Zenith Chronograph
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Zenith Chronograph

There are certain watches that make you question your deeply-held notions about what watches are "supposed" to be. For example, chronographs have historically been indispensable tools in warfare, crucial for tasks such as coordinating the intricate ballet that is an army on the march. They’ve also been used in the arena of motorsports, timing the laps of some of the greatest drivers known ever to take to the track.

For a chronograph to do its job, it doesn’t need to be fancy. All that’s required are two pushers, one to start and the other to stop (in some cases, all you need is one!), and two or three registers on the dial to capture the passing minutes and hours. It doesn’t need to be beautiful, it doesn’t need to awe anyone with its looks, it just needs to do its job with a minimum amount of fuss.

So the very notion of a gold chronograph flies in the face of what a chronograph, by its very nature, was originally intended to be; and yet a chronograph such as this one is so undeniably beautiful that these preconceptions are instantly swept away.

With a wide-eyed dial (thanks to the architecture of the watch’s movement, a Martel Calibre 156H) and a slim, solid gold case, this chronograph is just the sort of thing that Zenith excelled at in the 1950s.

Little details such as the 60 minute track (in black) and a telemeter track in dark blue hint at the chronograph’s sporting heritage, like all good chronographs. But the elongated hash marks in the 45-minute register at 3, 6 and 9 minutes imply that this watch might have had a more dignified purpose. In the days of long distance telephone calls, prices would go up at intervals of three minutes; and since phone companies would rather let you go over the allotted time (and thus rack up charges), canny watch manufactures included this feature on their chronographs so that the owner could keep track of his minutes and terminate the call before the long distance charges mounted further.

This particular example is in absolutely wonderful condition, its 38mm yellow gold case blessedly free from the kind of scars that precious metal commonly (and woefully) accrues over years of daily wear. The dial is crisp and elegant, with applied gold markers and dauphine hands. Coming complete with a box and a solid gold bracelet, this chronograph is the perfect choice for the discerning gentleman who knows just how precious his time really is.

Details

SKU: AS02298

18k yellow gold case is approximately 37.5mm (excluding crown). Zeith Caliber 156H manually wound chronograph movement. Circa late 1950's.

Overall Condition: Case is in superb condition overall, with defined bevels on the lugs showing only light signs of wear. Dial is in equally excellent condition with crisp printing. Zenith-signed crown.

Includes one 20mm tan leather strap, solid 18k gold bracelet, and Zenith box.

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