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Overview Of The Zenith A386 Case

  1. BGBG

    BGBG May 24, 2013

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    This is an overview of the a386 case.
    There are three different types of the a386 MarkI markII markIII.
    The first mark I case numbers 538dxxx to 539dxxx have a plain case back and no groove on lugs [see pic of the case with the blue highlighted around the lugs] more about this case later.

    Mark II case numbers 706dxxx to 708dxxx have a plain case back and a groove on the lugs [see pic of the case with the red circle highlighted around the lugs]

    Mark III case numbers 861dxxx to 233Exxx has a four pointed star on the case back and a groove on the lugs [same pic highlighted in red ] There is a great tread which lous made about the a386 case backs on the site for futher reference,the correct crown for all three references have a four pointed star and a circle around it now back to the markI. 059.JPG 057.JPG 923D244  A386.jpg

    The first a386 case the mark I has a different design case to any of the other a386 cases.
    If you study the case from the front you can see at the point where the lugs meet at the top of the case, the lugs spill over onto the top of the case uninterrupted. Also the bevel edges on the side of the lugs run the full length of the lugs up as far as the top of the case. These features give the mark I case a far smoother flatter look than the mark II & mark III cases which have a groove on the lugs at the point where they meet the top of the case. This groove also acts to interrupt the bevel edge on the side of the lugs from running the full length up as far as the top of the case/bezel.
    To sum it all up all a386's are colllectable, very collectable but OH BOY the one to look out for if you can find it is the first a386 case, the mark I with case numbers 538DXXX to 539DXXX. Out of the 2500 a386's made, production for the first mark I is somewhere in the 200 to 400 range I estimate from sightings on the web and how seldom they appear on ebay HAPPY HUNTING.

    061.JPG b137eda075257eb9b98ddffa53c8c59c.jpg
     
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  2. LouS

    LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member May 24, 2013

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    Oh Good! Because I needed a reason to keep buying A 386s!

    Well observed again, BGBG:thumbsup:
     
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  3. cicindela

    cicindela Steve @ ΩF Staff Member May 26, 2013

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    Oh Great :rolleyes:
     
  4. Jamey S

    Jamey S May 30, 2013

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    Great post. And I always thought my case had been polished! 5.3 9 case and first gen dial so I guess I do have one of these early ones. Feeling lucky and grateful but, I was already in love..... image.jpeg
     
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  5. BGBG

    BGBG May 30, 2013

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    Jamey s indeed you do have the first the [ mark I ] and from what i can see all original hands a very fine example including the very thin sub dial hands,they changed the sub dial hands somewhere in the markII run to a thicker hand also with the ends flat on top, love to see some pictures of the movement if you have some.
     
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  6. Tad_the_rad_dad

    Tad_the_rad_dad May 21, 2017

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    I'm a total noob to the vintage watch game generally, to say nothing of the A386 world, but I've fallen love. Found a beautiful one for around the $22,000 mark, but I'm a little confused by the case back - it has the 4-pointed star, but the number is
     
  7. Tad_the_rad_dad

    Tad_the_rad_dad May 21, 2017

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    Sorry - hit "send" too quickly. The caseback number looks to be 707D581, which puts it in the MkII range, but for the star... any help would be very much appreciated. Thanks.
     
  8. Chronoman

    Chronoman Jan 24, 2018

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    Maybe someone can help me out. I own a Mark 1, untouched but here is the thing. It has no serial number. No signs whatsoever of any polish work ever having been done.
     
  9. LouS

    LouS Mrs Nataf's Other Son Staff Member Jan 24, 2018

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    What do you want help with? Shall we send the engraver 'round?
    caveman14.jpg
     
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  10. wristpirate

    wristpirate Jan 24, 2018

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    I can almost make out D460 on that rock
     
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  11. Chronoman

    Chronoman Jan 25, 2018

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    While you guys are on a roll, please, what are the dimensions of the original el Primero 3019 PHC crown?
     
  12. wristpirate

    wristpirate Jan 25, 2018

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    The El Primero 3019 PHC was fitted into a variety of case shapes and materials. I assume you mean the A386. For that the original crown should be 6.4mm. The one with the wide Nato Star close to the edges is regarded as the original crown design.

    E5BC15E4-A86E-4F91-B66F-A34198771DC6.jpeg

    There is some debate whether the crown with a slightly smaller Nato Star is also original. A couple of NOS A386 have been seen over the years with that crown.

    Photo lifted off net:

    F4BDF468-0C48-47E7-9A3C-1C82CD9A28BE.jpeg
     
  13. Chronoman

    Chronoman Feb 28, 2018

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    Me again, with more about el Primero crowns. sailor stated above "I assume you mean the A386. For that the original crown should be 6.4mm. The one with the wide Nato Star close to the edges is regarded as the original crown design." Is there variation in crown size among different (early) el Primero models? I own an A384 with the next generation crown and was now offered one with the Nato star for it. It looks a great deal like the one on the A386 in the picture directly above here. The measurements are 5.42 x 2.6 (mms). This seems on the small side. Can your engraver perhaps help me out?
     
  14. wristpirate

    wristpirate Mar 2, 2018

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    A384 shares the same crown as A386 and should be 6.4mm. There are physically smaller crowns with the same design though they are the wrong size if you want a "correct part"
     
  15. Chronoman

    Chronoman Mar 2, 2018

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    Much appreciated. Anyone out there who knows where I will find a correct el Primero crown? :unsure: