Zenith - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: SEVEN Hong Kong Monday, November 26, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Zenith
    Year: Circa 1970
    Model Name: Cairelli CP-2
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 146DP, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel buckle
    Dimensions: 43mm. Diameter
    Signed: Dial and movement signed, caseback engrave “Cronometro tipo-CP-2 A. Cairelli-Roma”

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Cairelli Zenith chronograph is one of the most sublime and aesthetically pleasing tool watches of the mid-20th century. The oversized case at 43mm diameter is today a modern wearable everyday timepiece, but at the time it would have been thought too big for daily wear, however it was a military tool watch and therefore the dial needed to be large and clear. Cairelli had been supplying watches to the Italian military since the 1950s, using Universal timepieces with Martel Watch Company movements, the company was sold and Zenith bought them in 1959. To keep consistency Cairelli began to use Zenith for their watches. Initially, the watches were intended for both the Italian Air Force and marked “AMI” or the Navy and marked “MM”. Ultimately the contract was cancelled and watches not sold to the military were then retailed to civilian customers, these watches do not bear any military marking. It is believed that 2500 examples of the CP-2 (Cronometro da polso) were manufactured and some 500 were ultimately sold to the public.

    The present example is in lovely original condition with a sharp case and clean original dial. The A. Cairelli Zenith is an appealing watch that has an interesting history and a high grade movement that makes it an ideal collectible timepiece.

  • 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 rare and highly attractive oversized chronograph wristwatch with black matte dial, rotating bezel and luminous Arab numerals, retailed by A. Cairelli, Roma

Circa 1970
43mm. Diameter
Dial and movement signed, caseback engrave “Cronometro tipo-CP-2 A. Cairelli-Roma”

HK$78,000 - 117,000 

Sold for HK$100,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

Ziyong Ho
+852 9386 2032

Jill Chen
+852 2318 2033

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: SEVEN

Hong Kong Auction 27 November 2018