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Parthian Watch Company

Zenith Cronometro Tipo CP-2 for A. Cairelli, Roma circa 1960’s Rare Ghost Bezel

Zenith Cronometro Tipo CP-2 for A. Cairelli, Roma circa 1960’s Rare Ghost Bezel

Regular price $17,875.00
Regular price Sale price $17,875.00
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This is an exceedingly rare, oversized, and historically significant military chronograph produced by Zenith circa 1960s. The condition of case and dial is outstanding, considering this was a military watch that was used as a navigation tool sixy years ago. The original bezel has faded evenly to an attractive grey color. The dial bears the signature of the famous Roman retailer A. Cairelli.

Cairelli was a retailer of mechanical instruments in Rome. Their name not only appeared on wristwatches they supplied to the Italian Air Force, but was also printed on some avionic instruments found in 1960s Italian Air Force F104 jets. The back of this watch is stamped AMI, which stands for “Aeronautica Militare Italiana.” This oversized watch was designed specifically by Zenith for Italian pilots to replace its predecessor, the Breitling CP1; but as the story goes, the Italian AF ordered too many of this reference and some ended up serving alongside their Panerai brethren in the Italian Navy. Our watch is one of the oddities that is inscribed both A.M.I. and M.M., for “Marina Militare.” For us watch geeks, this quirk pushes our watch into a small circle of military watch exceptions.

While the Zenith CP2 may not be as well-known as its peers, it is undeniably beautiful: the case is oversized at 43mm, but thanks to its sleek design and down-turned lugs, it is comfortable and discreet on the wrist. It has a highly legible two-register matte black dial, a beautifully finished bezel, and luminous markers and hands. All components of the dial are original and most beautifully preserved.

The watch runs on the Cal. 146 DP, 17 jewel, manual wind, 18,000 vph. The movement itself has an interesting place in Zenith’s history, because it was the final evolution of the Martel Cal. 749 design and is the very last chronograph movement Zenith made before launching the El Primero movement. Along with Longines 13ZN, Valjoux 72 and Omega 33.3, the El Primero is included when experts discuss the best chronographs of all time.

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