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TobesEtc

1962 Asprey "Zenex"

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Earlier this year I inherited my Grandads retirement "gold watch". ("Gold" in quotes as it probably isn't!). Anyway, it was branded Asprey 17 Jewel and didn't work properly, so I took it to Asprey and asked them to service/fix it. Six months later they've not managed to get it working properly. However, they do promise it's "nearly there". In the meantime they have told me that the movement inside is made by Zenex. I've never heard of them (not that this should be a surprise, as I'm not expert) but nor can I find much about them on the web. I assume they made cheapish movements to go inside over-priced cases? (That may be a bit harsh?). Can anyone tell me anything about Zenex? The case of the watch is engraved 1962 but the original chap at Asprey said it was a little older than that. I'd love to share a pic but 6 months ago I assumed I'd have it back before now and until I do, I can't take a photo, of course. So, asking about Zenex 17 Jewel movements... anyone ever heard of such a thing?

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Zenex don't appear on the largest watch movement database, Ranfft, so we are scratching our heads too.

 

Dread to think what the cost will be if it has taken six months to be nearly ready

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Ok, so no wonder no one had ever heard of Zenex! Here's an email I've just received, with a bit more info.

"I completely got my wires crossed with regards to the name and what that represented. The watchmaker was taking about Zenith not Zenex that’s my mistake ,this is the company supplying the part that are needed. The movement is indeed Made by Smith Clocks of Cricklewood. I have located an interesting link detailing the history of the company    http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Smiths_English_Clocks The watch testing is going well , which is good news. "

Thus it appears the movement is Smith Clocks and that Zenith provide the parts. Does this sound more likely for an early 1960's Asprey wrist watch? Not sure I've heard of Smith Clocks with respect to wrist watches...?

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Some research found this page: http://www.antiquewatchstore.com/home/2180-smiths-for-asprey-london-batch-no-36.html

My watch is very similar to this in that it was given to my Granddad (in 1962, I think, but 6 months since I briefly had it!) also by FAIREY AVIATION and has a virtually identical inscription. So that's great. Mystery solved...but very keen to hear your comments, thoughts, etc! I'll attach a pic when I eventually get it back.

 

Actually, more like this: http://www.invaluable.co.uk/auction-lot/wristwatch-:-an-asprey-9-ct-gold-cased-mechanical-1104-c-ce3057db2e

I Googled the engraving wording. Fairey must have doled them out quite frequently. (Sorry, could work out how to add this link to previous post)

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Now that we know there's a Smith's connection, you may get some additional information, since there are some Smith's enthusiasts on the forum.  As to the Zenith connection on the movement, that's not necessarily surprising to hear, as Zenith's main business for many years of their existence was as a movement manufacturer and supplier.  Once you get the watch back and can post pics of the movement, additional insights from this group will likely be more forthcoming.

Sounds like a great watch though! :thumbsup:  (I will, however, give a hearty "boo" to whomever it is that's working on your watch ... 6 months is unacceptable.)

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Apologies that this has taken so long, but here are a couple of pictures of the refurbished watch. Thanks for all the help. Asprey "Smith" reyirement watch from Fairey Aviation:

 

20160528_08540920160528_085415

 

 

 

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Looks fantastic & has been given a new lease of life for the future.  :thumbsup:

 

Edited by davidcxn

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That refurbishment looks fantastic, you must be very happy with it, even after all the wait.

Very similar story here, yesterday I picked up my late Grandads Asprey 17 Jewel, 25 year service, gold wrist watch courtesy of Fairey Aviation awarded in 1961, and to be fair, it does seem to still keep time, roughly!

Could I ask roughly what it cost for a refurbishment? Completely understand if you would rather not say.

Nice new leather strap and a polish and it would be good as new, though part of me does wonder if it should be kept as it is!

Pics attached.

 

 3T5N0xaaR-5JVcJDfMrH709tjpHMRZeGZBw8dCM7

Ox8VNxS2lnymRbg2OTIwfgtFaOGVS8rLN3curF0A

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