Insider: Zenith Captain Power Reserve. Classical Elegance, Rich Heritage and a Very Nice Price Tag.

The new Zenith Captain Power Reserve ref. 03.2122.685/01.C498 in stainless steel is a watch that comes with exceptional understated elegance, rich heritage and a very nice price tag. This elegant timepiece presented at Baselworld 2014, features a classic round highly-polished —with satin-brushed lugs— stainless steel case measuring 40 mm in diameter and 9.25 mm in thickness. The Zenith Captain Power Reserve features a black alligator strap and is available with a silver or black dial. Its shape and finish are as traditional and classic as it gets, making this watch one of our favorite watches under $7K USD.

This classic and elegant new watch, features a simple, yet well balanced dial that Zenith refers to as a silver velvet-finished dial —typically known as a sunburst dial— with rhodium faceted applied markers, a power reserve indicator between 1 and 3 o'clock, subsidiary seconds at 9, a date aperture at 6 o'clock and dauphine hands. To make this watch even more appealing, Zenith added a slightly domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides that allows for excellent readability and unparalleled protection from unwanted glare or reflections that allow the wearer to fully enjoy the beauty of the dial. The seconds hand as well as the power reserve hand are blued to provide optimal contrast against the silver background. Perhaps the biggest downside with this watch as with most elegant and classical timepieces, is the lack of luminescent material on the markers or hands.

The new Zenith Captain Power Reserve is powered by the automatic Zenith calibre Elite 685 with a relatively small diameter —for such as large case size— measuring only 11.5 lignes —25.60 mm. This reliable and accurate calibre is composed of 179 parts, 38 jewels, skeletonized rotor featuring the iconic Zenith star and Côtes de Genève. When fully wound, this solid calibre provides a nice and long lasting power reserve of 50 hours. The calibre is fully visible through the case back and a nice treat for the eyes.

Fitted with a nice but somewhat stiff black alligator strap that for sure will require a long break-in period, the watch wears slightly bigger than its actual size because of the very thin bezel on its case design. The strap is fitted with a pin buckle but Zenith offers an optional triple folding clasp. If you are on a budget and you like elegant watches with strong pedigree and great craftsmanship, the Zenith Captain Power Reserve is a great option and a watch that delivers flawlessly on the price-value equation. For those willing to pay a little bit more, the watch is also available in 18K rose gold or 18K white gold.

Sticker Price $6,500 USD Stainless Steel, Gold References $14,100 USD. For more info on Zenith click here.