Service: Zenith calibre 2542PC

IMG_1350This Zenith in need of some attention was sent in by Aki. The crystal is scratched and cracked, and it needs a service.

Also, the winding stem is broken, and the crown is just pushed in so it won’t get lost.

Let’s get stuck in!


The female bit of the split stem has broken off right at the crown, so we will need a new crown.IMG_1354

There are amazing amounts of dirt in there, with lots of little fibres in there.IMG_1355

No lack of dirt here, either.IMG_1356

The bezel is gold filled, but a lot of that has come off.IMG_1357

The dial has aged, but in a very nice way (at least I think so).IMG_1358

The Zenith 2542PC.IMG_1359

The bottom plate.IMG_1364

The base movement with the auto winder removed.IMG_1371

I will put in a new mainspring as usual.IMG_1375

The date pawl.IMG_1383

A bit of dirt everywhere, but nothing permanent.IMG_1386

All ready for the cleaning machine.IMG_1388

The crack in the crystal. I spend quite a bit of time looking for a new crystal, and then remember my customer Michael, as I’ve done a couple of Zeniths for him. After ten minutes, I get an email back, and he has exactly the crystal I need!


The usual new mainspring.IMG_0083

The base movement back together and ticking.IMG_0086

Sometimes, I feel tempted to dig out my old Chinese timegrapher again. The image is so much worse on this one 😉

The movement lift angle is 54 degrees.IMG_0087

The auto winder assembly back together and lubricated.IMG_0088

Only the oscillating weight is missing.IMG_0089

I start on the bottom plate.IMG_0091

The date ring is back in place.IMG_0093

And the dial and hands go back on. I gave the hands a light polish on a polishing cloth.IMG_0094

Michal mailed me the crystal the same day, and it arrived this morning.IMG_0095

As you can’t get hold of the original crystal gasket, I use an O-ring that I put around the crystal. IMG_0099

The rotor goes on before I put the movement in the case back.IMG_0100That looks nice!


9 thoughts on “Service: Zenith calibre 2542PC

    • This needs a translation 😉 I presume you want to know how the female winding stem bit with the crown is removed from the male winding stem … You pull. Hard.

  1. Hi Christian,
    I have a similar Zenith ‘pre-Respirator Respirator’ to the one you restored so beautifully above, however mine is the manual model with a 2532C movement.
    Like the watch above that you restored so beautifully, mine too is missing the original square crystal gasket. I note that you chose to use an O-ring that you put around the crystal.
    This is a great idea and with your permission I would like to use it too. May I ask what size O-ring (diameter and thickness) you chose to use in this case?
    Another question I have is about the crown. In your description you wrote that “The female bit of the split stem has broken off right at the crown, so we will need a new crown.” Did you manage to source an original Zenith split-stem crown? If so, may I ask where, or whether I could purchase one via you?
    Thanks in advance,

    • Best buy a couple of different O-ring gaskets with different thickness and try. The crown and the female bit of the winding stem are bought separately, so you can use any old crown with the right height, inside and outside diameter.

  2. That dial looks great in that condition – sort of like granite!

    How old is the watch do we think? Ranfft suggests the movement was made only between 1964 and 1969…

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