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I saw this Zodiac on the Internet... / Zodiac Astrographic SST hel ne...
Last post by claustro - February 07, 2023, 05:55:09 PM
Hi guys,
this is my first post, my name is Andrea and I am from Italy.
I would like your expert opinion before buying my first vintage Zodiac.
The gray one is nearly NOS, but very expensive it come from a trusted seller and he asks me about 1200 euros.
The blue one is quite cheaper, the request is about 600 euros and is an internet seller.
Do you think the Gray one really deserves the extra money knowing that I will wear the watch often and in some time it will have also some scratches or hairlines?
Can you suggest to me a range of prices for this kind of watch in case I will be unable to buy one of this two?

Thank you

Watch Stories / Re: Zodiac and the myth of the...
Last post by Butch - February 03, 2023, 07:44:05 AM
A tidbit: AAFES (Army and Air Force Exchange Services), where the stores found on US military bases around the world. In the 70's they even had a catalog you could order from and have it delivered to your local PX (Post Exchange) as the stores were known on the bases. I remember in 1974 or 5 ordering a unique looking Zodiac dress watch for my wife (at that time I was in South Korea). Back in the early 60's, if not the 50's, Trauner had cultivated that relationship and business deal. It would not surprise me to find that they were the biggest consumer for Zodiacs here in the US.
Watch Stories / Re: Zodiac and the myth of the...
Last post by Grossisten - February 03, 2023, 06:25:03 AM
Finally (at least for today), details of the end of the Calame ownership and especially its causes was reported on August 7th 1978, again translated with the aid of Google:

"Events began to rush with the bankruptcy of the agent of the brand in the USA, in 1976. In fact Zodiac did not recover from this hard blow. In 1975, the New York office, backed by its powerful client, the American army, absorbed 50 percent of Zodiac's production, or 40 percent of the company's turnover.
During the "easy years", that is to say when the market was powerfully buying, the American windfall
allowed all hopes and Zodiac is not the only company to have dreamed on this pillow. The time came when everyone had to relearn how to sell. The stop was brutal. To the American bankruptcy were added those of the agents of Japan and Italy."

This confirms what I had heard from my father when he was Zodiacs agent in Denmark and mentioned several times also in the original post that I am commenting on here.

So there we have it, the smoking gun, the explanation in black and white (in the article at least).
Watch Stories / Re: Zodiac and the myth of the...
Last post by Grossisten - February 03, 2023, 06:15:53 AM
You cannot view this attachment.In a longer article from Zodiacs 90th anniversary in 1972 the history of the brand is told in-depth. Much is wellknown but certain facts were new (to me at least). For instance the location of the "old" Zodiac factory, inaugurated in 1908. Its in fact and much to my surprise placed within a few yards of the "new" factory - on the same road, Bellevue, but at bit up the mountain. I'll try to attach a picture.
Watch Stories / Re: Zodiac and the myth of the...
Last post by Grossisten - February 03, 2023, 06:07:45 AM
In a different article it is mentioned that it was Rene Calame who initiated the transformation to a limited company when he took over as CEO in 1934 (the years dont quite match, but this could have a number of reasons, not least the almost 20 years between those articles). In another short article the inauguration of the then new Zodiac factory is dated to have taken place on August 15th 1951.
Watch Stories / Re: Zodiac and the myth of the...
Last post by Grossisten - February 03, 2023, 06:02:35 AM
As I expect writing an article will take some time here is a taste of the content I will base it on:

The following appeared in a local newspaper in august 1933 (translated by Google):

"The reason Ariste Calame flls, "Zodiac" watchmaking factory, in Le Locle, was then struck off from the takeover of assets and liabilities by Zodiac S. A., a public limited company, whose head office is in Le Locle. The share capital is 40,000 francs, divided into 80 registered shares. The company is managed by a board of directors of 1 to 5 members. Named: Messrs. Ariste Calame, industrialist, Charles Baillod, doctor of medicine, René-Ariste Calame, industrialist, all three residing in Le Locle."

I interpret this as the news of the Company Ariste Calame Fils (and sons) being replaced by Zodiac S.A. (Ltd), ie. the company was transformed to a limited company called Zodiac.
Watch Stories / Re: My Sea-Chron
Last post by Butch - February 01, 2023, 09:16:03 AM
True. Might want to share the servicing bill with him as well.
Watch Stories / Re: My Sea-Chron
Last post by Grossisten - February 01, 2023, 09:01:30 AM
Be sure to educate him how to take care of a vintage mechanical watch. Most young people have no clue.
Watch Stories / Re: My Sea-Chron
Last post by Ultra-Vintage - January 31, 2023, 03:36:38 PM
An excellent family heirloom.  That is one of Zodiac's best chronographs in my opinion, and its nice that it was a Zodiac exclusive design. 

Great gift!   :sm3
Watch Stories / Re: My Sea-Chron
Last post by Butch - January 31, 2023, 02:11:26 PM
That will make a FINE family heirloom mgfish!

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