For the 50th anniversary of the famed Zenith El Primero Chronograph, the Le Locle manufacture has collaborated for three special partners, Collective, Bamford and Phillips, in the creation of three special limited editions.
Zenith x Collective Chronomaster El Primero C.01 Limited Edition
The Collective is a group of watch collectors comprised of creatives, executives and makers, many of whom are in tech and live in Silicon Valley (San Francisco Bay Area), Silicon Alley (New York City) and Silicon Beach (Los Angeles). Founded by Gabe Reilly and Asher Rapkin, the Collective chose Zenith and established Bay Area jeweler Topper Jewelers to create the limited edition Chronomaster El Primero C.01.
The layout of the Zenith El Primero’s iconic subdials remains true to the original model but with a uniquely purist, date-complication free minimalist approach: eschewing the overlapping blue on blue on grey trio of overlapping subdials, the entirety of the dial has been finished in matte white, with a subtle but highly legible and uniform grey making up all the printing on the dial. The hour, minute and chronograph second hands have also been executed in a matching overall aesthetic – the iconic red chronograph seconds hand has swopped for a unique rhodium plated hand created just for this piece.
The 38mm Zenith x Collective Chronomaster El Primero features alternating satin-brushed and polished surfaces, and unique to this watch, satin-brushed pushers. The caseback displays the beautiful El Primero movement and features an XX/50 engraving along with a “C.01” engraving celebrating the launch piece of Collective.
Zenith x Bamford Chronomaster El Primero Radar Limited Edition
Drawing inspiration from Zenith’s archive pieces, George Bamford found himself inspired by the red-accented dial aesthetics of a 1916 Zenith pocket watch discovered during one of his visits to the Le Locle manufacture. The Bamford Chronomaster El Primero Radar reimagines Zenith’s iconic chronograph in a striking new, retro-futurist manner – the tri-compax dial layout returns with oversized counters but updated design elements – a “burnt” hue or smoked effect which darkens towards the periphery of the dial for added visual impact, further contrasted with a white tachymeter dial with radial design on the perimeter.
Each of the three subdials is different as well, further highlighting the uniqueness of the Zenith x Bamford Chronomaster El Primero Radar collaboration. On the left, the small seconds display features concentric circles recalling the aesthetics of George Bamford’s vintage pocket watch muse; interestingly, it has the illusory effect of looking larger than the minutes counter at 3 o’clock but both subdials are the same size. The chronograph hour totalizer at 6 o’clock features the recognisable Chronomaster design, while the bold red minutes counter that glows in the dark gives the collaborative Chronomaster El Primero its “Radar” suffix thanks to its glowing “night vision” effect.
Unique Edition Zenith x Phillips El Primero chronograph in Platinum
“This will be the first and sole El Primero A386 in platinum.” – Zenith CEO Julien Tornare
Especially designed by Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Zenith’s El Primero, this chronograph in platinum is a unique edition which will be auctioned in Geneva on 9-10 November 2019 with proceeds going to Zoe4Life, a Swiss non-profit organization, part of the Childhood Cancer International network.
A surprising take on the iconic reference A386, the Unique Edition Zenith x Phillips El Primero chronograph is the first time the El Primero has been offered in platinum. Icing on cake, the chronograph also enjoys its first ever dial comprised of lapis lazuli, a vividly blue stone with flecks of gold. The result is a strikingly exceptional Zenith El Primero A386 chronograph in platinum. The platinum Zenith El Primero will be unveiled on the eve of the auction, at a special event on November 8 at La Rèserve in Geneva, to crown the El Primero 50th Anniversary World Tour which carried the El Primero torch across 5 continents throughout 2019 in celebration of the world’s first automatic chronograph introduced in 1969. Viewing dates: November 7 to 10, 2019 – Hôtel La Réserve – Geneva.