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Author Topic: A small historical tidbit...  (Read 1833 times)

Offline rdenney

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A small historical tidbit...
« on: April 07, 2014, 03:49:29 PM »
The wife and I are traveling to Switzerland to do the watch thing, and I was researching the location of the Zodiac factory in the hopes of driving by for a photo. While searching on the address (25 Bellevue, Le Locle), I got a Google hit on a trademark information site that interested me.

It was the trademark listing for "SST". Zodiac applied to register that trademark on January 25, 1971, and the trademark registration was granted on July 18, 1972. In their application, Zodiac claimed that the trademark was first used on October 31, 1969.

We know that the Caliber 86/88 was first used in 1968, according to Zodiac's own historical documentation. This tells me that they marketed a high-beat watch for at least a full year before using the "SST" label.

That confirms the date for my watch, which has a high-beat movement but is not marked SST. I was never sure it wasn't a marriage, but I am much more confident now.

This same case and dial design was used later with "SST" over on the left and "Zodiac" under the applied logo.

By the way, I attached Google's aerial view of the old factory.

Rick "adding to the knowledge base" Denney

Offline Butch

  • My postings are my personal opinons based on 25 years of collecting Zodiacs and the reference materials in my possession.
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Re: A small historical tidbit...
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2014, 04:39:27 PM »
Years ago a friend was there and took a picture of the factory and sent it to me. Darned if I can find it though.

Based on your watch (which we have discussed before) and this info, I agree with all this Rick.
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Offline rdenney

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Re: A small historical tidbit...
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2014, 06:06:06 PM »
Years ago a friend was there and took a picture of the factory and sent it to me. Darned if I can find it though.

I'll supply you with new ones. I was just there today. It is being used as a low-rent office block--I met a guy who owns a private gymnasium on one floor. It still says "Zodiac" on the front, and the outline of the original metal letters next to the door are still plainly visible--the building has probably never been repainted. Lots of graffiti over parts reachable from the ground.

The building looks big in pictures, but it is really quite shallow, and perched on a sliver of steep slope between Bellevue and the hillside.

I also found Dixi Machining, which had bought Zenith and Zodiac both to save them from the quartz crisis, and it appears to be healthy.

Pictures soon.

Rick "glad he rented a car" Denney


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