Shot of the day: Zenith S. 58 Automatic-Date-Rotating-Bezel

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The Zenith S. 58 was first released in 1958. At that time with a manual movement, no date and no turning bezel.

The name comes from “S” as in “Super waterproof” and “58” as in 1958. This was Zenith’s first divers watch model, before the Defy.

Based on my observations, there were at least three generations of the S. 58 made. One with manual movement, no date and no turning bezel, one with automatic movement, no date and no turning bezel and this the third generation; automatic movement, date and turning bezel.

My watch is, based on the movement number from circa 1960. I am not sure if Zenith made these different versions overlapping or in sequence but, again based on my observations, the first version with manual movement is quite rare, some sources talk about 2500 pieces which all should have been sold to the Italian Marine, not sure if that is true.

My impression was that the correct dial should have “automatic” while dials with “AUTOMTIC” might have been repainted. But then I found this document from 1964 which shows the dial with “AUTOMATIC”.

Another detail here is the characteristic arrow head seconds hand from earlier versions is now gone, replaced by a straight seconds hand.

Well, all documents are not always showing exactly all details correct, but this is an indication that the “AUTOMATIC” and the straight seconds hand might be correct for later models. Food for thoughts. Another topic I will return to, so stay tuned!