In the mid 1960’s, Zenith supplied pilot’s chronograph watches to Rome-based watch retailer and aviation instruments manufacturer, A. Cairelli. Cairelli was a military-material distributor for the Italian government in the public retail sector. That’s exactly why the name Cairelli is adorned on the dial of this Zenith Chronograph, issued to the Italian forces. Each watch was designed to meet the Italian Military’s “Cronometro da Polso” or “CP-2” requirements – having large Arabic numerals on a black dial, large hands, waterproof cases (clamshell case or screw down case) and like numerous military chronographs from the sixties and seventies, they all share these same military specifications, making these watches very similar to one another.
However, the Zenith Cairelli has a face of it’s own, between the different MilSpec. chronographs this watch is instantly recognizable by it’s beautiful and almost graceful lugs and the bezel with it’s large tritium triangle. With this particular Zenith that tritium triangle is in absolute perfect condition and has patinated to a very attractive yellow colour. The entire case and case-back remain unpolished with strong visible chamfers on all four of the lugs. Both pushers and the crown are also still the original and as with all Military chronographs, the engravings on the case-back are the most important feature to collectors. All engravings are extremely sharp, starting with “AMI” which stands for ”Aeronautica Militare Italiana” or Italian Air Force, followed by Cronometro TIPO CP-2 explaining that this is a chronograph wristwatch. The final engraving says “MM”, which stands for “Matricola Militare” or “military registration number” which is a six figure number as you can see in the photo above.
This Zenith CP-2 remains in an exquisite condition with beautiful yellow and vanilla patinated tritium. This military tool-watch is fitted to an original, vintage Zenith strap with vintage Zenith buckle to match. The Caliber 146DP by Zenith was serviced by our watchmakers and the watch will of course be sold with a 12 month warranty. Curious about this rare Italian military chronograph? Don’t hesitate to schedule in an appointment and I will tell you all about it.
reference: TIPO CP-2
case number: 201732
year of production: ca. 1960’s
case diameter: 43mm
movement: handwound caliber, Zenith 146DP
box and papers: No