the reply LouS. The caseback is marked 844263. I have a case wrench on order. I hope to put up a few detailed pictures of the movement within the next few days.
     
  4. Stewart H Honorary NJ Resident Jan 27, 2013

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    Nice find Ham.

    With a six digit case number on a steel watch and lack of "Swiss" or "Swiss Made" on the dial, it would appear to from the satellite factory in Bresancon, France. If so, the movement will only have six digits as well.

    Every Zenith collection should have a Bresancon example.
     
  5. Ham Jan 27, 2013

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    Thanks for the info Stewart. Would watches produced in Bresancon tend to remain in France for sale on the French market?
     
  6. LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Jan 27, 2013

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    Yes. Zenith opened a factory in Besancon (not Bresancon) just across the border from the Swiss watchmaking region expressly to avoid import duties to France. Besancon was probably chosen because of the longstanding and very well-developed watchmaking industry there and its proximity to Le Locle. I don't think there was a big export component to their output (although perhaps North Africa and other areas of former French colonial influence). Of course, if your family is not in France, such a watch could have been bought there and brought home.
     
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  7. Ham Jan 27, 2013

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    Very neat information! My grandmother is French, so that makes complete sense to me. Thanks again for the info.
     
  8. simon Feb 1, 2013

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    I also have a France Zenith almost the same as yours.Serial number on the movement 629149 caseback number 802000. Mine dates from 1957 or 1958. 580000 serial number is 1955 and serialnumber 680000 is 1960. Hope this helps
     
  9. Ham Feb 1, 2013

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    Do you have any pictures you would be willing to share?
     
  10. Stewart H Honorary NJ Resident Feb 1, 2013

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    Simon, tell us more. I wasn't aware of any date information available for the French watches.

    Here's my Besancon example. It's a 106-6 and now has a correctly sized strap on it. DSC00501.jpg DSC00502.JPG DSC00506.JPG
     
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  11. Ham Feb 1, 2013

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    That is a great looking watch Stewart. I would also be interested in more information.
     
  12. simon Feb 3, 2013

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    My Zenith 1 cal.106 50 6  backside802000 1957  1958 besancon france.jpg My zenith 2 cal.106 50 6  movement629149  1957 1958 besancon.jpg
    Hello. Here are 2 pictures from the seller. I will take better ones when it arrives from Bretange France. Will arrive in a couple of days.
    Greetz Simon
     
  13. LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Feb 3, 2013

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    Something just struck me - is a painted hollow Zenith star logo to be regarded as a sign of Besançon manufacture? Can anyone supply examples to the contrary?

    I can supply a painted filled logo, either with color or lume, from Le Locle but not a hollow one.
     
  14. simon Feb 3, 2013

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    Hy LouS. If you search you find hollow logo from Swiss and France Zenith watches.Greetz Simon
     
  15. LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Feb 3, 2013

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    Please provide examples of hollow logos from the Swiss factory - that's what I'm asking.
     
  16. simon Feb 3, 2013

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    hollow 3.jpg hollow 3.jpg hollow 4.jpg hollow 1.jpg hollow 2.jpg
     
  17. LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Feb 3, 2013

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    Great, thanks. I can't quite see the serial number but it is evident it has 7 digits.

    Now, any Besançon watches with metal star logos?
     
  18. MMMD unaffiliated curmudgeonly absurdist & polyologist Feb 3, 2013

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    I have been operating under that assumption. Just search Zenith on French eBay and see what you get. It is the land of hollow stars. I believe that hollow stars are the rule from Besançon and the exception - if they exist - from Le Locle.
     
  19. Ham Feb 3, 2013

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    Images borrowed from WUS thread: I have no idea about the authenticity of the dial though.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  20. simon Feb 4, 2013

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    $T2eC16ZHJFoE9nh6pM)oBRDmeIj47g~~60_12.jpg
    Here is another one swiss made with hollow logo, greetz Simon