After partnering with Audemars Piguet for several years and after the release of two Royal Oak Offshore limited editions, the legendary Paris-Biarritz race Tour Auto Optic 2000 is now partnering with Zenith. They will finally come together on the starting line of the 24th Tour Auto. Zenith will be the official timekeeper of the competition, and three connoisseurs of mechanical beauty and speed will set off, along with their co-drivers, under its banner. On their wrists, the new Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Tour Auto Edition, a sporty model specially designed for the event in a limited edition of 500 pieces. This new watch, crystallizes the spirit of its partnership with the Tour Auto. Haute Horlogerie and collector's cars are linked by fastidious expertise, as well as a desire for perfection and elegance. The new Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Tour Auto Edition joins them forever by combining the revolutionary chronograph movements for which the Le Locle Manufacture has become famous, with a design whose finely nuanced colors and symbolic elements reveal a subtle automotive influence.
The design of its open dial reflects the spirit of competition and the world of classic cars, with an aperture at 11 o'clock that provides a view reminiscent of the impressive sight that greets you when you open the bonnet of a racing car.
Subtly arranged, the blue, white and red that evoke the French flag are symbolic. Another detail that connoisseurs will not fail to notice: the mushroom-type push-pieces for the chronograph functions each have an undercut, blue for the chronograph start and red for the reset.
The case has brushed horns and middle hoops for a resolutely sporty look. With its triple deployant buckle, the strap recalls the gloves worn by classic car drivers: perforated blue calfskin with a protective black rubber lining for an immediate association with sports and performance cars.
The Tour Auto logo —on the case back crystal— and the watch number in the series appear on the steel case back. The watch is equipped with the El Primero 4061 self-winding chronograph movement for an added sporty touch.
With the competitors lined up and an such a watch dedicated to the event, this promises to be an extraordinary spectacle. The brand has activated its Zenith Hub to allow spectators to get up close and personal. Over the course of 2000 km, including several timed sections on circuits and closed roads, as well as friendly stages, right up to the final on the Basque coast at Biarritz, the web platform will feature a live broadcast of all social media feeds on Zenith and the Tour Auto. Following his record free-fall which earned him a definitive place in history, Félix Baumgartner will now get behind the wheel of a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL to take up the speed challenge on behalf of Zenith. However, Felix won't be the only one driving with and on behalf of Zenith, the competition also features Dominique Vananty at the wheel of a 1965 Porsche 911, Daniel Spadini in a 1964 Jaguar E-Type 3.8L and his co-driver, Aldo Magada, President and CEO of Zenith.
To round out this limited edition, the cover of the special box features the Tour Auto logo, and its blue interior matches the watch's predominant color. A dream of a model for drivers and connoisseurs of classic sports cars, the new Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Tour Auto Edition is definitely a perfect execution for this amazing partnership. Perhaps the only thing missing, a date function to make this a great daily wearer. On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and extremely vintage looking.
Sticker Price $11,900 USD. For more info on Zenith click here.