‘The want’ is very strong with vintage Zenith. I want an original covergirl, G381, A277, Moonphase Calibre 3019 PHF Prototype, I could go on. . . In that list most definitely lies the Mk1 A386. This is, to put it on the nose, the first of the first automatic chronographs. Why do I seek that? Its design is attractive, the contrasted big-eye subs uniquely lovely. The automatic cal 3019 is as gorgeous as it was groundbreaking. It also happens to be a complete sleeper to the general population. Watch people get it, no one else cares. Personally, that is my ideal.
Zenith’s recipe was fairly straightforward here. First, take the (or one of the) first-ever automatic chronograph movements. Make it a hi-beat for increased precision and because you can. Go tri-color on the subs. Restrain the case to a tasteful 38mm with angular lug design, a bit shark-nosed. Voila, you have an icon of the last century—A386. Although you see the A386’s influence across many other styles of Zenith chronograph, just 4500 were actually produced in this original flavor. Considerably less where this Mk1 variety, on offer today.
Although the market has risen considerably in the last few years, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that these are still a value. The limited quantity (in combination with few remaining in strong condition) and genuine iconic status I feel are sure to see these increase in collectibility.
The condition is utterly beautiful. Honest patina, as Theo & Harris would say. I am certain this dial and handset are original to the watch. Its patina is even and constant in a yellowed chapter, golden lume, and faded subdials. It features a Mk1 dial, case, and logo-free back with correct serial. The original GF ladder bracelet is a nice touch also. It comes in its original box, naked, from a well regarded retailer.
Find this Mk1 A386 here from Sabiwatches for 19800 EUR.