Return of the Zenith El Primero A384, World’s First High Frequency Automatic Chronograph

It’s been 50 years since Zenith watchmakers had to contend with a problem that no other watchmakers had ever encountered – the problem of lubrication “spinning” off high frequency escapements. Yet in 1969, Zenith, working in tandem with its suppliers, managed to solve that and the other myriad of engineering conundrums that plagued the creation of the world’s first automatic chronograph calibre that Zenith called – the El Primero A384. Half a century later, the Zenith El Primero A384 makes its triumphant return. One of the world’s most collectible automatic chronographs brings with it authentic vintage-inspired aesthetics in the form of a revival series of one of the most emblematic chronographs ever made.

It’s amazing that time’s relentless march has not rendered Zenith’s mechanical marvel obsolete. Even today, the high frequency 36,000 vph column wheel chronograph and automatic winding system with 50 hours power reserve stands shoulder to shoulder to today’s advanced mechanical chronographs, testament to the groundbreaking nature of the Zenith El Primero A384.

For 2019, Zenith to replicate the original A384. Each and every component is faithful to the original, digitised from the original 37mm chronograph right down to lacquered white and black tachymeter dial. That said, practical or functional improvements like sapphire crystal in lieu of acrylic glass and a display caseback instead of a engraved steel caseback (much better to pay tribute to the 50th birthday of the world’s most iconic calibre) as well as the latest version of the El Primero 400 chronograph calibre await you in the 50th anniversary revival issue of the A384.

Available on dressy black alligator leather with rubber lining or an integrated metal “ladder” bracelet, recalling the look of the original 1969 El Primero A384 model, Zenith’s 50th anniversary revival is available in three gold alloy models as special editions. That said, the steel A384 Revival is not a limited edition, making one of the most collectible and desirable milestone automatic chronographs of El Primero lineage attainable.

50th Anniversary Revival El Primero A384 Price and Specs

Movement Automatic El Primero 400 with 50 hours power reserve
Case 37mm stainless steel with 100 metres water resistance
Strap Leather or bracelet
Price S$12,000
Available from Oct/Nov 2019