The Dr Pepper watch

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The 1970s Zodiac “Dr Pepper” chronograph
Instagram @adrienbelanger

Do you like Dr Pepper? I do, sometimes. But not as much as Edward Moore. Edward was the production manager at the Dr Pepper bottling plant in Jackson, Tennessee, and this 1970s Zodiac “Dr Pepper” chronograph was his watch. It was given to Edward by the plant’s owner, Milburn C. Jolly, to thank him for over 25 years of outstanding service – or so the inscription on the case back tells us. This is only the second known example of a Zodiac “Dr Pepper” to appear on the market – the first was discovered by Christies Watches earlier this year and was featured on Hodinkee ‘s “Bring A Loupe” segment (17 April 2015). This one is in even better shape, with a flawless surfboard dial and the Zodiac cal. 79 (Valjoux 232) column wheel movement keeping perfect time.

I often wonder about the story behind the different vintage watches I come across. I try to imagine who bought them, where they were worn, and what they meant to their owners, who are probably long gone by now. Once in awhile, I discover a watch that can speak for itself. Here is the inscription I found on the back of the Zodiac Dr Pepper chronograph: “Edward Moore – Over 25 years as production manager of outstanding ability – Milburn C. Tully – Pres.” I did some research and found that Milburn Tully owned the Dr Pepper bottling company in Jackson, Tennessee from the late 1940s until 1976. In today’s fast-paced world, most of us are unlikely to spend 25 years working for the same company, and even if we do we probably won’t be given a watch. It’s nice to think that 40 years ago, nice gestures like Tully’s were still the norm.

This incredible piece is for sale. You can contact Adrien at adrienbelanger@gmail.com for details.

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