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Thread: ZRC Grand Fonds 3000m Titanium

  1. #1
    Craftsman Megatron's Avatar
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    ZRC Grand Fonds 3000m Titanium

    I stumbled across this the other day and had never heard of ZRC 1904 before. As a big fan of over engineered, chunky blue divers watches this is intriguing; a thickness of 19mm including the domed sapphire crystal is pretty punchy, but 42mm isn‚€™t too bad. The dial that graduates from blue to black; a bit like the Deepsea.

    The case is titanium; with a choice of 3 finishes - sandblasted, polished and DLC and likely to cost around €3900.

    Anyway I thought this might be of interest to some others that share my chunky dive watch interest, and I'd be interested to know of any experiences of ZRC 1904 as a brand.

    Oceanictime article: http://oceanictime.blogspot.com/2020...-blue.html?m=1

    ZRC 1904 homepage: https://zrc1904.ch/en/
















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    Last edited by Megatron; 25th June 2020 at 10:00.

  2. #2
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    I have looking for a ZRC for a while now
    The back version looks very cool although the printing on the bezel looks a bit rough.
    I do prefer the MN reissue though.

    Currently 20% off on their website as well.
    Hmmmmm...
    Last edited by Sinnlover; 25th June 2020 at 10:59.

  3. #3
    Master sweets's Avatar
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    I have been tempted by their current offer, and have emailed them about it.
    The main point is that the offer price you see is what you pay. No VAT, no duty, no postage.
    A good offer.
    I was going to go for the original 1964 MN re-issue (non-date) on the bracelet, and buy the NATO conversion and a grey NATO at the same time.
    Total cost (confirmed by them, watch, bracelet, NATO, tools etc) Fedexed to my door CHF 2717, about £2300
    But I just don't have the funds at present. Good offer though.
    Dave

  4. #4
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Dave I am currently looking at the exact same!
    It does seem as good offer.

  5. #5
    Master sweets's Avatar
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    Hmm, I thought so.
    Up until the offer, that was the kind of price they were going for used (give or take), making the offer price a depreciation-buster.
    CHF 2072 for the same watch with no bracelet, just the NATO, that's £1750.
    I hear great things about the quality, but have never handled one, so am not totally comfortable with the blind spend.
    Especially as the range of good quality online photos seems pretty poor.
    It is just one of those great, unique designs. I know others have copied it, but these guys are definitely doing it best.
    Dave

  6. #6
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    I think S.L on here has / had one and he said the quality was good of the money.
    I am waiting on their response.
    I have been looking at them for years but like you was not keen on that outlay without handling one.
    As you say the reduction means itís almost risk free (at current 2nd hand prices)
    Man maths and talking myself in to the purchase I think.

  7. #7
    Craftsman Megatron's Avatar
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    20% discount lasts until 30th June, unfortunately before the 3000 version is released. There arenít a huge amount of them around and no UK distributors so Iím a little reluctant to buy sight unseen; but the design does seem to have something about it that I really like. Decisions decisions...


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  8. #8
    Master sweets's Avatar
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    In my discussions with them they intimated that they would have UK sales representation soon. No more details than that.
    D

  9. #9
    Craftsman Megatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweets View Post
    In my discussions with them they intimated that they would have UK sales representation soon. No more details than that.
    D
    Interesting; thatís useful - thanks, it would be good to have a look at one in the flesh before stumping up the cash.


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  10. #10
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    I really like ZRC's take on the dive watch. I have had the Re-Issue on my list for ages but life and a Land Rover refurb seem to have got in the way (for now).
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  11. #11
    Master
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    That does look nice, but basically isnít it the same price as a Doxa Sub?


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  12. #12
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KAS118 View Post
    That does look nice, but basically isnít it the same price as a Doxa Sub?
    Yes. But I know what I would rather have if I had to choose.

    Both ZRC and Doxa are former manufacturers that went bust and have been brought back to life.
    Both were used by the MN and other organisations at the forefront of the diving in the 60s so there are a lot of parallels.

  13. #13
    Master S.L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinnlover View Post
    I think S.L on here has / had one and he said the quality was good of the money.
    I am waiting on their response.
    I have been looking at them for years but like you was not keen on that outlay without handling one.
    As you say the reduction means itís almost risk free (at current 2nd hand prices)
    Man maths and talking myself in to the purchase I think.
    Yes, Iíve owned two ZRC 300 Grands Fonds, the íregularí and the North Pole.





    Really nice watches IMHO, wish I still had one but both left to fund other acquisitions (I donít really do íkeepersí).
    Cons: they do wear long (lug to lug) and the bracelet is a bit of an acquired taste.
    Pros: Everything else.

    Lume is somewhat like an acid trip,



    The Ti version interests me, havent read up on it yet, does anyone knpw what grade of Ti they will be using?

  14. #14
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Thanks S.L
    I am still waiting on a response from their customer service.
    If I do get a response it is highly likely I will give one a go.
    John

  15. #15
    Master Tetlee's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of these, have always loved that quirky design and I'd been happy with any of the variations.

    Seems a really great offer at the moment, as always with things like this the timing no good for me.
    Last edited by Tetlee; 26th June 2020 at 08:05.

  16. #16
    Master sweets's Avatar
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    So if one ignores the normal golden rule of *buy with the bracelet, regardless" then this does besome attractively priced t under £1800, delivered. S.L's photos do illustrate some really good looking case chamfers and finishing.

  17. #17
    Craftsman Megatron's Avatar
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    ZRC Grand Fonds 3000m Titanium

    Quote Originally Posted by S.L View Post

    The Ti version interests me, havent read up on it yet, does anyone know what grade of Ti they will be using?
    Grade II titanium with a steel caseback according to their specs; I'd like to know the lug to lug size on this as well if they do wear a bit big.


  18. #18
    Master S.L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megatron View Post
    Grade II titanium with a steel caseback according to their specs; I'd like to know the lug to lug size on this as well if they do wear a bit big.

    Thanks!
    Remember that the relevant lug-to-lug distance for this watch is including the rubber strap end link @6 o clock.

  19. #19
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Where are you guys getting the euro pricing as I see swiss franc pricing and you need to add 20% VAT on top

  20. #20
    Craftsman Megatron's Avatar
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    ZRC Grand Fonds 3000m Titanium

    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    Where are you guys getting the euro pricing as I see swiss franc pricing and you need to add 20% VAT on top
    I got that figure off the Oceanictime & this Diveintowatches article (https://diveintowatches.com/2020/06/...ds-fonds-3000/), but you're correct Ryan - when I checked the ZRC website the price is indeed in CHF; at that price I'd definitely like to see it before hand.



    Their website indicates if you buy direct they deduct 7.7% Swiss VAT and then you’d pay 20% into the UK; so maybe not so horrendous...having said that French dealer Chronopassion has the same number but in Euros which would made a difference. I'll see what happens when it's released...
    Last edited by Megatron; 26th June 2020 at 21:59.

  21. #21
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    I've just had an offer from an AD for the French Navy version on bracelet shipped to me for £2075. That's borderline 'no brainer' territory.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    I've just had an offer from an AD for the French Navy version on bracelet shipped to me for £2075. That's borderline 'no brainer' territory.
    Is that a European AD Ryan?

  23. #23
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megatron View Post
    Is that a European AD Ryan?
    Correct. One in Spain and one in France for £5 more

  24. #24
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    If you are interested I could be cheeky and ask for a price for 2 as I will buy one at that price for sure and if we get it even cheaper then there's a takeaway or 2 sorted :)

  25. #25
    Craftsman Megatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    If you are interested I could be cheeky and ask for a price for 2 as I will buy one at that price for sure and if we get it even cheaper then there's a takeaway or 2 sorted :)
    Thatís incredibly kind Ryan but Iím only really interested in the blue sandblasted titanium version which I donít think has been released yet (July?); if a similar discount was on offer for that it would be very interesting indeed!


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  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    If you are interested I could be cheeky and ask for a price for 2 as I will buy one at that price for sure and if we get it even cheaper then there's a takeaway or 2 sorted :)
    Hi just make sure they include a toolkit as the screws on the watch are triangle and would be difficult to remove without two of the triangle screwdrivers
    Top quality watch for sure here is my north with my triton
    [/url]

  27. #27
    Master sweets's Avatar
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    I had it in writing from ZRC themselves, and I quote

    "There will be ZERO COST from your side to import the watch in UK. During this promotion we are delivering DDP (Delivery Duty Paid) meaning you will bear NO EXTRA COST."

    I queried this and they said again

    "There will be NO CHARGE AT ALL for importing in the UK we will deliver the watch Delivery Duty Paid,"

    Dave

  28. #28
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Managed to get one delivered for £2k. SS on Bracelet, French Navy reedition. French AD. Cheapest by far. AD is called LPB3 and I did it via Chrono24

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    Managed to get one delivered for £2k. SS on Bracelet, French Navy reedition. French AD. Cheapest by far. AD is called LPB3 and I did it via Chrono24
    3000m?

  30. #30
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    3000m?
    No the standard 300m version, classic French Navy on the SS bracelet

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    No the standard 300m version, classic French Navy on the SS bracelet
    Great👍
    I am waiting for the 3000 m to be released.

  32. #32
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Having owned mine now for just under 2 weeks (FN reedition) I have some observations.

    Quality is superb. One of my favourite bezel actions ever. Case construction is nice, decent chamfering, complex diamond shape, nice dial, lume is up there with the best I've owned (although the effect is somewhat kalaidoscopic). Bracelet is ingenious with the spring loaded 1st link that negates the need for adjustable clasp or diver extension.

    The styling is polarising. I think it looks awesome. Many disagree but then again if your idea of what a perfect dive watch looks like is a Submariner then you probably won't like this. The design makes total sense and actually with the way the bracelet also is engineered I think from a functional perspective this is among the best engineered diver watches out there.

    Couple of bug bears. The clasp is basically a spring bar that hooks onto a hook on the attaching link (so bracelet is like a leather strap in so far as it isn't joined together with a clasp you have to fasten the 2 ends of the bracelet together). There is a swivelling 'lock' that ensures the bracelet doesn't detach but it is a weird design foible on what is a superbly engineered bracelet (that in itself has polarising styling).

    The other bugbear is the dots on the bezel. They look amazing and very cool. How the hell are you supposed to read elapsed/remaining minutes though without doing mental arithmetic around where the 3 dot (12 o clock position) is and calculating where the hands are in relation. Also one might argue a diver watch should have minute markers.

    Overall it is an amazing watch though. Quality even better than expected (feels very premium - the construction detail is obvious). So if you like the style then do it - buy with confidence as for sure you won't be disappointed by the quality. It feels vintage but very well made - someone above said you can get a Doxa Sub for the same price. I have a Doxa Sub and the ZRC is by a significant distance a better made and finished watch. It isn't even remotely close.
    Last edited by ryanb741; 12th July 2020 at 00:46.

  33. #33
    Thanks, Ryan for the review and pics.

  34. #34
    Craftsman Megatron's Avatar
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    Thanks Ryan; good to know the quality is up there as well. I think Iíll wait for the titanium version to hit the dealers and see what deals can be found (if any) and then wait for a window where the exchange rate is favourable


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