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

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  • Manufacturer: Zenith
    Year: Circa 1970s
    Reference No: 01.0040.418
    Case No: NR 50038-11
    Model Name: Sub Sea "Espada"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 3019, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Zenith bracelet, max length 180 mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Zenith deployant buckle
    Dimensions: 40mm width, 44mm length
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Manufactured in the 1970s, Zenith not only housed its newly-launched automatic El-Primero chronograph movement in this watch, but also added triple calendar and moonphases complications to make the preset Sub Sea “Espada” one of the most complex dive watches at the time. The name of the watch “Espada”, printed boldly below 12 o’clock, originates from the Spanish word “Sword”.

    In production between 1969 and 1975, the El-Primero was the manufacturer’s first automatic chronograph movement. In 1975, in the midst of the quartz crisis, Zenith decided to stop producing this movement. Fortunately, Charles Vermont, a specialist who helped develop this caliber, decisively hid the equipment required to make these movements. After years of being forgotten about, in 1984 the protected tools were put back to work and the production of the El Primero resumed.

    With its unmissable 1970s design, the present model exudes a unique retro aura. Produced in a limited scale, the present Espada seduces with its daring looks, complex movement and rarity.

  • 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. 01.0040.418
A fine and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with triple calendar, moonphases and bracelet

Circa 1970s
40mm width, 44mm length
Case, dial and movement signed

HK$40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for HK$52,500

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