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We never planned on this happening, but it did. Somehow, we’ve become gold watch guys. Not the gangster style, blinged-out Rollie kind of guy, but the classic, understated, precious metal cased, fine timepiece aficionado of yesteryear.
Gold may have gone out of fashion for a time, but all signs point to it coming back with a vengeance. We’re not complaining, and it only seems fitting that a finely crafted Swiss movement be housed in a case worthy of the heart beating away inside.
This lovely Zenith chronograph dates to the late 1960s, and is an excellent example of the genre of sport-influenced dress pieces that became quite popular in the post-war years. This can be attributed, in part, to the hundreds of thousands of GIs returning home with issued timepieces, as World War II was the first war during which most troops had wristwatches instead of pocket watches.
The idea of the wristwatch as a fashion item took hold with a tremendous surge in the post-war years, and manufactures in both Switzerland and the United States were back in business. The no-nonsense tool watches of the war years heavily influenced post-war design trends on both the manufacturer and consumer sides. This resulted in designs such as this Zenith, with clean, uncluttered dials, angular lugs and robust mechanical movements.
This example features the Zenith Calibre 146D movement, a high-grade unit provided by Martel, the movement house also responsible for supplying many of the Universal Genève Compaxes of the era with their guts. While Zenith may be best known for creating the first fully integrated automatic chronograph, the El Primero, they have a long history of partnering with the best Swiss movement manufacturers, as did many of their contemporaries.
Everyone needs a little gold in their life, and this Zenith makes an excellent first foray into that segment of the watch world. It’s the perfect dress watch for a guy who’s not into dress watches, or a great casual watch for a guy who wants to turn things up a notch.
Just channel your best Belgian super-villain voice and repeat after me, “I love gooooooooold”.
Solid 18K Pink Gold case is approximately 35mm (excluding crown). Calibre 146D manually-winding chronograph movement by Martel. Circa 1960s.
Overall condition: Case is in excellent condition overall, showing only very light signs of wear from age and use. Original dial and hands are very clean. Original case back and signed crown.
Includes 20mm Brown Crocodile grain leather strap.