The El Primero is a model range with as much breadth and depth as the best of them. However, Zenith can be a bit daunting for the recent entrant. Allow me to simplify. Modern Zenith is like a Tag’s cooler older brother. They’re generally a bit better at everything they try (don’t give the Inventor argument, I’m over it) and have a relatively storied history. That said, both apples fall close to the proverbial LVMH tree. Vintage Zenith, however, is a different beast altogether. Like Heuer, Zenith have some pieces in their back catalogue as renowned and storied as they are obscure. This is one of those: the insanely gorgeous blue dialed De Luca.
The De Luca is in fact a subset of El Primero chronographs. De Luca derives from a nickname that the head of Zenith Italy had within the company, a man said to have inspired its design. There have been several iterations in that design since its 1988 inception. This the third design direction, which is officially called the second series by collectors (I told you we were in muddling waters here). This iteration was where Zenith got weird and made a few limited editions. This steel case blue dial variant hails from that 1990 origin, a limited release of 200. It features their own outstanding movement, a 40mm case, and as much neo-vintage charm as you like.
This example sports honest wear. The bezel has been in a few scraps with door frames. The case shows all the usual wear areas. But all the important points are there. The blue dial, all-important, is perfect. Its lugs are strong and attached to its original bracelet. There’s a box, booklet, and hangtag. It comes from a reputable retailer out of London.
Find this De Luca here from Subdial for 5750 GBP.