Zenith - The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE Geneva Friday, May 12, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Zenith
    Year: circa 1930
    Reference No: 4528
    Case No: 43'026
    Model Name: "Marina Militare"
    Material: Stainless steel and 18k yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 854, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Original leather strap
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel
    Dimensions: 42mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: The present watch is illustrated in I Cronografi Da Polso, Preziose Memorie Del XX Secolo Volume III by Paul White pp. 216-217

  • Catalogue Essay

    While the CP-2 (Cronometro da Polsa Type 2) is the best known wristwatch Zenith made for the Italian army in the 1960s-1970s, it is a lesser known fact that Zenith provided the Italian Navy with a small batch of chronographs in the 1930s.

    Whereas the design of the CP-2 was overtly military and was built to be used by the armed forces, the present lot made for the Marina Militare, the Italian Navy, with its superbly elegant steel and gold case with enamel dial was most probably made to be worn by high ranking officers as far away as possible from battles or from the nefarious effect of sea water.

    The large 42mm stepped case is quite impressive with its short downturned gold lugs and gold bezel. The superbly preserved white enamel dial features crisp black Arabic numerals and a double snail scale, the tachometer in red and telemeter in blue.

    A "nodo savoia" is prominently featured above 6 o’clock.

    The present watch in excellent condition is quite unique as it was made for the Italian Navy but lacks the ruggedness of a tool watch to be used in combat. With its sleek elegance it is a somewhat UFO amongst military watches and as such will certainly appeal to the most discerning collector.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1865

    Since Zenith's beginnings, founder George Favre-Jacot sought to manufacture precision timepieces, realizing quality control was best maintained when production was housed under one roof. Zenith remains one of the few Swiss manufacturers to produce their own in-house movements to this day.

    Today, the brand is best known for the "El Primero," the firm's most successful automatic chronograph movement. In an interesting twist of fate, the company that owned Zenith during the 1970s decided to move on to quartz movements and therefore sought to destroy the parts and tools necessary to make mechanical movements. One watchmaker realized this folly and hid the tools and parts before they were destroyed. In 1984, he returned them to Zenith so they could once again make the El Primero movement.

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Ref. 4528
A fine and rare stainless steel and yellow gold large single pusher chronograph wristwatch with enamel dial, made for the Marina Militare

circa 1930
42mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF15,000 - 25,000 

Sold for CHF25,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017