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Did Zodiac have "weak" main spring barrels?

Started by Grossisten, January 04, 2022, 07:44:35 AM


A couple of months ago I attended a watch enthusiast event. When I presented myself as a vintage Zodiac collector, the host - a watchmaker - instantly responded something like "Oh, they are known for their poor quality spring barrels". I was somewhat taken aback (and annoyed as this wasn't the nicest way to start a conversation) because I have always been sure that Zodiac manufactured very high quality watches.

I have little technical insight so I have to rely on input from more knowledgable people: Whats your experience, is there any truth to what he said?

I found this older post, could this be what he was referring to:


Yeah, that would have ruffled my feathers too. As you know, there are many products meant to last a lifetime. Most rarely do. But it is this ingenuity that keeps driving us to  make things better. It is easy to sit back 60 or 70 years later and pass judgement.

The family meant to be around a long time, as they already had been, right? If they were still a family owned business we would have access to a source for sealed barrels, bezels, crowns, etc. Also, any brand using AS movements had/has the same issues, like Girard-Perregaux. By the end of the 70's Zodiac had moved on to the ETA movements, like other brands, as they were simpler to maintain and probably cheaper too.

Next time you see that fella tell him >I< said go back to fixing his kortz watches.
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These are not weak. They require highest qualification and expertise from a service person.
In the same time, whoever decided to make MS barrel sealed, back to the days, was very wrong.
Ability to be completely serviced is a property of a luxury item. Definitely, sealed barrel doesn't add luxury to 61-76 caliber family. Even if during the service it was opened with minimal material loss and damage.
Even worth situation is on high beat version - 78-88. It is clearly visible, the design was executed with a lot of compromises and keeping money savings on design and production in mind. Definitely these are not luxury products either even if watches built on these calibers have great historical and technical significance.

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