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Questions about Zenith Caliber 71 watch

  1. DTMwatch Feb 4, 2023

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    I really love my Zenith Caliber 71 watch, and I’m starting to think about its first full service under my ownership. I don’t think it needs service yet (running about 30 seconds fast per day and was serviced about a year ago from a reliable dealer from whom I purchased the watch). However, I am starting to consider whether in the future the watch should go to Zenith in Switzerland or to an independent in the US for its service. My thinking is I would like to ensure that it gets returned to its near original condition with parts such as the crystal (the current one has some scratches that cannot be removed by polishing), the crown is unsigned and I think I found the appropriate buckle for a 1950’s era Zenith. The case is 68,0000 series and the cal. 71 is 480,000 series. Your assistance with answering my questions and advice are greatly appreciated.

    Is this crown original / consistent with a Zenith crown for the period of this watch?

    Is this plated buckle, which I recently purchased, consistent with a Zenith buckle for the period of this watch?

    Should this watch go back to Zenith for a service or to an independent watchmaker in the US, and why?

    Below are the relevant photos.

    Thank you for your help. DTM

    C4895682-8C10-481A-8437-2FEBF6E8DDC9.jpeg B8D543DE-9E56-40EF-AF0F-9A73AF26FC23.jpeg BEB4DF6F-AE41-460A-BA45-D31C402A7AE2.jpeg 59756CBA-A699-42CA-A025-FAEFA0A7FA9F.jpeg 26F6254D-3DF5-439D-8187-C263CA33AD86.jpeg 8BD5701B-B60D-402A-BC65-2C53FFA5001F.jpeg
     
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  2. DTMwatch Feb 4, 2023

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    I forgot to add that based upon my research, the watch dates to around 1958, and the buckle appears to be appropriate for that period. I’ve seen similar Zeniths with a signed star crown; however, I’ve also seen add from the 1950’s with watch that appear to have unsigned crowns. Thanks again for any insights. DTM
     
  3. CaptainWinsor Feb 4, 2023

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    You have one of the uncommon Dennison cases with the recessed crowns. Most likely a Z Star crown. Case and Movt numbers look right for 1958. The buckle is correct as well. Inside caseback will probably say BREVET with a cross
     
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  4. DTMwatch Feb 4, 2023

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    Thanks. Here’s a photo from the dealer of inside the caseback. 56884C42-DE51-451E-B05A-1E430B5FB144.jpeg
     
  5. CaptainWinsor Feb 4, 2023

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    My bad. I should have said Spillman case not Dennison. Hammer mark 136
     
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  6. Geezer Feb 4, 2023

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    Very nice piece!

    Find an independent watchmaker in the US. I highly suggest you do not send it to CH as you will likely have little control over what parts they will change or decide to refinish/polish.

    Did the US dealer confirm it received a full service? I would assume they would have changed the lead gasket on the caseback if so.
     
  7. DTMwatch Feb 5, 2023

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    Thank you. The gasket has been changed. The reason I was considering Zenith for the service was they’d be able to ensure the correct crown was on the watch. However, if I can learn that in advance, perhaps the independent watchmaker can source the correct crown if the current crown is a generic replacement crown.
     
  8. rbob99 Feb 5, 2023

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    Lovely watch. Find a good independent watchmaker.
     
  9. amcclell Feb 5, 2023

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    Lovely watch but do not send to Zenith for service. It is kind of like taking a late 50's Corvette to a GM dealer for service. The dealer technicians that were good with these are long gone.
     
  10. DTMwatch Feb 5, 2023

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    Thank you for the advice on going with an independent watchmaker. Can anyone confirm that the star with a “z” is the correct crown for this model? I appreciate the help.
     
  11. Tony C. Ωf Jury member Feb 5, 2023

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    I'm not sure about that. The type of case that you show is what I might expect to see with a recessed, or semi-recessed crown, and I don't know that Zenith would necessarily have signed them. I am not an expert, though I have owned a couple of (bumper) Captain models.

    Having done a quick search, perhaps they did sign them:

    http://www.atelier-horloger.fr/boutique/vente_montre.php?num=38&mini=4

    https://www.ebay.fr/itm/175455110544Purchases made through these links may earn this site a commission from the eBay Partner Network
     
  12. DTMwatch Feb 5, 2023

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    Thanks. Here’s an ad form ‘57 that adds (no pun intended) to the confusion as it appears the crown is unsigned.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/224103190298Purchases made through these links may earn this site a commission from the eBay Partner Network
     
  13. Tony C. Ωf Jury member Feb 6, 2023

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    Yes, I'd say that both are possible. Zenith certainly produced models with unsigned crowns, and in a sense, they would work more seamlessly with that type of case.
     
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  14. CaptainWinsor Feb 6, 2023

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    you can see in this pic that the crown has the Z Star

    9C14AE5B-02F0-41B7-A5A5-D22D3377A73A.jpeg
     
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  15. DTMwatch Feb 6, 2023

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    Thanks. It seems as though I should find a watchmaker who can source a pink / rose gold vintage Zenith crown with a star surrounding a Z.
     
  16. CaptainWinsor Feb 6, 2023

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    you’ll need to find the right sized crown, width and depth if you want it to be completely recessed
     
  17. DTMwatch Feb 6, 2023

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    Thank you. As I am not too familiar with vintage watches, is finding the right crown something I should do or can the watchmaker source one?
     
  18. CaptainWinsor Feb 6, 2023

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    Both but a watchmaker may need to adjust the length of thewinding stem