Zenith Chronometer (Deck Watch)

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Conrad, Jul 21, 2007.

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  1. Conrad

    Conrad Registered User

    Sep 10, 2004
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    Hello,
    I bought this Zenith Chronometer about a month ago at a flea market and have been trying to get some info on it to no avail. The movement is stamped Zenith, 15 jewels, 3 adj. and it is also stamped Vail Watch Co. I could not find any info at all on this company. Clocks are my hobby, this is the first watch I have bought, only because I thought is was pretty neat.
    They are not a common watch (or clock) I believe, I found out that much.
    Any info would be greatly appreciated.
     

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  2. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
    Staff Member NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Ruby Member Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2000
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    Vail was a company in Chicago that upgraded Zenith movements for use as torpedo boat or deck watches. The result is nearly identical to the similar items from Waltham that were upgraded by the Roth Brothers and some others.

    The Zenith/Vail pieces are less common than the Waltham/Roth ones.

    These conversions occurred at the start of WWII.
     
  3. Conrad

    Conrad Registered User

    Sep 10, 2004
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    Thanx Tom for the information,That is more info than I was able to find in a couple of weeks. Do you know of any web sites or books that can tell me more about the Vail Watch Co. ?
     
  4. terofpa

    terofpa Registered User

    Dec 20, 2006
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    Please, I need to know more about this story and about buying this chronometer at a flea market. What flea market did you buy this from? Would I be out of line if I asked about how much? Please, please, please don't tell me $10 or something like that.

    Why is it when I go to flea markets all i see are clothes and old baby toys? Oh yeah, and Avon bottles.

    Ter
     
  5. RON in PA

    RON in PA Registered User
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    May 18, 2005
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    Your watch is pictured on page 393 of Military Timepieces by Marvin E. Whitney published by the AWI Press (1992). It is an 8 day, 15 jeweled watch made from an upjeweled 6 jewel automobile watch brought up to US Navy specifications. The watch was probably made sometime late in WW1 or as late as the early 1920s.

    Vail Watch was set up by Zenith in the late 1890s to manufacture watches in the USA.

    Whitney's book is available from AWI and is also available from the NAWCC Library.
     
  6. Conrad

    Conrad Registered User

    Sep 10, 2004
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    Saylorsburg Flea Market and not alot of $$$. Good flea market but you must get there early-early-early, Sunday is best. Are you a collector or Chronometers??
     
  7. Conrad

    Conrad Registered User

    Sep 10, 2004
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    Thanx Ron for the info. Do you know if these were made for the military or just made up to specs for the general public??
     
  8. RON in PA

    RON in PA Registered User
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    May 18, 2005
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    The watches were made for the US Navy.
     

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