When I say El Primero, you likely imagine the A386. You may even think A384, A3818, hell maybe you even think of the G381. What you almost certainly do not imagine is this: the early 90s chronograph which goes by De Luca. And yet, that’s a shame, because it’s one of the more classical modern El Primeros (if a bit less iconic). The De Luca took Zenith’s incredible hi-beat calibre 400 base and added an opaline-porcelain dial. Although much less discussed, this was a contemporary analogue of the Zenith-era Daytona and a worthy one at that.
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 who wanted an El Primero styled for his clients in Italy. There have been several iterations in that design since its 1988 inception. This the first design iteration, with a relatively rare and desirable porcelain dial. Porcelain (or more correctly vitreous enamel) dials aren’t terribly common anymore, owing the their fragility and difficulty of manufacture. However, there is a deep lustre and gloss to the material worth caring for. 375 white dial variants were manufactured in 1988, making this a rare (but not limited) watch. This 40mm steel case features their own outstanding 400 El Primero movement and as much neo-vintage charm as you like.
This example sports even surface wear throughout, but nothing egregious. Its case looks highly polished, but that’s how these are from factory. Its dial is altogether lovely with just a touch of browning emanating from the subs. Its tritium handset is faded to cream, echoed in the dials applied indices. There is one knock on its lower right hand lug worth noting. The rest is excellent, and is said to be running well. It comes from a small retailer out of the UK.
Find this Mk1 De Luca here from Tortoise Watches for 7250 GBP.