Zenith - The Geneva Watch Auction: XI Geneva Sunday, June 28, 2020 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Zenith
    Year: Circa 1970
    Case No: 202'583
    Model Name: "Cairelli CP-2"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 146DP, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel unsigned buckle
    Dimensions: 43mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed, caseback further engraved “Cronometro Tipo CP-2 A. Cairelli-Roma"

  • Catalogue Essay

    Considering that the present Zenith Tipo CP-2 is a military issued timepiece, we can only be impressed by its superlative state of preservation.

    With its large 43mm. case size, black dial with large Arabic numerals and military background, not to mention its overall good looks, the Zenith "A. Cairelli" Tipo CP-2 (Cronometro da Polsa Tipo 2 meaning wristwatch type 2) has become a highly coveted chronograph.

    From the 1960s to 1970s the Italian Air Force, the Aeronautica Militare Italiana (AMI) commissioned Zenith to make a special wristwatch for its members. It is believed that approximately 2,500 examples were made.

    The Tipo CP-2 were all supplied through A. Cairelli, the prominent Roman retailer of watches, clocks, and mechanical instruments. Designed for AMI’s pilots for mission use, many were not issued due to an abrupt cancellation by the AMI. A. Cairelli sold the remaining stock – all without military issue numbers on their casebacks – privately to civilians.

    The present watch is therefore a rare military-issued version, illustrated by the engraving on this caseback, reading “AMI CRONOMETRO TIPO CP-2 MM 202583"

    Housing a high grade, hand-wound movement, the caliber 146, this historically significant chronograph remains in excellent overall condition. Combined with its masculine presence, military provenance, and eye-catching dial, it’s a superb timepiece for any vintage watch enthusiast. It is furthermore accompanied by a custom-made Attila Aszodi bund strap that further enhances its good looks.

  • 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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A highly rare and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with matte black dial, rotating bezel, luminous Arabic hour markers, made for A. Cairelli Roma

Circa 1970
43mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed, caseback further engraved “Cronometro Tipo CP-2 A. Cairelli-Roma"

CHF7,000 - 14,000 

Sold for CHF15,000

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: XI

Geneva Auction 27 - 28 June 2020