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Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 42mm Grey Market Question

  1. guppydriver Sep 15, 2021

    I've always bought from trusted sellers and AD's but I'm looking at Joma and can't believe some of the 35% and more discounts I am seeing off of retail on a number of Zenith pieces. I'm actually considering making a purchase, but have a concern. I apologize in advance for the ignorance of the question, like I said, I have never even considered gray.

    When I was at an Omega Boutique once, I remember them saying that unless you have a papered watch, the official service center won't even accept your watch even at your expense. In other words , you have to find an independent to service it if it develops any issues. I know there would be no warranty coverage, but I always assumed I could pay out of pocket to have it serviced by a factory ASC. I figure if I save thousands from buying new, even if I have to spend $5-700 in service in the future, I'm still "ahead". However, if I can't find someone to service it that I trust, it's not worth the savings to me. Is it true that an authorized serviced won't touch a watch without papers?

    Also....while I got you guys/gals......

    I'm new to Zenith. Before I get too giddy about the savings, what % off SRP would someone reasonably expect off a relatively easy to get Zenith? I don't mean that one unicorn deal someone got from a buddy or store going out of business, but I do have a humble purchase history with a Zenith dealer (Seiko and GS) and average negotiating prowess (whatever that means).

  2. JetLinks Sep 15, 2021

    Which EP are you looking at? (member LOVE pictures!)

    I called Jomashop last week about one that they listed on their site but it said "call for availability" and the lady on the phone basically stated that they don't know when (or if!) they would get it in stock (and it basically sold out everywhere).
  3. guppydriver Sep 15, 2021

    Looking at this one.... seems like a pretty good deal if they can actually source one. I was looking at a IWC Portuguesier as a dress chrono, but this could fit the bill for less money.

  4. Out of TIME! Sep 16, 2021

    Consider a pre-owned? There are plenty of like new watches to be aquired at fair price over new.
    Box & papers I would look for in pre-owned.
    FYI, Do you know some of the history of the El Primero movement.
    With the Japanise watches kicking the Swiss rear ends & quarts watches hit the market in the 70's.
    Zenith management, in all its wisdom, scrapped the whole production, tools, dies, master model...
    Well the lead man, can't remember name, took the time to mark everything, wrap it up, & stored it in his barn.
    The industry is close knit & everyone knows each other.
    Well, when the dust settled. Zenieth came knocking at his door, opened a cheque book.
    "How much?" What took you so long. Did not take any money for it.
    Now, the inerts of the watch: tungstun weight for rotor. Berilum bronze bearings, highly jeweled.
    The beat is 36,000 per hour, which allows for the one tenth of a second counter.
    I liked the El Primero Rainbow, absolutely beautiful watch.
    Another note, the Rolex Daytona run people think the model used this movement before they produced their own current movement. Yes & No, does not have calander, the beat is slower @ 28,800 bph.
    Not sure if any of the parts are interchangable. But, it speaks highly that Rolex used the platform rather than ETA 7700 series.
    Cheers, Mike
    MtnMarine likes this.
  5. guppydriver Sep 17, 2021

    Thanks for the info Mike! Fascinating stuff
  6. sirtaifun Sep 30, 2021

    The hero`s name was Charles Vermont.
  7. amcclell Sep 30, 2021

    Here is a link to the story.

    The watch you are looking at is lovely. BTW - for my Seamaster, all the Omega service center cared about was whether or not I wanted to pay their standard price, so I think the OB was trying to scare you. They didn't ask where my watch was purchased, or want to see any receipt or warranty card. If you want a repair under warranty, that is a different story. My daughter wanted a watch for her husband and I purchased one from Jomashop. I explained to her that she should not expect warranty and if anything goes wrong, which is unlikely, my watchmaker could easily fix it, as it has an ETA movement. I believe Joma may have their own repair technicians but the watch is now in Canada. My daughter saved enough for 2 services, so it was an easy decision.

    In the end, I held off on the Omega as the watch was running fine and took it to my independent watchmaker a few years later.