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First Look

The Zenith Chronomaster Original El Primero, the new Watches of Switzerland Group Exclusive

By Elsie Flynn 4 Minute Read
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The Zenith Chronomaster Original has, and always will be, a thing of beauty. Its origins can be traced all the way back to 1969; then it was the Zenith A386, a timepiece that debuted the El Primero calibre (the world’s first automatic high-frequency integrated chronograph movement) with a tri-colour dial.

Watch fans worldwide were captivated by this timepiece in 1969, and now they will rejoice: the new Zenith Chronomaster Original El Primero Watches of Switzerland Group exclusive, launching this September 2022, retains the very best features of the icon of 1969 whilst adding 21st century performance excellence. Because why alter something that is already glorious?

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The Zenith A386 was an instant hit when it was first revealed some fifty years ago, especially with collectors. Not only was it rare in numbers – reportedly no more than 2,000 made during its time – but it marked one of the most important innovations in Swiss watchmaking history: the Zenith A386 was one of the first self-winding chronograph movements, and, better yet, the ground-breaking El Primero calibre featured a high-speed 5 Hz (36,000 vph) escapement for greater precision and accuracy.

Over 50 years after their triumph, Zenith delighted us all with the release of the Zenith Chronomaster Original to start the line once again. With the return of the tri-coloured dial, and the enhanced El Primero calibre - it was more than just a tribute to the A386 of 1969; it was a love letter where it all began.

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The Zenith Chronomaster Original is now a staple in the Zenith collection, receiving as much continuous love in the 21st century as it did in the 20th, and we’re delighted to be a part of continuing this long heritage with the launch of a Watches of Switzerland Group exclusive - the Zenith Chronomaster Original El Primero. The movement powering this new timepiece remains, even over fifty years later, a pillar to which luxury watch brands across the globe aspire. With its high frequency of 5 Hz (36’000 VpH), the movement has a 1/10th of a second chronograph function, and an extended power reserve of 60 hours.

The iconic, signature tri-colour dial returns, too, with a blue bezel added in this rendition to add a subtle depth to the grey and silver tones. On the case back, it simply reads ‘1 of 100’. A statement you can be proud to wear on your wrist, and a timepiece that offers outstanding precision without compromising on style.

“We are delighted to partner with Zenith to launch the Chronomaster Original, a Watches of Switzerland Group exclusive, as it’s the perfect way to continue our journey together. The Chronomaster Original collection was an undoubtable favourite to collaborate with, as it showcases Zenith’s rich heritage and innovation dating back to 1969. The striking silver, blue and grey colourway of our exclusive reinvents this piece for many more years to come. You can only shop this timepiece with us, here at the Watches of Switzerland Group, so move fast!” Heather Grant, Specialist Watch Buyer

View more from Zenith here Watches of Switzerland.

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