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Unknown Zenith

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Zenith Watches5 of 11My father's Zenith De Luxe Automatic, vintage golden watch! Zenith Ladies Wristwatch 1960's
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Posted 6 years ago

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I inherited this Zenith from my late father-in-law in 1992 and I still wear it every day as my main watch. I'm curious to know more about it. He received it in 1977 as his 25 year long service gift from De Beers Consolidated mining company inKimberley, South Africa. He wore it daily until he passed away in 1992. It is gold and appears solid as there is no degradation in the surface after 35 years of service. I searched online and one person had a similar one which was titled a "380 Cal 2572". It must have been manufactured before 1977. I have no idea if this is accurate. The one shown by that person had a stainless steel back. I suspect De Beers purchased hundreds and replaced the back with the gold one and embossed it with their logo (as shown in my pics) and then as required engraved the recipients name (in this case my father-in-law, I.L Bell).
Does anyone have more information, or thoughts about this watch?


Craig Harrison

Unsolved Mystery

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  1. Muser, 6 years ago
    Dear Craig, my father was also presented with an 18k solid gold Zenith, (but in the 1960's, so is an older model than yours). It was engraved with his name GUSTAV MUSER, and presented by the CMR, ( Consolidated Main Reef Gold Mines) also in South Africa. I understand these presentation watches are rare, in that only a very few were made, obviously as a result of the recipients being both few and old.
    In my case, I mailed, via registered mail, the watch to Zenith in Switzerland
    only to be told by Zenith that the mail had arrived, but the box was empty..
    I would dearly love to have the watch again, as it has great sentimental value for me.
    I would purchase it, no questions asked, so if you ever run into it, I would be ever so grateful if you we're to let me know. Or inform the present owner of my request to purchase it. My e.mail is: pmuser@cogeco.ca.
    With kindest regards $ best wishes.
    PS Prior to the watch going missing, I had sent the watch to Zenith, who did the most marvelous restoration, returning it to me at a most reasonable cost. It was as new again. You may wish to do this too, but I strongly suggest you ship via UPS or the like, for safety, Best of luck,
  2. itchy8me, 4 years ago
    My dad received this watch for long term service to debeers in kimberley south africa as well. He left in 1998-99, so our dads must have known each other. He passed away in 2001 and i ended up inheriting it. It looks almost exactly the same , except the face is made of/coated in gold and there is a little more etching on it, but no date. It is 18k gold and i also have no further information about the value / production of the thing.
  3. paulbarwicktog, 3 years ago
    Hi.I have just purchased a beautiful black dial Zenith de beers.it has beautifully engraved back with the name A Duncan.unlike the pics above the engraving was all done at the same time.I love it and would love to know the history.Paul.
  4. Muser, 3 years ago
    Dear Paulbarwicktog, Congratulations on your purchase. I'm sure it is a very elegant watch. Please send image if you can. I would love to see it.
    As for what I know, it is that DeBeers placed an (or several) orders for Zenith watches, to be given to employees as a long service award. My Father, Gustav Muser, who was employed by the Consolidated Main Reef Mines (CMR) also received such a watch but from CMR, not from DeBeers. My Dad's watch was in 18 Carat Green Gold, and the case was made from a solid ounce of gold that was mined by CMR. The case construction and engraving was almost identical to yours, except it was personalized to my dad off course. I surmise that the upper Management of CMR. This link http://www.google.ca/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=consolidated+main+reef+mines+and+estates+limited&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&gfe_rd=cr&ei=pxr6VP2FEcXB8geqkICwBQ will provide you with a host of good information regarding CMR. I suspect that either CMR and Debeers were linked financially, or that CMR and DeBeers upper management must have known one another well, and either of the companies probably told the other about, their Long-service watch programme ( and how pleased they were with Zenith), and the other company simply followed up by also ordering almost identical solid gold watches from Zenith. I will do more research now that I have discovered that CMR Archives are available. I'm sure that DeBeers Archives are also available if one were to do an internet search. One hunch I have is that if the Zenith you have purchased has an original Black Dial, (and not a substituted one), then it should be a very rare example indeed, as I have never seen either a DeBeers or CMR Zenith with a black dial. Interestingly, all the old time watchmakers I had spoken too, without fail, considered Zenith to be the equal of Patek. In addition, I believe these watches are extremely rare, as not only were they were made in small quantities, but also, many were worn by the recipients and were subsequently damaged. Great watch buy Paul. One sad note, in conversation with Zenith a few months ago, I was told that they had no information as to quantities or dates of manufacture regarding CMR Commemorative watches. It may be different with DeBeers. You may want to ask them Paul/

    With kindest regards, Paul Muser

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