‘Cover Girl’ A3818 Zenith El Primero


Easy, breezy, and a total dime, Zenith’s ‘Cover Girl’ is named aptly. This ref. A3818 is about as niche as Zenith collecting gets, with the possible exception of the A3817. Yet somehow, even still today, Zenith collecting as a whole is still low-key. If you’re not the sort of person that reads Hairspring, the standard…

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01.0040.418 Zenith El Primero Espada Sub Sea Moonphase


Everyone knows the 3019 El Primero story. But, after, not everyone paid attention to just how far Zenith pushed the boundaries of what an El Primero could be. If one needed convincing that the El Primero is not only one of the longest lived chronograph lines, but also one of the most diverse, interesting, and…

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Mk3 A386 Zenith El Primero

Whoever came up with idea to make the three subdial registers of the A386 tri-color is a genius. In watch design, the gold standard is being distinctive enough to be recognized from across a room or mid-distance. Most meaningful designs nail this trick, but there are surprisingly few. Why does this matter? The majority slice…

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A384 Zenith El Primero

There’s nothing quite as brave as finishing second and handing yourself a jersey with ‘THE FIRST’ on the back of it. And yet, that’s this Zenith’s story. It’s not just brave though, it’s eccentric. Zenith also crossed the finish line with more style than anyone else by some margin. And that’s what really counts. Hence,…

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01-0150-415 Zenith El Primero Sub Sea

With one glance at the El Primero Sub Sea, you get the feeling this is the sort of watch Zenith couldn’t create today. Not because LVMH don’t have the technical ability, far from it. But because there are committees, cohesive brand strategy, and focus groups. I adore Zenith and belive they’re doing exceptional work. But…

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Mk2 A386 Zenith El Primero


‘The want’ is very strong with vintage Zenith. As a blanket term, ‘vintage Zenith’ covers so much: the original covergirl, G381, A277, Moonphase Calibre 3019 PHF Prototype, I could go on. In that list most definitely lies the A386. Its design is attractive, the contrasted overlapping big-eye subs uniquely lovely. The automatic cal 3019 is…

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01.0210.415 ‘Surf’ Zenith El Primero


The El Primero story is lore, not only for its extreme ambition in engineering but equally that the world almost lost the calibre through the quartz crisis. Thank god for Charles Vermot, the watchmaker who disobeyed Zenith’s head office instructions to sell off all things to do with mechanical watchmaking, hiding away the plans, spares,…

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Tropical A384 Zenith El Primero


1969 was quite the year. Aside from Omega’s all-time greatest product placement, the Swiss were manufacturing some seriously attractive metal. There was the iconic Speedmaster, the 6263 Daytona, and the El Primero. Zenith’s chronograph did not receive attention in proportion to the impressiveness of its engineering in period. The El Primero has really only been…

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01.0372.400 Black Dial Zenith El Primero Rainbow


This Zenith is, by definition, an oxymoron. Black rainbows don’t exist in the physical world, but do exist—if only just—in El Primero. The Rainbow is an El Primero with a complex and fascinating history, from 1992 introduction with one calibre, to 1995 Elite Rainbow introduction with another, to 1997 EP Rainbow with flyback. The models…

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