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Is this A386 too polished?

  1. jsaen

    jsaen May 26, 2015

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    Hi all, I'm new to collecting vintage El Primero. I've been reading archives of this forum (and others) to try to understand what good quality is, but I'm still not sure.

    There is an A386 on chrono24 right now, that looks fairly nice (to me.)
    [​IMG]

    To my un-expert I, the dial looks and hands look nice. What I can't tell from this angle is if the case is over polished. There really aren't any better pictures with better angles.

    Is this watch worth pursuing? And if not, why not?
     
    3303624gross.jpg
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  2. browncow

    browncow May 27, 2015

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    Hard to tell from a full frontal shot.
    Surely there are more photos?
     
  3. E-diddy

    E-diddy May 27, 2015

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    Hard to tell from this one pic...Notice that the register hands aren't matching.
     
    Edited May 27, 2015
  4. haga888

    haga888 May 27, 2015

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    The constant seconds is service as are the hour and minute hands I believe but could be wrong. Looks like luminova. The bevels are still on the case. He is asking top dollar though.
     
  5. nicolas07

    nicolas07 May 27, 2015

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    Already looked this one quite closely...
    I was asking myself if someone here looked at it too.
    What is interesting is that it is with box and papers...and GF bracelet
    However, what bothered me is that the hour counter hand seems repainted to me (center where the hand is fixed to the dial is white...)
    Also there is indeed a mismatch in second and minutes subdials hands... But this can be fixed by a good watchmaker who has some pieces...;)
    Similar for the tachymeter ring which seems not to be fully centered (maybe an effect due orientation of the picture).
    For me the case seems acceptable and hours/minutes hands look good to me (am I wrong?).
    I noticed this coloration on several pictures (not necessarily watches I had in hands however...). I guess NOS hands would have been much more white than that.
    But I wait for zenith experts to give their feedback and correct me if needed
     
    Edited May 27, 2015
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  6. nicolas07

    nicolas07 May 27, 2015

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    I allow myself to add some pictures for illustration purpose:
    Looking at its caseback it seems to be a mark III but ref number seems quite strange: 231E(F?)166?
    It is not easy to see on the picture but it does not seem to start by 8 or 9...
    Any thoughts?

    3303624k_xxl.jpg 3303624i_xxl.jpg
     
  7. haga888

    haga888 May 27, 2015

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    My Mark III starts with 923D...

    Could just be the photo but the 1's look like they are hand-engraved. And the E or F actually looks like a 5 to me.
     
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  8. nicolas07

    nicolas07 May 27, 2015

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    So quite strange...
    Maybe an overpolishing makes the serial numbers disappear...?
    Anyway, at such price, I would not continue with this one with such uncertainty
     
  9. E-diddy

    E-diddy May 27, 2015

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    Agree, the E looks like a 5 to me. the first 1 looks hand-engraved.
     
  10. luzer

    luzer May 27, 2015

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    price is very high to me...
     
  11. jsaen

    jsaen May 28, 2015

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    thanks everyone.

    The price is high, but A386 seem to be hard to find, especially with box, papers, and bracelet.

    So is it actually high priced, or is it that the market has pushed these prices high?
     
  12. E-diddy

    E-diddy May 28, 2015

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    i don't think the price is unreasonable. high demand + low supply = seller's market. one recently sold for $10,8. Had the Hodinkee bump, but i think it's a better buy than this one. https://www.crownandcaliber.com/buy/carlo-sale/
    This one sold is seconds (again, grazie, Hodinkee); I don't know the price: http://heuertime.com/index.php?lang=eng&p=sale&sub=sale_detail&pID=183&cat=timepieces

    Interesting that this one still available. Personally, I would pass on it as I prefer correctness. The GF bracelet & b&p are tempting, but not a fan of the fishy-looking serial #, inconsistent register hands & polishing. The Zenith experts here who know WAY more than me will have more say. :)
     
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  13. haga888

    haga888 May 28, 2015

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    Per LouS in an old post the 5th series of the A386 would begin with 231E. It could have been polished and they tried to highlight the serial afterwards.
     
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  14. nicolas07

    nicolas07 May 28, 2015

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    @E-diddy I fully agree with you. Those A386 sold seemed to be in very nice condition indeed.
    Prices seem to increase quite drastically since few years which is as you say directly linked to demand and supply ratio. With a premium for top quality pieces.
     
  15. luzer

    luzer May 29, 2015

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  16. haga888

    haga888 May 29, 2015

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    Mark I with an aftermarket tachy that doesn't fit. The rare time when an ebayer uses the word rare and the watch actually is fairly rare (a Mark I, not an A386 in general). You can find a proper tachy. But the rest of the watch is not in great shape either. Too bad.
     
  17. E-diddy

    E-diddy May 29, 2015

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  18. haga888

    haga888 May 29, 2015

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    True. Mark III case with Mark I caseback? Could be camera angle but the case looks funny. Probably safe to say it's a put together from parts watch.
     
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  19. luzer

    luzer May 29, 2015

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    how much/where can you get the correct tachy?
     
  20. haga888

    haga888 May 29, 2015

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    I'd have to search around here but there was someone here that had Zenith service parts for sale. I believe he had a tachy. Wasn't cheap but available.