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Zenith El Primero Stratos Pole-2-Pole Luxury Watch Review

http://www.thewatchbox.com/watches/zenith Even if you don't plan to circumnavigate half of the globe, this Zenith El Primero Stratos Pole-2-Pole limited edition of 500 watches is a choice companion. Its 45.5 mm Alchron alloy case, high-beat El Primero chronograph, and ceramic bezel are ready for whatever adventure - or Casual Friday - your routine has in store. Zenith's El Primero Stratos line is the modern-day successor to the legendary El Primero Rainbow pilot's watches of the 1990s. Originally commissioned by the French armed forces, the Zenith Rainbow and its El Primero caliber 405 flyback chronograph was a legend in its own time. And the same El Primero Cal. 405 flies again in this 2011 limited edition El Primero Stratos Pole-2-Pole. The Stratos' 45.5mm case is crafted from Zenith's Alchron alloy and PVD-treated to create a menacing black monolith. Alchron is an advanced alloy of aluminum, and the result is nearly as light as carbon fiber... but far stronger. For added durability, Zenith fits a ceramic bezel insert that is virtually scratch-proof. Short of diamond tools, no substance can reliably mar ceramic. A dial fit for a sports watch defines the visage of the El Primero Stratos. High-grade workmanship is evident in the precision with which the hand-laid applied hour indices align. Abundant Super LumiNova ensures effortless low and no-light visibility. In every respect, the military aviators who flew with the legendary Zenith "Rainbow" would be impressed by the functionality and finish of its successor. But while the 1990's Rainbow was designed for the cockpit, the El Primero Stratos Pole-2-Pole is designed to "rough it." Zenith's brand ambassador Johan Nilson, an extreme endurance athlete, earned this signature edition the hard way; he skied and biked from the North Pole to the South Pole. Nilson's endurance epic is commemorated by a dial logo at six o'clock. Zenith's Alchron case houses a living legend, the El Primero caliber 405 flyback chronograph. This 36,000 VpH chromo holds the distinction of ranking among the last fully-mechanical Swiss watch movements to have been recruited into armed service on an official military production contract. Keep in mind that we're not talking about some Panerai 3646 from the forties, a Rolex 5538 from the fifties, an Omega Seamaster 165.024 from the sixties, or even an IWC Ocean 2000 from the 1980s; the Zenith caliber 405 flew into the mid 2000s in operations over Afghanistan. The combat-veteran El Primero Cal. 405 retains all of the qualities that have made the high-beat movement a favorite of collectors and watchmakers alike. Since 1969, the El Primer has stood as a standard by which all chronographs are measured. In 1988, Rolex selected it as the power plant for its Cosmograph Daytona. With a crisp column wheel chronograph function selector, resolution to one-tenth of a second (most chronos offer only one-eighth), and a superior 52-hour power reserve, the El Primero enters its fifth decade as a fixture in horology's pantheon. See this Zenith El Primero Stratos Pole-2-Pole flyback chronograph in high-resolution images on www.thewatchbox.com. Video and content by Tim Mosso