Reporting live from Baselworld 2015, we bring you the exciting news about a new Zenith El Primero Chronograph. We are talking about the new Zenith El Primero Sport, a new chronograph in its iconic collection interpreted through three classically sophisticated variations, this timepiece is a worthy heir to the grand tradition of sports chronographs. Its 45 mm diameter stainless steel case houses the famous El Primero 400 B automatic chronograph calibre beating at a rate of 36,000 vph. The iconic El Primero collection welcomes a new range of sophisticated chronographs embodying the grand tradition of sports chronographs. Presented in three initial versions, the new El Primero Sport model asserts a resolutely masculine personality accentuated by the generous size of its steel case and the eminently sporty nature of its functions. Its distinctive character reflects the very essence of sports watches and naturally makes it part of a proud lineage of timeless models.
Powered by El Primero 400 B calibre, a chronograph movement featuring an integrated column-wheel construction and beating at rate of 36,000 vph, the new El Primero Sport model has inherited the DNA of the famous 1969 El Primero chronograph, of which it is without doubt, an eminently worthy descendant. The transparent sapphire case-back reveals the fascinating mechanism of the El Primero 400 B calibre and its oscillating weight adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif.
Presented in a rugged case with an imposing 45 mm diameter, the new El Primero Sport chronograph is made of stainless steel, the most widely favored material for top-flight sports timepieces. Its crown and its generous ribbed pushers ensure optimal grip as well as enhanced security. These are screwed in to guarantee water resistance to a depth of 200 meters.
Topped by a domed sapphire crystal, the athletic build of the El Primero Sport model extends through to the ergonomic lugs featuring a sloping design to ensure a perfectly smooth fit on the wrist. On the dial side, the dynamic nature of the El Primero Sport chronograph is conveyed through a powerful, eminently virile design. Standing out against a a silver-toned or slate grey dial with a lamé hand finish —an updated version of an ancient technique creating a densely textured vertical-brushed pattern— the broad faceted hour-markers, rhodium-finished and coated with Super-LumiNova , enable easy readings of the central hours and minutes, swept over by imposing sword-shaped hands.
This aesthetic is picked up on the small counter hands that are also faceted and arranged in such a way as to optimize reading. The chronograph sweep-seconds hand, bearing the star emblem, is clad in a deep red echoed by the inscription “36’000 VpH” painted in crimson red in the upper part of the dial.
The tachymetric scale now appears on the inner bezel ring. The newcomer to the El Primero collection harbours infinite potential for variations and appears in two dial colors —lame silver-toned and slate grey—matched by three different strap versions. The classically understated first model is fitted with an elegant dark brown alligator leather strap. The second model with its slate grey dial comes on a comfortable steel bracelet featuring brushed central links and polished outer links, exuding a rugged sporting appearance.
The third reference presented this year pairs a black dial with a matching rubber strap. Setting the finishing touch to the steel-bracelet version of this refined timepiece is a sophisticated new clasp combining absolute comfort with optimal security. No list of the qualities possessed by the El Primero 400B calibre powering these three models would be complete without a mention of its kinship to the world’s most precise series-made chronograph, the fabled El Primero designed by Zenith in 1969 and endowed with a set of legendary attributes.
This classic chronograph movement ably perpetuates its essential assets, including its integrated column-wheel construction as well as its rate of 36,000 vph guaranteeing 1/10 th of a second precision. Combining high frequency with a remarkable more than 50-hour power reserve, the El Primero 400B movement drives central hours and minutes hands, small seconds at 9 o’clock, along with chronograph functions and a 6 o’clock date display.
On the wrist, the new Zenith El Primero Sport wears true to its size and with a more impressive wrist presence when compared to its smaller case predecessors. For the money, you get a lot of watch and one of the best chronographs ever created. After reviewing this novelty we like the leather strap version much more than the bracelet, however, it could be a good idea to get the bracelet version and then add the additional straps for versatility.
Sticker Price $11,000 USD on strap and $11,600 USD on stainless steel bracelet. For more info on Zenith click here.