Insider: Zenith El Primero Tourbillon Skeleton. Hands-on with a Stunning Tourbillon with Column-Wheel Chronograph Priced Under $50K USD.

Released earlier this year at Baselworld 2016, the new Zenith El Primero Tourbillon Skeleton is one of those watches that packs a lot of bang for your buck. Equipped with a tourbillon and the legendary 12-hour Zenith El Primero column-wheel chronograph mechanism, this stealthy looking watch, is one that we absolutely enjoyed reviewing. Fitted with a matte black ceramic case, a partially skeletonized multi-layer dial and a perforated black rubber strap, this is one of those tourbillons that is made to be worn everywhere.

The Case

The new Zenith El Primero Tourbillon Skeleton is fitted with a very well crafted matte black ceramic case measuring 45 mm in diameter featuring the legendary pump chrono pushers that El Primero is very well know for as well as a robust pull-out winding crown. The watch is water resistant to a depth of 50 meters; however, the chrono pushers should not be operated underwater to maintain its water resistance.

The Dial

The dial, in an anthracite and dark grey color scheme, is partially skeletonized and features ruthenium-plated faceted applied hour markers, a 12-hour chrono register at 6 o'clock, a 30-minute chrono register at 3 and a tourbillon carriage between 10 and 12 o'clock. The tourbillon carriage is protected by a second crystal underneath the main crystal on the watch and performs a full revolution every 60-seconds.

The ruthenium-plated faceted hands, are quite similar to those on the Zenith El Primero Sport we reviewed here and are fitted with black superluminova on their tips. To give an even sportier look and maximize contrast and readability, the new Zenith El Primero Tourbillon Skeleton features red tips on all chronograph hands —including the chrono central seconds hand.

Featuring a multi-layer construction with black elements screwed to the movement, the dial is very easy to read and extremely visually appealing. Its grey color palette in conjunction with the black ceramic case, make this tourbillon a very sporty and sexy one. This is by far, one of the nicest dials we've recently seen on any Zenith El Primero watch. The domed sapphire crystal on the El Primero Tourbillon Skeleton features anti-reflective treatment on both sides to maximize readability and minimal glare.

The Strap

In order to maintain its ultra sporty appearance, the Zenith El Primero Tourbillon Skeleton is fitted with a perforated black rubber strap with a triple folding deployant clasp in black PVD-caoted titanium.

The Movement

Fitted with a display case back, one can admire the beating heart inside the Zenith El Primero Tourbillon Skeleton. This watch is powered by the 35-jewel automatic El Primero calibre 4035 B, which is an automatic movement composed of 342 parts that beats at a frequency of 36,000 vph to provide a power reserve of 50 hours. The movement features a 60-second tourbillon and a 12-hour column-wheel chronograph mechanism.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, the Zenith El Primero Tourbillon Chronograph wears slightly bigger than its actual size —more like a 46 mm watch on a 7.25-7.5" wrist— but quite remarkably. A true horological feat in itself, combining two of our favorite complications in one watch, this tourbillon chronograph is by far, one of our favorite watches from our friends from Le Locle.

Sporty, rugged looking and very sexy, are some of the words that come to mind when putting this beauty on your wrist. For the price, you really can't get this much watch elsewhere, especially when it comes to an automatic tourbillon chronograph timepiece.

Sticker Price $47,600 USD. For more info on Zenith click here.