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Zenith El Primero Chronograph Luxury Watch Review

http://www.thewatchbox.com/watches/zenith The Zenith El Primero Chronograph is a 42mm stainless steel love letter to enthusiasts of traditional Zenith elegance. More than a gloriously refined vessel for the legendary El Primero high-beat automatic chronograph movement, this Zenith chronograph is an ode to the manufacture's glory days during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. The irony of this El Primero Chronograph is that it celebrates the El Primero movement within a case and dial inspired by the pre-El Primero era at Zenith. Before the 1969 launch of the El Primero, Zenith crafted simple and beautiful chronograph models with movements supplied largely by Martel Watch (ultimately purchased 1960 to engineer the El Primero). The early twin-register chronographs of this series lend their design cues the dial of the modern El Primero Chronograph. Simplicity rules this dial. Its sunburst silver base and minimal graphics ensure a welcome relief from the graphic/text that plagues the industry. Sprawling striated silver forms a cool backdrop for the warmth of the applied rose gold hour indices and hands. This contrast relieves the austerity of the steel/silver tandem and sets off the gorgeous cobalt-blue chronograph seconds hand at center. Inside the 42mm steel case, a Zenith El Primero caliber 400 keeps the beat at its famous 5hz (36,000 VpH) cadence. The preternaturally smooth sweep of the chronograph seconds hand is matched by the distinctive double-time beat of the El Primero escapement; hold it against one's ear, and the difference is striking. Automatic winding energizes a superior 52-hour power reserve, and a crisp column wheel function selector dispenses this power through the chronograph mechanism. Heat-oxidized "blue" screws for timing adjustments, polished screws for assembly, "Cotes de Geneve" stripes on the skeletoninzed winding rotor, perlage on the bridges, and rich metallic grain on the levers is redolent of Zenith's unique mechanical finishing traditions. This El Primero caliber 400 is a 31 jewel/326 part MOMA exhibition for the wrist. See this classically inspired Zenith El Primero Chronograph in high-resolution images on www.thewatchbox.com. Video and content by Tim Mosso