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  1. la_lusigne Feb 13, 2023

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    Hello,

    I just bought a zenith A386 mark 2 in a pity shape.
    I had in mind to send it to zenith to get it back to its former glory. This thread will be my logbook of the project.

    This website is probably the main source of information regarding vintage a386 : https://alphahands.com/vintage-watch-research/zenith-a386-el-primero/

    I am curious of what Zenith can do in terms of parts especially. This watch needs a couple of them.
    I don't think the dial is savable. The crown and pushers are wrong. The chronograph second hand isn't correct as well. Finally, the last bad surprise is the rotor which is a movado part not a zenith one. I was afraid that the whole movement was a replacement movado but, after checking the markings, the rest is from Zenith :thumbsup:

    A couple of positive points:
    The watch is in running order : all functions work (chronograph functions, time and date setting).
    The watch comes with its original bracelet with little stretch.
    The case is well preserved and defined.

    Here are the photos :
    3.jpg 2.jpg 1.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg
     
  2. JimJupiter Feb 13, 2023

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    Tbh I wouldnt be so pessimistic regarding the dial and its restoration. Where are you from, so we can lead you to an expert.
    Great project though, would love to own one of these myself one day. Top 3 in my hitlist for sure.

    Good luck with it, I will watch the thread for sure :)

    Nico
     
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  3. la_lusigne Feb 13, 2023

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    I am based in France and I think I will go with the zenith manufacture itself. It would be my best bet in terms of parts in my opinion. :)
    I know that there is a possibility of dial restoration but it is not always possible, I'll see once the watch has been examined by the watchmaker.
     
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  4. JimJupiter Feb 13, 2023

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    Ok, since you are in Europe, Roberto Tarabella in Italy would be an option. Does Zenith really restore a dial, or do they just swap it for a service dial? And if so, do you get your original dial back, or do they keep it?

    Robertos IG:

    https://www.instagram.com/roberto.tarabella_watchmaker/

    Nico
     
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  5. la_lusigne Feb 13, 2023

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    It is funny that you mention Roberto Tarabella, I have a Speedmaster in service at his workplace at this moment :D
    Would you think that he would be able to have the different parts (chrono second hand, crown and pushers, rotor) ?

    Zenith does offer a dial restoration service. I quote from their website (https://www.zenith-watches.com/int/service/historical-watch-service)
    "Optional restoration procedures - Dial restoration
    Where necessary and feasible, dial restoration is offered as an optional extra and an estimate is provided. If the estimate is approved, all dial elements requiring intervention are then restored by a specialist."
     
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  6. JimJupiter Feb 13, 2023

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    ok cool, didn't know. And I don't know about Robertos stock of parts, but I guess you wont have luck. If I would be you, I would at least show him the dial and ask for his opinion (which he gives you for free, even more when you allready have a watch with him :) ). I know that bright dials are harder to restore, but the spots looks like dirt or oil with dirt or something like this, that you can eliminate.

    Nico
     
  7. la_lusigne Feb 13, 2023

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    Thank you for your feedback, I'll definitely check what's possible to do :thumbsup:
     
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  8. Pahawi Feb 13, 2023

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    Hope it'll be great when finished - DIBS if it is :D
     
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  9. Albe100 Feb 13, 2023

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    Thanks for starting this thread. Looking forward to seeing how your restoration project progresses. the A386 is one of my favourite models! I ended up going with the recent release, closest thing to the original imo.

    Best of luck!
     
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  10. jantjewgm Feb 13, 2023

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    The dial is looking not that bad in my opinion. Why not leave it like this?
     
  11. timoss Feb 13, 2023

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    I would swap out the non original parts for original ones and get a full service and call it day. Dial doesn’t bother me at all.
     
    cristos71 likes this.
  12. Vercingetorix Spam Risk Feb 13, 2023

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    Zentith dial restoration sounds like redial to me.
     
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  13. la_lusigne Feb 14, 2023

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    I guess this is a matter of personal preference but I don’t think that I would enjoy the watch with the state in which the dial is in :unsure:
     
  14. la_lusigne Feb 14, 2023

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    I will definitely ask more about the process, if this is the case I think I’d leave the dial as is and get a service dial :thumbsup:
     
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  15. Albe100 Feb 16, 2023

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    I would be curious to know what the results would be if they simply clean the dial rather than do a full restoration of it. Then you can have the original dial as well as the service one. Options, and if you ever want to sell, you have the original dial to go with it.
     
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  16. TexOmega Feb 16, 2023

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    I’m here for the ride, this’ll be a fun journey.

    Your watch, your choices. You’re the one that has to be pleased.

    But, a good idea to allow members to provide you options and possible feedback (positive or negative) before making a non-reversible decision).

    Minimal numbers of these in original condition.
     
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  17. la_lusigne Feb 17, 2023

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    I totally am with you regarding the dial :thumbsup:
    If by restauration, zenith means a complete redial I would leave it as is. I just want a cleaning of the spots at 10-11 o’clock and on the subdials. If not possible I will ask for a service dial.

    I started this thread to have other opinions, thank you all for your feedbacks :)
     
    LesXL likes this.
  18. subregister Feb 17, 2023

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    Congrats on the purchase, and I look forward to watching the project progress!
    And thank you for the alphahands reference :thumbsup:
     
  19. la_lusigne Mar 10, 2023

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    Quick update: zenith got the watch and I opted for a new dial replacement.
    I asked them if the replaced parts were given back and the answer is yes so I will still have the original dial :)

    I just have to wait a couple of months from now to finally get it back :thumbsup:
     
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  20. la_lusigne Jul 1, 2023

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    Finally the day has come ::popcorn::
    I got the watch back. Very pleased with the end result :)

    Pushers and crown were replaced with original vintage parts. The rotor as well is now original.
    The hands are finally correct. Dial and tachymeter scale were replaced.

    I asked to keep the case as is, no polishing.

    I still have the original dial.

    Some pictures are mandatory (I decided to pair the watch with a nice blue alligator strap) :
    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg 6.jpg


    And I can't resist to add a final picture of 2 of the most iconic chronograph movement in their original form :whistling: :
    5.jpg