Zenith Cal.2562PC Hi-Beat 28,800 Automatic 18ct Gold Tonneau 1975

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SKU: VGW Reference: Z981 Category:


Zenith is one of the oldest watch manufacturers, est.1865 and one of only a handful which has always produced its own movements. The company has an almost unparalleled record of technical achievements and notably in 1929, Zenith won world renown at Kew Observatory (England), when a Zenith wristwatch won first prize for an accuracy of better than 0.6 seconds per day. During the late 1940’s and throughout the ’50s, Zenith held the lead in producing the most commercially successful and technically advanced, chronograph wristwatches. Later, Zenith became the first, in 1969, to develop a high-frequency automatic integrated column-wheel chronograph powered by the legendary El Primero movement beating at 36,000 vibrations per hour. This obsession with precision, as well as this constant quest for technical innovation, has been duly rewarded; the Manufacture has been awarded 2,333 chronometry prizes as well as eight medals, making it the most titled brand in the field of precision. The company has also provided a huge number of movements to many other manufacturers for their more technically advanced watches, including even Rolex for their Daytona Chronograph!


The 1960s and ‘70s saw Zenith produce some of the finest watch movements available from any manufacturer and from a technical standpoint their watch movements were very advanced. The watch we have here is an excellent example, having a superb Swiss made 18ct case and a 28,800 beats per hour, hi-beat automatic movement. Introduced in 1972, this made Zenith the first company to introduce a commercially successful hi-beat automatic movement. This faster running movement enables the watch to be more accurate than more traditional slower running movements.

The Dial

This amazing solid gold dial is a foretaste of the more avant-garde designs which were to come in the 1970s. It was a time of great changes in popular culture and excitement surrounding the Apollo moon landings along with huge advances in technology, including the first commercial use of computers in larger organisations, satellite communications and supersonic flight. It is therefore no coincidence wristwatches changed to reflect this.

Around this period we see changes in dial design across a broad range of brands, including Omega, Longines, Girard-Perregaux and Zenith, moving from the very clean, simple lines of the typical 1960s dial to the retro-futurist style we see here. On this point, the date position at 6:00 hours suggests a more avant-garde style.

The yellow gold dial has a slightly more matte finish in the centre section, with a more reflective outer edge. It is furnished with applied black Onyx inlaid hour indices which are quite bold and blocky, matched with similar ‘stick’ style hands.

The most notable feature of this dial is its complete originality. The dial has not been restored or retouched in any way and even more remarkably, it is in tip-top condition and shows no signs of ageing, visible to the naked eye. Only upon very close up, high magnification can some of the slightest signs of scratching and some very light spots be found. This is remarkable for a 50 year old watch and indicates it has seen little real use.

The Movement

The Zenith Calibre 2562 PC movement is quite special, beating at 28,800 beats per hour rather than the semi-hi-beat at 21,600, or the more usual 18,000 or 19.800. When one listens to this movement ticking, one can really tell this is something special as it races at almost twice the speed of a normal movement. Generally speaking, the higher the beats per hour, the higher the accuracy of the movement, all other factors remaining the same. This movement is also known as the ‘8 beat’ because it beats at 8 beats per second. The example we see here, with a date function, is one of the last of this model produced and this movement was used in all Zenith’s top of the range automatics, between 1972 and 1975.

The movement has just been thoroughly overhauled and serviced by our watchmaker. This means fully dismantling the watch and movement, ultrasonic cleaning of all parts, inspection to the critical surfaces under high magnification, replacement as required with genuine new original parts, then careful reassembly and oiling, using all the correct lubricants to manufacturer’s specification before final testing and calibration. This watch is therefore now running perfectly having been calibrated and timed at +4 seconds per day! Please note, this timing is outstanding for any watch of this age.  The power reserve is still high for a hi-beat movement at 43 hours when fully wound. The watch movement is signed ‘Zenith’, ‘Swiss Made’ and carries the Calibre number 2562PC.

The Watch Case

The 18ct solid yellow gold Swiss made case is of a very solid two-piece construction. It is stylish, sturdy and highly elegant and measures 34mm, excluding the Zenith signed crown. The press fit case-back is of full thickness and has never been engraved. It is tightly fitting and presses back with a very reassuring ‘pop’. The case has been cleaned and carefully inspected and then lightly hand-polished by our case-maker and shows every sign it has been well cared for and lightly used as there are no scratches, dings or other marks visible to the naked eye. The case is Movado Zenith signed, with ‘Swiss Made’ and includes the reference number 30 0662 290 along with Swiss 18ct hallmarks. The reference number dates this watch to approximately 1975.

The Strap and Buckle

The strap fitted is a new, high quality brown, calf leather strap with a gold-plated buckle. However, if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to oblige, free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown burgundy and black straps in stock, in plain padded leather, alligator, crocodile or lizard skin.

The Box and Papers

Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating the watch to circa 1975.

Detailed particulars will be included with our purchase receipt for your interest and security. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will be provided at the time of sale along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If this watch proves to be anything less than 100% genuine, authentic and original, a full refund will be given at any time”.

The watch also comes complete with the high-quality hardwood presentation box as shown in the photographs.

In Conclusion

This is a hugely impressive and very rare vintage Zenith gent’s dress watch, which is ready to wear, very practical for everyday use and if treated with care, one which will make an excellent investment or heirloom piece. Zenith has always benefitted from a first class reputation for the superb quality of their watch movements and just as in the case of Longines, which have been undervalued in the past, this is beginning to show in the way Zenith watches are increasing in value.

A word about our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before restoring these to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post-sales care and service. This approach inevitably means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are a number of well-known stores in West London which are very successful, charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore consider our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.

We are happy to accept PayPal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you wish to pay by bank transfer, we will be pleased to pass on a 3% transaction saving to you. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or International Bank Wire Transfer, we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.

Please check the import duties and any taxes your government may apply, these are different for each country and unfortunately out of our control.

We understand there may be some ‘loopholes’ that may help you avoid these charges, however attempting to use these could impact our ongoing ability to serve our growing international customer base.

For those that happen to visit the UK on occasion we are of course more than happy to store your watch until we can meet you in our offices in Kensington, London, and your watch directly to you there.

Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.

We welcome part exchanges and if you have a watch or small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.

We will be happy to Service, Repair or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.

If you have any questions, please call our landline 020 7727 7095  or mobile  07515 949 250. If calling from overseas our landline number is +44 207 727 7095  or mobile +44 7515 949 250.

We will be happy to answer any questions and offer advice about this or any of our watches listed for sale. If you would like some general advice regarding any aspect of vintage watches, including buying, selling, or collecting, we will also be very happy to hear from you. We await your call!

Finally, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine vintage gold watches.

Thank you.

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Vendor Information

  • Store Name: Vintage Gold Watches London Ltd
  • Vendor: Vintage Gold Watches London Ltd
  • Address: Kensington Pavilion
    96 Kensington High Street
    W8 4SG
    United Kingdom (UK)
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Zenith Cal.2562PC Hi-Beat 28,800 Automatic 18ct Gold Tonneau 1975
Zenith Cal.2562PC Hi-Beat 28,800 Automatic 18ct Gold Tonneau 1975


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