Zenith - The Watch Auction: One Geneva Saturday, May 9, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Zenith
    Year: 1969
    Reference No: 1205
    Model Name: El Primero
    Material: Stainless steel Gay Frères
    Calibre: Automatic, 3019PF
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel
    Clasp/Buckle: Folding deployant clasp, stamped 1.69
    Dimensions: 38mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: With letter from Zenith confirming the production of this prototype in 1969. The letter is dated 29th October 2008.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present “El Primero” is one of only 25 prototypes produced of Zenith’s reference 1205SP with triple calendar and moon phases. Scholarship believes that less than a handful of these watches have survived.This series is powered by Zenith’s calibre 3019PHF and was completed between 1969 and 1970. They are easily recognisable by the star numerals positioned at the 2 o’clock and 10 o’clock positions, adjacent to the week day and month aperture. The present example, preserved in excellent and original condition, still features the original Zenith’s bracelet made by Gay Frères, stamped 1/69. To some this watch belongs either in a museum or in an important private Zenith collection. We believe it could also look stunning on someone’s wrist.

  • 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. 1205
A very rare and fine stainless steel full calendar chronograph prototype wristwatch with moon phases and Gay Frères bracelet

38mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for CHF68,750

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Watch Auction: One

Geneva Auction 10 May 2015 6:30pm