This 100-year-old Zenith Minute Repeater Pocket Watch Witnessed the Time and Emotions of Two Generations (A)

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I want to share a story with you today. One day in January 2018, the Zenith store International Finance Center (IFC) in Chengdu ushered in an old gentleman. The old gentleman named “Leng Yumin” is 79 years old. This time, he wants the clerk to help him hand over a letter to the headquarters of Zenith and entrust the official to repair a pocket watch. And this 100-year-old Zenith Minute Repeater Pocket Watch have witnessed the time and emotions of two generations.

Song Xilian born in 1907. In January 1924, he was admitted to the the Huangpu Military Academy, became the youngest graduate of the first phase of Huangpu. At the age of 27, he was the youngest lieutenant general of the National Army.

In December 1948, a French military regiment came to visit his station, during which a Zenith Minute Repeater pocket watch was presented as a gift to Song Xilian.

The Zenith Minute Repeater Pocket Watch (Before Repairing)

This Zenith Minute Repeater Pocket Watch 34587 was produced in the early 20th century, which is made of 14K gold, three-hunted watch case, and the front and back are experienced carved craft. The ceramic dial with Savonette design is matched with Breguet digital scale and peach-shaped gold hands.

The Zenith Minute Repeater Pocket Watch (Before Repairing)

The pocket watch is equipped with a manual winding Minute Repeater movement, a bimetal cut-off balance, a blue steel Breguet hairspring, a wolf-toothed steel wheel, and a rotating centrifugal reducer. Built-in double-spring, the mainspring is responsible for the travel time system while the secondary clock provides energy for the Minute Repeater time. When someone dials the time-sliding slider, the movement will use the two hammers to strike the gong to emit three different sounds representing “hours”, “quarter” and “minutes”, and broadcast the current specific time.

It is no exaggeration to say that such a configuration and function of the pocket watch was extremely valuable at that time. Even so, Song Xilian passed the pocket watch to others in less than a year.

On November 25, 1949, Song Xilian was preparing to take the troops to the west. When he left the station, he gave this pocket watch to his subordinate “Leng Peiyuan”. “Song Xilian” is the uncle of the old watchman of the pocket watch, and “Leng Peiyuan” is the father of Mr. Leng Yumin. The reason why such a valuable gift will be given is that the 10th day of the lunar calendar is the birthday of “Leng Peiyuan”, on the other hand, the future of Song move to the west is uncertain, and it is very likely that he will never return.

Leng Peiyuan has been collecting this watch until died in 1952, that year, Leng Yumin was only 12 years old. This pocket watch bearing the friendship of the father was first reserved for his mother, and then passed to the hands of Mr. Leng Yumin.

Mr. Leng Yumin insisted on retaining this Zenith pocket watch even during the most difficult and most embarrassing period. For him, this is not a costly timepiece, but the legacy of his father, and more full of friendship between the ancestors.

The Zenith Minute Repeater Pocket Watch (Before Repairing)

Whenever reminiscing about his father and ancestors, Mr. Leng will take it out and listen. With excellent quality, this Zenith Pocket Watch, which was produced in the early 20th century, has been running normally for decades in the hands of Mr. Leng, until the scene mentioned at the beginning of this article.

When technician looked this pocket watch in the original factory Leroc, Switzerland, he found that it is not easy.

First, this Minute Repeater pocket watch has been modified in the early days, slightly different from the original file; second, it not only has problems with the system, but also the components is faulty; third, it was dismantled by others in the later period, leaving some problems; fourth, after a hundred years, the pocket watch itself has natural aging and damage.

In the face of such a difficult situation, the official force did not hesitate to undertake the commission of Mr. Leng Lao.

First of all, the technician carefully looked through the precious drawings of the watch factory for more than 100 years, found the original manuscript of the antique timepiece, and began the specific repair work.