Finds Vintage

A Near-Perfect Zenith A. Cairelli CP-2


For those who adore the utilitarian military aesthetic of the classic pilot’s chronograph, this your watch. Moreover, theres a flash of that classic 1960s Italian style that knows no bounds. I can’t quite say why, but this watch puts me in mind of all the classic icons: the Vespa, Alfa’s original Disco Volante, and Lake Como. Though the CP-2 was created for the Italian Air Force (AMI), civilian versions were also retailed. This is one lovely example of just that.


There’s a lot to be said for getting the proportions just right in any watch. You don’t want oversized pushers. The bezel shouldn’t be too thick. Big-eye subs are just outright sexy. Then there’s the vaguely-utilitarian yet artfully shaped shovel of lume at the top of the seconds hand. The undersized sans serif font. Watchmaking is about details, but even ‘simple’ watches are made or broken in the execution of their details. This one is the former. One last detail I always enjoy is the manual 146 DP movement. It’s surprisingly aesthetic for a workhorse. Personally, I just like the horizontal alignment of the gear-train. They didn’t have to arrange it like that, but it’s a lovely detail.


As condition goes, this is an outright winner. Its case is sharp, seemingly unpolished, the dial perfect. All cream-lume plots are present. Moreover, its 12 bezel marker is still fully intact in a faded orange. This is uber rare, they’re normally disintegrated or black. The movement looks to be strong though no service history is known. If you’re after a CP-2 and don’t care about the military side of collecting, here’s your chance.

Find this A. Cairelli CP-2 here from Tortoise Watches for 14033 USD.

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