A277 | Chronograph | Steel
This first-series, Zenith A277 divers’ chronograph displays all the hallmarks of a classic vintage sports watch. One of the largest and most robust chronographs ever manufactured by Zenith, the reference A277 was produced alongside the strikingly-similar and ever-purposeful, Movado Super Sub Sea. With its Zenith-stamped, original Gay Fréres ladder bracelet and clasp, it looks very much of its time.
Famed for producing great tool watches, the Zenith A277 (like the El Primero) is a typical example of how function can influence aesthetics in the best possible way. Sized at 40.5mm, the watch wears comfortably on the wrist and shows great legibility, owing to its contrasting black dial, off-white sub-registers and outer-minute track. It retains strong colours and an unblemished surface, with luminous index markers and hands.
The watch features a straight chronograph seconds hand (with no lume), consistent with ‘first-series’ A277s. The crown is also correct - bearing the ‘5-point’ Zenith star logo. Like many early reference A277’s, the rotating sixty-minute bezel has faded to a ghosted grey, transitioning to off-white on the outer-edge. The luminous pearl insert is missing at 12 o’clock, with trace material still visible. The case is well-preserved, with bevelling visible on the lugs and a deep Zenith star on the screw-down case-back. This particular case dates to circa 1969 (serial 184 XXXX); an early example of an A277.
This Zenith A277 chronograph carries the 17-jewel, manual-winding caliber 146-H (unique to first-series examples). The movement stems from the same Martel ebauche used by Universal Genève, which later became the calibre 146-HP. In the early 1960’s, Zenith acquired movement company Martel, bringing the calibre in-house. The 146-HP movement, featured in later A277 examples, was one of the last manually-wound calibres produced by Zenith, before development of the El Primero.
Together with its Zenith-stamped, original Gay Fréres ladder bracelet in steel, and matching ZF end-links, this piece makes a showcase of what a classic vintage sports watch should be like.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.
|Movement:||manually-wound Calibre 146 H|
|Functions:||date, hours, minutes, center seconds, chronograph|
|Case:||40.5mm stainless steel|
|Bracelet:||Zenith Grey Fréres ladder bracelet, ZF end-links|
|Box & papers:||N/A|
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