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Author Topic: Zodiac Education Never Ends  (Read 1584 times)

Online Butch

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Zodiac Education Never Ends
« on: March 08, 2019, 05:55:42 AM »
OK Team, let's find the hidden picture within the pictures.

333080237302 - Here we have an early 60's GMT

264189763915 - Here we have an 70's GMT

173495381416 - For more clarity, here we have an 70's GMT Case and bezel

372596242533 - And then we have this one

Something has been pointed out to me of late and I felt I had to share it with the community. Take a look at all these and see if you can find what I am getting at. What are your thoughts?

I will not respond until someone finds it. But I am monitoring this thread for that time.
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Offline YuriyV

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2019, 08:24:16 AM »
 Unusual bezel on GMT from last lot. Glossy finish. Broad triangle green marker.
Thickness 2,7mm. Comparing to regular 2.2mm metal.
It fits spring loaded case. Exactly as on 722 946.

Online Butch

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2019, 12:11:22 PM »
Very good. How can you explain this?
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Offline YuriyV

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2019, 12:39:18 PM »
It is a mystery indeed.
I'd love to take a look under the bezel of that GMT. I bet it is spring loaded.
But did anybody see 934 (GMT Bakelite) case that fits bezel of 946 (Sea Wolf Bakelite)?
I suspected it must exist by previous observations. Although this is a first time it might pop up in person.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2019, 12:48:32 PM by YuriyV »

Offline Ultra-Vintage

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2019, 12:47:21 PM »
 :rolleyes;

Online Butch

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2019, 12:59:44 PM »
If you got enough money a Chinese company will make you anything you want. Why in the hell the person did not send them a metal bezel is beyond me. They sent them an acrylic bezel and asked that they make metal bezels that are now 3 times as thick as original metal bezels. An you need a spring now.

VZ?
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Offline Ultra-Vintage

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2019, 01:12:01 PM »
If you got enough money a Chinese company will make you anything you want. Why in the hell the person did not send them a metal bezel is beyond me. They sent them an acrylic bezel and asked that they make metal bezels that are now 3 times as thick as original metal bezels. An you need a spring now.

VZ?

Exactly.  Definitely fake, definitely new manufacture, coming out of Italy like many of the aftermarket items on Ebay these days, but being sold as "original".  My guess is they chose to do it this way because the use of a spring allows for more tolerance in dimension and would allow them to fit most of the cases using a spring-style by changing spring size etc.  The true base metal bezels relying on friction only means they would need to be much more exact and will only fit some cases.

Offline YuriyV

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2019, 01:20:47 PM »
As I'm aware, these bezels went to the market from closed service center in Europe. Like NOS stock. In quantities of several dozens. Does not look like Chinese production. But definitely look like aftermarket.

In the same time, how you can explain that a normal GMT case (see distinctive grooves on lugs) has spring loaded bezel joint like SW? Otherwise, Chinese produced GMT cases as well.
Once I saw on eBay a 946 Sea Wolf with Bakelite bezel. It looked like regular SW. Except presence of GMT grooves on lugs.
Maybe Zodiac was experimenting with cases/bezels early days? :dh

Online Butch

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2019, 01:26:54 PM »
Nope. Deeply hidden these have been appearing on eBay. Definitely Chinese (I think anyway) and not original in any fashion. I have seen GMT and Sea Wolf bezels out there. All made for the spring type application though.

Shoot, if I had enough money I would send them a metal bezel and get a bunch made myself. Only like the originals. Anything is better than nothing! You see many on eBay without the bezel. And I lost count of the folks that have come to me looking for one to replace their lost ones over the past 20 years.
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Offline YuriyV

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2019, 01:31:19 PM »
My guess is they chose to do it this way because the use of a spring allows for more tolerance in dimension and would allow them to fit most of the cases using a spring-style by changing spring size etc.

It is interesting that the seller offered two kind of these GMT bezels: regular 2.2mm and this 2.7mm.
First one fits regular 925 case. Second does not fit 925 nor 934. But fits 946.

Offline YuriyV

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2019, 01:35:22 PM »
Definitely Chinese (I think anyway) and not original in any fashion.
Agree, it is not original. But not mandatory Chinese. I tend to think it is something from European aftermarket from 1980-90. Maybe.
I have some thoughts and something to display later today.

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2019, 01:50:25 PM »
OK, thanks then. I surely do not know for certain, just my thoughts.
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Offline Ultra-Vintage

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2019, 02:16:12 PM »
The original seller of these offered at least 4 different stories of their origin, none of which I believe.  All were to deflect from the fact that they are not original.  Other people can buy the con for their own profit all they want, but that does not change the original falsehood.

If they are aftermarket, great, sell them to people as aftermarket and let them decide if they want to use them.  That is honest, as Butch said, for someone without a bezel anything is better than nothing.  However, do not continue to sell them as original which in turn has other sellers putting them on watches and selling them to even more people as original.

Offline Ultra-Vintage

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2019, 02:19:21 PM »
Definitely Chinese (I think anyway) and not original in any fashion.
Agree, it is not original. But not mandatory Chinese. I tend to think it is something from European aftermarket from 1980-90. Maybe.
I have some thoughts and something to display later today.

I honestly doubt that.  As found SWs and GMTs were regularly $100 watches on Ebay all day in the early 2000s and the hobby as a whole did not pay much attention to them.  Now that their prices have risen to several times those levels it is finally profitable for aftermarket components to be made.

Offline YuriyV

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2019, 02:38:59 PM »
The original seller of these offered at least 4 different stories of their origin, none of which I believe.  All were to deflect from the fact that they are not original.  Other people can buy the con for their own profit all they want, but that does not change the original falsehood.

If they are aftermarket, great, sell them to people as aftermarket and let them decide if they want to use them.  That is honest, as Butch said, for someone without a bezel anything is better than nothing.  However, do not continue to sell them as original which in turn has other sellers putting them on watches and selling them to even more people as original.

Totally agree with seller's not honest attitude. But I can interpret it as "false positive". If they indeed acquired this stock from closed store, it is easy to make assumption the parts are original especially if they know nothing about the subject. What else do you expect to get from former official Zodiac service center other than original parts they think? LOL :-)
If they will receive resupply then definitely it is modern knockoff (probably from China). But so far I see they are getting closer to sold out. Will see.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2019, 02:39:48 PM by YuriyV »

Offline YuriyV

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2019, 02:49:50 PM »
As found SWs and GMTs were regularly $100 watches on Ebay all day in the early 2000s and the hobby as a whole did not pay much attention to them.  Now that their prices have risen to several times those levels it is finally profitable for aftermarket components to be made.
True. Although whoever ordered this batch in China did a huge fail.
1. 2.2mm GMT bezel fits 925 GMT case as it should. But is too tight. Can't rotate.
2. 2.7mm GMT bezel fits 946 SW case only. Does not fit 934 as we can expect.
3. 2.7mm SW bezel fits nicely 946 SW case. But is plain metal bezel (without Bakelite insert). Never was a standard for SW.

My point is, spending considerable amount of money to something does not fit its purpose is unlikely for people wanting to earn some money counterfeiting original parts. Too obvious. Chinese try to be as close to original as possible.

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2019, 04:30:00 PM »
All of that is well and good. They were made to a spec though, presented by the customer. Right, wrong, or indifferent. China, Romania, or Sudan, it does not really matter does it? My point here is that they were not made by Zodiac, they are not original, and you guys should be aware they are out there and not get duped. First they were trying to sell them on e bay as as found NOS parts. Now they are starting to put them on watched and peddle them that way.

If any of your guys bring one here you're gonna get laughed right out of the house. Kinda like that one jewel wonder "Zodiac" Jump Hour.

YuriyV, I am guessing you bought some as you certainly have a lot of specs around them. Thanks for sharing that with us.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2019, 04:37:56 PM by Butch »
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Offline YuriyV

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2019, 04:43:59 PM »
Yes, I bought some for research and out of curiosity.
Found some of them useful. Now sometimes I use them for restored watches without bezels, if customer don't mind aftermarket bezel installed.
Definitely, buyer must be notified these are not original.

Offline Ultra-Vintage

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2019, 04:44:25 PM »
All of that is well and good. They were made to a spec though, presented by the customer. Right, wrong, or indifferent. China, Romania, or Sudan, it does not really matter does it? My point here is that they were not made by Zodiac, they are not original, and you guys should be aware they are out there and not get duped. First they were trying to sell them on e bay as as found NOS parts. Now they are starting to put them on watched and peddle them that way.

If you bring one here you're gonna get laughed out of the house. Kinda like that one jewel wonder "Zodiac" Jump Hour.

YuriyV, I am guessing you bought some as you certainly have a lot of specs around them. Thanks for sharing that with us.

 :agreei

Well said Butch.  No matter where it came from or when they are not original, thus it affects the value of a watch.  Like I have already said, aftermarket has its place in the watch industry but when it comes to aftermarket cosmetic parts especially they need to be presented as such.  If not, some one eventually is left holding the bag for a watch that is not original. 

Ask a Rolex expert if the acrylic aftermarket Rolex GMT 6542 bezels on Ebay that are being shipped from Vietnam have the same value as the original radioactive bakelite bezel inserts that would have come on the watch? Are they useful for a part that can no longer be sourced? Sure. Is the watch's value the same with either?  Not even in the same ballpark.

Online Butch

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2019, 07:53:59 PM »
Like mine!



But somebody will want it when I'm dead cuz it was mine.
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Offline YuriyV

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2019, 09:17:50 PM »
Definitely. Everything said above regarding originality is true.
Although without proper context we risk to make wrong conclusions.
Nova days producing parts for vintage watches mainly harm us, collectors.
But 30-40 years ago it was different situation. These watches were regular wearable pieces.
Parts were needed to fulfill regular service demand.
But there was no production due to obvious reasons (Zodiac bankruptcy).
So, somebody ordered a batch for their service department.
Or Zodiac, as all other brands, order parts from third party companies, experimenting with different suppliers/styles? Who knows.
As result, standard bezels (regular Sea Wolf and GMT) from that batch were spent many moons ago.
And we can see very weird leftovers.

As illustration, here is a same Sea Wolf in 946 case. It is for regular Bakelite spring loaded bezel.
As we can see, these thick metal bezels fit this and only this case perfectly. They can fit other Zodiac SW and GMT cases only if glued. So my biggest question is regarding that watch in the topic starter post. Does bezel rotate or glued/soldered?
If it does rotate, than spring loaded cases for GMT did exist (issued by Zodiac) and my above thoughts have some sense.

 
« Last Edit: March 09, 2019, 09:52:00 AM by YuriyV »

Online Butch

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2019, 10:04:05 AM »
I started to write up a reply pointing out all the errors in what you have said and decided it is simply no worth it. The history is available in the Information tab. You and I will never agree on this, and that is fine. I maintain that no owner of the brand throughout history had anything to do with these fake bezels showing up today. They simply would have had no interest in going backwards.

Be that DIXI in 1980ish, Monnier in 1990, or Genender in 2000, or Fossil in 2002, when they all introduced their versions of Zodiacs. Throughout the years I had tried to buy parts from all of these except for DIXI. None of them had any interest in the old models, nor any parts for them. They were only interested in selling their new models.

I guess you threw those marriages together to illustrate your point here. But to me, all they do is tear down your arguments and show people how easy it is to kluge together old parts to make a fake watch. Which in turn brings us back to these fake bezels that are appearing today.
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Online Butch

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2019, 10:13:59 AM »
How about the rest of you collectors? I see a lot are reading this thread, but just replies for a watchmaker and a self taught hobbiest then? And a crotchety old collector. What about any VZ Team Member?
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Offline YuriyV

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2019, 11:26:59 AM »
I guess you threw those marriages together to illustrate your point here.
Right, I used that marriage Sea Wold exclusively to demonstrate how 946 case fits these bezels.
Just one I have on hands. I could use an empty case. It does not matter.
Personally for me origin of these bezels is not so important at the moment.
I'm dying to know more about that GMT case, compatible with these bezels.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2019, 11:27:50 AM by YuriyV »

Online Butch

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2019, 11:31:02 AM »
I never documented all the case numbers and parts like you have so cannot help there. I am just making sure collectors know about this fake bezel.
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Offline YuriyV

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2019, 11:58:40 AM »
I see. Completely understandable. Hope we will be little bit closer to the truth in this aspect of Zodiac history.

Offline Ultra-Vintage

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2019, 12:04:15 PM »
Definitely. Everything said above regarding originality is true.
Although without proper context we risk to make wrong conclusions.
Nova days producing parts for vintage watches mainly harm us, collectors.
But 30-40 years ago it was different situation. These watches were regular wearable pieces.
Parts were needed to fulfill regular service demand.
But there was no production due to obvious reasons (Zodiac bankruptcy).
So, somebody ordered a batch for their service department.
Or Zodiac, as all other brands, order parts from third party companies, experimenting with different suppliers/styles? Who knows.
As result, standard bezels (regular Sea Wolf and GMT) from that batch were spent many moons ago.
And we can see very weird leftovers.

As illustration, here is a same Sea Wolf in 946 case. It is for regular Bakelite spring loaded bezel.
As we can see, these thick metal bezels fit this and only this case perfectly. They can fit other Zodiac SW and GMT cases only if glued. So my biggest question is regarding that watch in the topic starter post. Does bezel rotate or glued/soldered?
If it does rotate, than spring loaded cases for GMT did exist (issued by Zodiac) and my above thoughts have some sense.

You can believe that, and try to convince others of that, but I disagree.  As I said, aftermarket has its place, when disclosed as aftermarket. The backstory you are describing is one of 4 provided by the Italian peddler of these bezels, none of which are really believable and all are done for profit.

You can take a $200 Seawolf missing a bezel bought for parts.  Without the bezel it is not truly a wearable watch.  Adding an aftermarket bezel, when a genuine one cannot be obtained, could make it a wearable watch. Now you have a wearable watch, but to me it is still a $200 parts watch.  Definitely not the several hundred dollars and up online sellers are asking for them, and still calling them "all original".....


Offline YuriyV

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2019, 12:38:35 PM »
Oh, well. I don't want to convince anybody. Just saying my understanding.

Regarding price. It is all about the market. If owner of a vintage GMT wants to simply wear his father's watch and wants to have it complete he pays for aftermarket/not original part because he does not care about its originality. Why not? Seller/serviceman must disclose to him it is not original Zodiac part though. That is it. And price will be whatever these two agreed. Not $200.

Online Butch

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Re: Zodiac Education Never Ends
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2019, 01:31:13 PM »
And so it begins.

233225214264

From the auction:
New bezel has been fitted aand is a little hard to turn so selling as spares or repair.

Interesting side note. I just search eBay's help section for the phrase caveat emptor and I cannot find it on their site. It used to be their mantra...
« Last Edit: May 12, 2019, 01:37:32 PM by Butch »
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