Forums Latest Auctions Members

Zenith A385 vs A386?

  1. pnwyankee

    pnwyankee Sep 29, 2019

    Posts
    215
    Likes
    231
    I am trying to learn as much as possible about vintage Zenith watches before deciding on a purchase that will surely become my most expensive watch to date.
    I think the El Primero is a serious candidate.
    Would like to know the difference between an A385 vs an A386?
    Thanks
     
  2. khanmu

    khanmu Sep 29, 2019

    Posts
    880
    Likes
    7,167
    Broadly, I think it’s the case and dial - the A385 has a tonneau shaped case and khaki and silver reverse panda dial. The A386 has the tri colour panda dial and the round case with flat lugs. I think they both have the same 3019phc movement...

    Both are nice watches, but for me it’s the A386, just so gorgeous, and because we always need photos, here’s mine

    BA7A9AD8-FCAD-4055-867D-25D1FC5E5BA8.jpeg
     
    Jkuback, Baz9614, moyrules and 8 others like this.
  3. preacher

    preacher Sep 29, 2019

    Posts
    53
    Likes
    113
    Same movement but different watch, I prefer A385 because it’s more elegant.
    Both watches are very difficult to find in good condition and with all original parts.
     
    917235C7-C286-4D08-89BE-4443635C1ED7.jpeg
    asrnj77, Jkuback, Baz9614 and 8 others like this.
  4. guaranteed.rohu

    guaranteed.rohu Sep 29, 2019

    Posts
    633
    Likes
    3,348
    if you could only have one... the A386 is more versatile and a classic. Love it in the yellow gold
     
  5. Dan S

    Dan S Sep 29, 2019

    Posts
    4,364
    Likes
    10,961
    There is also a massive difference in value. What would you say? An A386 is about 3x–4x the price of an A385, assuming equal condition?
     
    Edited Sep 29, 2019
  6. CaptainWinsor

    CaptainWinsor Sep 29, 2019

    Posts
    887
    Likes
    1,555
    385 +1
     
  7. pnwyankee

    pnwyankee Sep 29, 2019

    Posts
    215
    Likes
    231
    Why the big price difference?
     
  8. Dan S

    Dan S Sep 29, 2019

    Posts
    4,364
    Likes
    10,961
    The market makes that decision, and we can only speculate. It's probably not rarity, since similar numbers of each were originally manufactured (about 2,500). I would guess it involves the differences in colors and styles. More people prefer the classic round shape, and the white dial and tri-colored sub-dials have broad appeal. In fact, I think that the A385 might be the least-loved of the initial series. The "panda" A384 is probably a bit more desirable if conditions are equal, although the A384 dials are often badly faded.
     
  9. preacher

    preacher Sep 30, 2019

    Posts
    53
    Likes
    113
    The tricolour dial is a must of Zenith and so A386 is more known of A384-5.
    Nowaday is difficoult to find a correct example of these watch for sale, there are lot of uncorrect crowns, forniture hands, spoiled dials, cases overpolished and so on.
    In perfect conditions I think the price of A386 is 2x A385.
    pnwyankee choose the one you prefer and don’t think about market and fashion!
    I advise you to spend time in studing the watch you like, don’t trust in any reseller. A uncorrect part is very expensive to replace with an original on (ex crown about 1k).
    Finally don’t be hurry and wait the right opportunity
    Good luck
     
    deki1908 and pnwyankee like this.
  10. preacher

    preacher Sep 30, 2019

    Posts
    53
    Likes
    113
    I complicate things .... A384
     
    14FBE244-1C91-49CA-A7FA-D55E98578337.jpeg
    moyrules, rbob99, BlackTulip and 6 others like this.
  11. khanmu

    khanmu Sep 30, 2019

    Posts
    880
    Likes
    7,167
    The problem is once you start looking, you see all the other nice “A” range El Primero versions such as the A783. Then you come across the gold ones, and before you know it, you have no money but a nice zenith collection ...

    Here’s my other one, a gold G381:

    007B93FE-1A38-4F35-857A-B06A88C8074C.jpeg
     
    Edited Oct 3, 2019
    Jkuback, Baz9614, moyrules and 12 others like this.
  12. deki1908

    deki1908 Sep 30, 2019

    Posts
    21
    Likes
    71
    This is my A385! The beautiful dial changes colour according to the light and I can't think of any dials in the watch-world in these colours.
    This reference compared to other ones seems to be less sought after by collectors and I actually like that.

    Ultimately I must admit that if at the time my budget allowed me to go after an A386 (or also the A3817 or A3818 very rare) I would have gone for one of these.

    As previously stated don't be in a rush, enjoy researching and reading and the right watch will come!
     
    zenith a385 1.jpg zenith a385 2.jpg
    Jkuback, moyrules, BlackTulip and 6 others like this.
  13. chronoboy64

    chronoboy64 Sep 30, 2019

    Posts
    1,250
    Likes
    11,302
    As @Dan S IMHO allready stated correctly the A386 is 3-4x of an A385 in collectors condtion. What do you think a perfect A385 is worth today ?
    Thanks
    .
     
  14. Zuke

    Zuke Sep 30, 2019

    Posts
    862
    Likes
    1,310
    And to complicate things even more you have the even more rare A3817 and A3818. Both had a production run of only 1000 examples.

    Z1.JPG
    IMG_4942.JPG
     
    asrnj77, Jkuback, Baz9614 and 9 others like this.
  15. vujen

    vujen Sep 30, 2019

    Posts
    338
    Likes
    1,620
    6k€
     
    Dan S likes this.
  16. chronoboy64

    chronoboy64 Sep 30, 2019

    Posts
    1,250
    Likes
    11,302
    Dear @vujen´thanks a lot for your estimate on the (perfect) beautiful A385 at EUR 6k. That seems to bee quite appropriate and may be the GF ladder could also add a bit value to this dream watch

    Looking at that Evaluation of the A385, the top condition A386 should indeed reach 3-4x in comparisan to the A385.

    I never bought a A385 but several A386 and G381 for reference

    Huge thanks and best :thumbsup:
     
  17. pnwyankee

    pnwyankee Sep 30, 2019

    Posts
    215
    Likes
    231
    Thanks for all the thoughtful responses.
    I would like to say, "I now have the information needed to define my search parameters and begin looking for the Zenith of my dreams".
    However, as has often been the case on these forums, every question leads to ten more questions :whipped:

    Here's the one that comes to mind at this point in this thread: if a fair price for a nice example of the A385 is 6,000 euros, why isn't this brand new Zenith a better idea? ( see attached picture ) f326b58f558b1ba4dff3583c8922db59.jpg
     
  18. Dan S

    Dan S Sep 30, 2019

    Posts
    4,364
    Likes
    10,961
    There's no way to compare vintage to new ... apples and oranges. Buy what you want.

    With Zenith, as with many brands, desirable vintage watches are significantly more expensive than new ones, including the reissues of vintage models, despite the fact that they are old, worn, and often based on inferior technology. The original vintage models are pieces of history, and rare and collectible watches, that may rise in value as the years pass (although that shouldn't be your primary reason to buy one).
     
  19. pnwyankee

    pnwyankee Sep 30, 2019

    Posts
    215
    Likes
    231
    I don't disagree with anything you just posted, and truth be told, typically I would agree that the vintage example is almost always more desirable. However, one of the things that makes the vintage watches so desirable is they just flat look better than their modern replacements. Looking at the modern Zenith I attached, it looks pretty much identical to it's vintage predecessor, costs less and most likely runs better.
     
  20. TexOmega

    TexOmega Sep 30, 2019

    Posts
    3,034
    Likes
    25,098
    Always a good debate, I chose this 386A because of the condition...….then condition, then the mesmerizingly 3-dimensional, tri-color subdials.

    Did I mention condition? And the uniform colored, intact lume.


    19mm lug width.JPG bevels look great.JPG MarkIII.JPG Pre-Falling back.JPG

    Mostly because of the condition, though.



    The reedition dial appears too flat to me.