One of the more interesting watches to be introduced during the First World War, the Zenith Land and Water can claim to be one of the very first wristwatches designed to solve the problems of moisture and dust entering the case.
It uses a remarkable case construction where the case and back are one bowl shaped unit and the movement and dial sit inside this under a screwed bezel and glass. This model was exclusive to the firm’s main UK retailer, Birch & Gaydon and advertised as being especially designed for naval & military officers (which explains the Land & Water name). In fact Zenith’s name appears nowhere on the exterior of the watch, either on the dial or case. Only the retailer’s name & full address appear, as well as the model name above the seconds dial.
The dial is black enamel free of any visible cracks or chips, with very large white Arabic numbers which originally would have had radium paint upon them, this has been removed, although all three of the hands still have their radium inserts present. There is a small sunken seconds dial at the 6 position and the seconds hand, most unusually also has a radium insert.
The case is Swiss made, sterling silver and bears the Glasgow import marks for 1917. It has Zenith’s silver sponsor’s mark of ‘ZWC’ in a triangular cartouche near the winding stem and the case number 3049705 on the other side of the case interior.
The movement is gilt finished, jewelled to all the pivots, although in those days it wasn’t necessary to state the number of jewels or adjustments, it is obviously a very high quality movement with Zenith’s patented ‘snail shell’ micrometer regulator and highly polished steel winding wheels. It is numbered 2314493, stamped ‘Swiss Made’ and (like all watches of this period) does not have any form of shock protection for the balance.
The movement is 90+%, whilst the case & dial are also both 90%.
Width 35mm; Lug-to-Lug 38.8; Height 11mm. It takes a 12.5mm strap and an excellent brown leather replica of the original one is fitted.
£2,500.00 (approx. $3,300.00 US)