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Zenith Sporto -61

posted 21 Dec 2014, 03:06 by Markus Helander   [ updated 21 Dec 2014, 03:11 ]
At the time Zenith represented agricultural equipment to me. But like with the Seamaster 30 just before, I did my share of sherlocking and learned lots of the prestige of the brand; learned about their first chronograph El Primero (also down the line), saw their lovely ladies' heart-shaped open-heart pieces, and of course the great number of Sportos there were auctioned and sold around.

It was vintage, it was in good share, and the price was fair enough. If I remember right, the Omega was a bargain around 150EUR and this had some more value, some 250EUR. After retrieving my newest watch from the post office, I agreed that the extra hundred held its place.


Truly a beautiful piece and luckily ticking a nearly perfect time for its age. There was an inscription on the case back which had been polished away and it was clearly visible, but otherwise a splendid Zenith Sporto specimen!

Case back had a serial number of 9581511 and the seventeen jewel movement number 5174461. I tried contacting Zenith to find out when it was made but unfortunately their Heritage Services had been cancelled. I googled it around and found a few lists of Zenith serial numbers that dated this Sporto to 1961. The movement was cal 40.T with small seconds. The feel was completely different from my vintage. The crown was more firm, the dial was a beautiful silver one and the overall looks had much more prestige in it. It had some bulk black leather on it, so I decided to try out a brown leather strap with white stitching. I feel it really worked!

Zenith used its Sporto line with their sports watches after late 1950s. It was published in 1955 and had a plexiglass to prevent exposing to dust. In the beginning it ran the Zenith default cal 12-4 movement, which was later changed to this cal 40.T.  Apart from the brown leather, everything else was original. Zenith star logos all around.


What I really loved in this watch was the super dauphine hands and how accurately they adjusted with the crown. From all the vintage watches I've had, this has stayed in my mind over the years. Next up more vintage and something new again.