The iconic El Primero A386 introduces its new successor in a special stainless steel and 38 mm rendition.
Almost half a century after the launch of the legendary A386, few watches have come close to the influence and impact that the A386 had on the watchmaking industry when it claimed the title of the world’s first automatic high-frequency integrated chronograph movement. Building upon the legacy, Zenith has consistently reinvented itself while keeping the spirit of the A386 alive through limited-edition releases on anniversary milestones and tribute models – such as the Zenith Chronomaster Sport enhanced with a new and improved caliber (which is capable of measuring an 1/10th of a second).
This time, Zenith collectors and chronograph aficionados are truly in for a delightful surprise. Beyond a modern interpretation of this enduring staple in the world of chronographs, the Swiss luxury watchmaker has gone a step further by giving the fans what they want – the Chronomaster Original. Blending the signature design of the A386 with the new-and-improved El Primero caliber that boasts 1/10th of a second precision, it is masterfully power-packed with performance within an equally striking exterior.
The new successor and the original Zenith El Primero are so similar that some might even struggle spotting the difference upon first glance. Fitted in a 38mm round stainless steel case with a raised and domed crystal, the most visually-captivating element of any timepiece is undoubtedly its dial. Featuring its instantly-recognisable grey, black and blue tri-colour dial, along with the trapezoid date window and red chronograph second hand, all of these were inherited from the 1960s edition with a few subtle updates to boost its performance. For instance, the tachymeter scale on the outer ring of the dial is replaced with the second chronograph to allow it to measure and read the elapsed time in precise fractions of a second.
The latest edition of the iconic caliber, dubbed the El Primero 3600, not only boasts incredible precision, but also claims to be more efficient, with an extended power reserve of 60 hours.
Making its highly-awaited comeback with several enhancements, Zenith has done away with the open “ladder” design to adopt a more modern look with solid bracelet links and a double-folding clasp.
The new Zenith Chronomaster Original is also offered in an elegant rose gold case, as well as another dial option that features a dapper “reverse panda” black dial with silver sub-registers.
The hour markers and hands for the black dial models were coated with beige SuperLumiNova®SLN, which is a nice contrast to the dial, as well as a great compliment to the only model offered on a beige calfskin strap with a stainless steel triple folding clasp.