Zenith El Primero is not just a watch, it carries the weight of his name being “El Primero” and which is not by chance or luck, it is a deserved throne claimed by Zenith.
In 1969 Zenith launched in the market the A386 the first, pay attention because I’ll repeat, the FIRST, full integrated self-winding chronograph in the world.
Zenith is not only known by its “El Primero”, but it’s also recognized by it’s reliable, robust and well-made movements, during twelve years and until 2000, its movements was chosen by Rolex to powered its most iconic chronograph, the famous Rolex Daytona.
Today and fifty years after the launch of the A386, Zenith get another feat, the launch of the new “El Primero” named “Chronomaster Sport” with the Caliber 3600 that replaces the former Caliber 400, but what this watch has of unique is the central chronograph hand that counts tenths of a second, making a full rotation on the dial every 10 seconds, if you have the chance go check it out because it’s something that keeps our gaze on the dial. Whoever said that history does not repeat itself, would certainly not be talking about “El Primero”, which for the second time lives up to the weight of the name it carries.
This new Chronomaster Sport is not just a new movement, it is much more than that. Aesthetically, it is a beautiful and modern chronograph, with two-colour display variants, one in black and the other in white, three multicoloured counters positioned in an inverted pyramid, at 3 o’clock a blue counter of 60 seconds, at six a grey counter of 60 minutes and at nine a silver small second, all three counters have a radial pattern, but two are similarly showing the same 60-second scale, but if you are a little confused about which counters are part of the chronograph function with so many seconds counters, don’t stay because all counters including the central tenths of a second hand that are part of the chronograph show a red tip.
The 41 mm stainless steel case alternates between polished and brushed surfaces, a crown signed with the Zenith star and two pusher buttons that control the chronograph function. At the top is a black ceramic bezel, with a 10-second scale that unfolds in tenths of a second. And if from the front the sapphire crystal offers us an extraordinary view of the central hand of the chronograph in operation, behind the Zenith surprises us again with a sapphire case back that offers us the no less brilliant movement, revealing a blue column wheel and open rotor marked with the five-pointed star Zenith.
Much has been said about the automatic movement Caliber 3600 that powers the watch, it comes with 60 hours of power reserve, which is not spectacular but given the high frequency with which it operates, 36,000 Vph, is quite interesting.
Like the case, the bracelet alternates between the polished inner links and the brushed outer links, with a folding clasp with the Zenith star applied. Alternatively, the watch can be purchased with a black or blue rubber strap depending on the chosen variant, but for just more CHF 500 it comes with the steel bracelet that seems to point to a single smart choice.
Final remarks, despite not having had the opportunity to see the new Chronomaster Sport live, according to what we could observe and the comments produced by those who have already had the opportunity to experiment, which despite its 41 mm case it looks on the wrist more like 39 mm benefiting from the short lugs, which seems to us a very smart move by Zenith, the watch is beautiful and even though I am not a fan of white dials, the white variant of the Zenith Chronomaster Sport seems to have already conquered my heart and I fear it will be hard to resist when I have it in my hands.
Model: Chronomaster Sport
Reference: 03.3100.3600/69.M3100 (white dial and bracelet), 03.3100.3600/69.C823 (white dial and blue strap), 03.3100.3600/21.M3100 (black dial and bracelet), 03.3100.3600/21.C822 (black dial and black strap)
Dial: Black, white
Case Material: Stainless steel and Ceramic bezel
Case Dimensions: 41 mm Diameter
Case Back: Sapphire
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet, black rubber strap, blue rubber strap
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
Frequency: 5 Hz (36,000 vph)
Power Reserve: 60 Hours
Price: CHF 9,900 (stainless steel bracelet), CHF 9,400 (rubber strap)