When you are looking for vintage inspiration there certainly is no need to look further than the El Primero Chronomaster Original Series by the renowned Swiss watchmaker Zenith. This new timepiece is a vision of the 1969 version, the world’s very first automatic high frequency chronograph, with two small differences.
The changes made to the original may be small but they are large in design and functionality. A domed sapphire crystal replaces the old acrylic glass and there is now a display back that provides the tiny view of the El Primero 400 movements instead of the closed back. So while a match for the classic watch, this new debut timepiece is extraordinary.
The Sequel Stands Tall
Like a long awaited sequel to a blockbuster movie, this Zenith debut of the El Primero Chronomaster Original series is welcomed by the world. The design team within the company reverse engineered those original blueprints, and took to mind the plans used in construction of the original models. Wanting to keep that vintage edition look and feel the team worked to craft a beautiful rendition.
Designed in a 37mm tonneau-shaped stainless steel case, the real eye catcher on this beauty is the smoked brown gradient dial, which blackens as it reaches the edge, giving it a vignette effect. The central second hand is adorned with a red chronograph, and silvery-white chronograph counters. A mirror image of the original, the face of the timepiece is proportioned perfectly.
History Repeats Itself
Deciding to launch this remarkable piece was certainly a logical step for Zenith since they had released others from the original 1969 catalog in the past few years. The El Primero Chronomaster Original Watch Series is one of the most historical for the brand and we all know history likes to repeat itself. In 1969 the gradient dial was very unique and was a critical feature for this renewed version because it is visually very attractive.
Earning quite a reputation in 1970, the original timepiece was strapped to the landing gear of an Air France Boeing 707 that traveled from Paris to New York and arrived in perfect working order. While other brands might not have attempted this and all on the eve of the quartz revolution that almost destroyed the Swiss industry, Zenith didn’t blink and why this model is still such a wanted timepiece today. Available with a steel bracelet or light brown calf leather, it is a modernized timepiece that captures your heart.