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my wellworn A386

  1. MarkTr

    MarkTr Sep 10, 2019

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    I know many of you like the original A386’s so I thought I would show you my old workhorse A386 which I have been wearing for about 30 years.

    Please overlook the quality of the photos- I borrowed my wife's phone and could not get the focus perfect.

    When I bought it my collection consisted of mostly watches from the ’30s and ’40’s- and it still does. This is the newest watch that I own.

    The watch was, and is, such a great example of the ’70’s I could not pass on it. It became my go-to daily watch along with my ’41 Breitling Chronomat.

    It is not in collector condition with all the marks and water damage—but that has never mattered to me- it was the perfect everyday watch.

    I do have it fully serviced-the last time this past spring. A few years back I did pick up a new Service outer ring and sub-dial hands. So at this last service, we put the service ring on the watch and it looked so wrong we went back to the original.

    We did install the sub-dial hands and I am up in the air about them. They do have flat tips but are a bit too short to be original. They replaced the pointy longer hands which showed up on the watch when I had it first serviced. I have seen the pointy hands in many photos but I never thought they were original as shown in period sales photos.

    I am tempted to re-install the longer pointy hands- any thoughts on this?

    When it was being serviced, I mentioned that since I have retired I have not been wearing it and asked the watchmaker if he had any customers who would like a well-worn A386. I find that I am wearing my smaller early curves and driver watches from the 40”.

    He showed it to one of his high-end collectors who offered me $2500. Now I know my A386 is not the best looking around but $2500 seems a bit low even if he was only buying it for trade stock.

    I have not kept in touch with the market but due to the condition, this could be the correct ballpark. I would love to pass it on to a new caretaker who will wear it.

    20190910_132814.jpg 20190910_133423.jpg 20190910_133035.jpg 20190910_132910.jpg
     
  2. m neuman

    m neuman What, me worry? Sep 10, 2019

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    too little for such a watch
     
  3. Pahawi

    Pahawi Sep 10, 2019

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    As you say yourself it's not in the best condition, but it's certainly worth more than $2500....
     
  4. CaptainWinsor

    CaptainWinsor Sep 10, 2019

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    Looks ok to me
     
  5. chronoboy64

    chronoboy64 Sep 10, 2019

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    nice watch, $2500 seems to be a joke or is there a quartz movement inside ? :D
    Thanks for sharing your beauty and wear in good health
     
  6. MarkTr

    MarkTr Sep 10, 2019

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    I was surprised how bad my watch looks in photos than when I am wearing it.

    Now I can really appreciate how magnificant the watches really are when they look so fresh and perfect in many of the photos I have seen in this forum. Every flaw is glaring in a photo.

    Yeah- I did not have to be in touch with the current market to know that the $2500 was a bit of a Hail Mary by the collector. I did not bother making a counteroffer.

    I just googled A386's for sale and found on Chrono24 the lowest asking is about $12K which stunned me. I thought they were going for much less- more like $6K-$10K. Perhaps I am five years behind today's market. But asking price and final sales price can be far apart. Condition is everything.

    Still cost me over $1000 to service my so-so condition A386

    Can anyone tell me about the sub-dial hands? They are short like the Mark 1 version but not as thin. Are these aftermarket repros?
     
    Edited Sep 10, 2019
    Medinatalzahra likes this.
  7. Risto

    Risto Sep 11, 2019

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    I am sure if you put this on eBay at starting price 1 dollar it will go up to 6++ k USD easily anyway.
    I'd make better photos though.
     
  8. MarkTr

    MarkTr Sep 11, 2019

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    Risto-

    Thank you. I am going to try to take a few shots with a real camera and see I can get some sharper detail. I am amazed at the glamour shots I have seen in other threads.

    Do you have any thoughts on the sub-dial hands-- or any of the hands currently on the watch?
     
  9. Risto

    Risto Sep 11, 2019

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    I think mr @wristpirate knows this watch better than anyone here :) he has the most amazing Zenith collection that I know.
    Also, calling @Frederic_gva on this!
     
  10. DHKNOLA

    DHKNOLA Sep 11, 2019

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    I would personally be offended at $2500; the end links and bracelet are about 1-1.5k to find leaving your watch head at 1-1.5k?!? I think they are playing games with that offer looking to see if you are cash desperate.
     
  11. MarkTr

    MarkTr Sep 11, 2019

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    DHKNOLA-- I agree which is why I did not even bother to make a counteroffer.

    I have been collecting (more like owning and wearing) and working on watches from the '30s and '40s--- but I know enough about my A386 to know it is becoming collectible. It was not collectible when I bought it 30 years ago- but I did not care- I just wanted to wear that watch. Most of the guys in the watch club I belonged to were not into the value- but into the movement and the style of the watches. Those were the days when you would walk into a meet and find the parts you need in their original bags. So many supply houses have closed down since then. I just do not have the eyes or hands for it now- but part of the fun was working on your movements.

    Anyway- I broke out my old camera and tried to capture more detail-- not sure I did any better than my wife's phone. But here is the Good, Bad, and the Ugly.

    I would really like to know how correct, or incorrect my A386 is-- so please comment.

    I never really cared while I wore it these many years- but now I do not want to misrepresent it. I assumed that the Collector saw something wrong I am not aware of -thus the lowball offer. I remember wearing my Chronomate for years with a pitifully wrong re-dial- and did not care until I looked at another one with an original dial and saw the differences. Once you know what you do not know you have to act on it. I found a worn but orginal dial and installed it. Today's collector pays much more attention to details- and good for them.

    Yes-- those are corrosion pits down to the brass where the O ring seals the back-- part of the Ugly.

    Glad to see that my watchmaker now uses a red pen rather then a scribe- all of my other watches have scribed dates.
     
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    barbecoa, Taybharr, Risto and 2 others like this.
  12. preacher

    preacher Sep 11, 2019

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    I like very much you watch!
    For my little experience your watch is all original and correct, hands an trousseau are original and with original tritium, rehaut original but dirty or decoloured, good crown, number in the backside.
    I like the case, unfortunally the dial has some stain, but in photo a little defect looks emormous...
    If I were you I would proud of the watch and of his little defects or scratches, in 30 years was because of your use!!!
     
    MarkTr likes this.
  13. MarkTr

    MarkTr Sep 11, 2019

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    Preacher-- thank you for your kind words. It was a watch that I wore and loved almost every day when I was still working--so it saw a lot of use. I take good care of my watches but there are always mishaps when you wear a watch that much.

    Now that I am retired I am drawn to wearing my smaller early watches ---when I do wear a watch. This a great everyday watch which happens to be an A386. I do not have a son to pass it on to, but I am sure I will find its next caretaker in the comming months.
     
  14. DHKNOLA

    DHKNOLA Sep 11, 2019

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    You may have a later rotor as it's three lines of text versus two lines, but being a movement piece, I do not see it greatly affecting the value.

    It's an amazing watch! I hope you find someone to wear it with the pride you have over the years!
     
    MarkTr likes this.
  15. MarkTr

    MarkTr Sep 11, 2019

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    DHKNOLA-- very interesting- I would have never noticed that. I suspect that it had been serviced a few times before I got it-so anything is possible.

    When I first got it, I promptly sent it out to a watchmaker from Czechoslovakia who living in Atlanta. Had no idea who could service it- but I saw his ad in a watch club newsletter and took a chance. I think I paid $350. I worked on simple watches and I was not going to touch this one. It came back with the pointy service sub-dial hands-- so perhaps he found something wrong with the original rotor and like that hands used what he could find to service my watch.

    After that experience, I became a customer/friend of a three-generation watchmaker in Silver Spring MD and brought my complication watches to him for the last 30 years. He completely disassembled, serviced, and timed this watch last spring.
     
  16. MarkTr

    MarkTr Sep 11, 2019

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    I just went through this thread showing a magnificent example of an A386. This watch has the same pointy sub-dial hands which my watch had on it for the last 30 years----but I thought they were service hands and so I changed them out for flat-tipped sub-dial hands. Should I have kept the point hands on the watch?

    https://omegaforums.net/threads/this-zenith-just-sold-for-17514.63639/

    Thanks
     
    TexOmega likes this.
  17. preacher

    preacher Sep 12, 2019

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    Your subdial hands are a bit short (I think the are A384 service hands) but it isn’t a big problem, I prefer them.
     
    MarkTr likes this.
  18. TexOmega

    TexOmega Sep 12, 2019

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    316DCDCC-0AFA-4D82-9921-326769862DEE.jpeg D804519E-3764-4738-91ED-221A32038995.jpeg


    Thank you

    Change them back, I believe them to be correct, as my serial was towards the end point for the model and parts were used that were in stock, same for my crown. Mine was pristine in and out with zero evidence of intrusion by any WM per my WM.

    In fact, if you look at the original GW pix of the back, when they took pix, the blue wax was still covering the star.

    The manager said it was removed after photos::facepalm1::


    These hands you substituted are too short to the point of distraction for such a fine watch.
     
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  19. durri70

    durri70 Sep 12, 2019

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    Beautiful watch :)
     
    MarkTr likes this.
  20. MarkTr

    MarkTr Sep 12, 2019

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    TexOmega. You may be correct - based on the quality of your A386 I could believe that Zeinth started making these hand during the run of the later A386s--- but who knows when these pointy hands were manufactured or sourced.

    If I take the current "truth" that the pointy hands are service hands --- then it looks like I may have replaced older service sub-dial hands for current service sub-dial hands. After all these years of looking at my watch, the new sub-dial hands look wrong to me and given the chance I would put the pointy long ones back on.

    I have been spending time reading all of the threads every started on the A386 on this forum-- I am halfway through- should have done that before I even posted- learning a lot about my watch.
     
    TexOmega likes this.