1969 was a major milestone for the watch industry, dubbed the 12 months of “the great automatic chronograph race”, the place the primary computerized chronograph was launched. A handful of manufacturers had every developed its model, however which ones completed forward of its rivals stays a supply of controversy until at present. While it was argued that Calibre 11 – developed in a joint effort of Heuer, Breitling and Buren – was the primary to achieve out to world markets in August 1969, Seiko had quietly launched its computerized chronograph on the Japanese market in May of the identical 12 months. This evolutionary ladder, now sliced in segments, leaves a rightful chapter to the Zenith El Primero – which was believed to be the primary to announce its achievement in January 1969.
The Zenith El Primero was essentially the most technically full computerized chronograph in its day, with out possessing any assets from its rivals. Standing head and shoulders above the remainder, Zenith was manner forward of its time having engaged an industry-respected producer of fantastic calibres to work on mission Calibre 3019PHC in 1960. Calibre 3019PHC ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼was a full rotor chronograph powered by progressive options together with a price of 36,000 vibrations per hour, built-in column-wheel building and energy reserve of over 50 hours, all set inside the dimensions of 30mm by 6.5mm, making it one of the correct and compact calibre.
To rejoice the 50th anniversary of its definitive motion, Zenith is providing a 50-piece restricted version anniversary set with a trio of El Primero-based watches representing the previous, current and future.
First of “The First”
The first watch included within the anniversary set is a tribute to the El Primero mannequin of 1969 – the Zenith El Primero A386 Revival. Similar to the Omega 60th-anniversary restricted version, Zenith recreated an almost-exact reproduction of the unique mannequin. The dimensions, in addition to the unique codes together with the tricolour counters, tachymeter scale, font and leather-based strap, stayed true to the classic A386 whereas the supplies had been switched as much as give the brand new watch a brand new lease of life to the spirit of its predecessor.
The Second Edition
A direct descendant of El Primero, the Zenith Chronomaster 2 is essentially the most emblematic up to date embodiment. The watch, outfitted with a brand new technology 3600 calibre motion which additionally runs at 36,000 bph, contains a central chronograph hand that makes one dial flip in 10 seconds. The column wheel and the lever-operated lateral clutch are additionally visually highlighted to make sure most ends in reliability and precision. At 42mm, the Chronomaster 2 additionally shows an open case again for the admiration of the symbolic motion.
The Future Holds
The remaining piece inside the anniversary boxed set is the Defy El Primero 21 which, in accordance with Zenith, “heralds the watchmaking of the future”. Set in a 44mm case, this watch is not any modest violet however undoubtedly a mechanical marvel. The watch comprises the El Primero 2004 calibre in addition to two escapements. One, driving the watch at 36,000 bph whereas the second, an astounding 360,000 bph, permitting the watch to measure right down to 1/100th of a second.
50 years for the reason that first El Primero, Zenith remains to be pushing boundaries of excellence, precision and innovation. The anniversary set renders as a time capsule of milestones by the masion. And in presenting the trilogy of watches in a case made for 4, Zenith reinforces its avant-garde traditions. The empty slot is slated to welcome a chronograph that may measure as much as 1/1000 of a second that Zenith plans to unveil sooner or later. One can solely marvel, what’s going to come after the house is crammed?