A Favorite Complication Returns to the El Primero Family with Zenith’s New Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar

This week marks the unofficial (but also kind of official) beginning of a busy season of new watch releases with LVMH Watch Week. In recent years, LVMH Watch Week has served as an initial showcase for new novelties from the big brands that fall under the LVMH umbrella, and sets the stage for a period that culminates with Watches & Wonders in April. The timeline is a holdover from an era when trade shows were truly trade shows and watch brands would lock in their sales to worldwide dealer networks for the year. These days, that still happens, but it’s also full of very public launches and an all out media blitz by the brands. If the past is any indication, we’re likely to see splashy new release announcements from brands in the other big luxury groups as well as many independents in the coming months, but it kicks off with LVMH, and specifically Zenith, today. 


Zenith’s big new LVMH Watch Week announcement this year is the return of the El Primero Triple Calendar, a favorite reference among collectors going back decades for its mix of sportiness and old-school refinement. The triple calendar has faded in popularity as a complication over the course of time, largely due to movement availability, but also simply thanks to a trend toward cleaner and less complicated designs. But the El Primero execution of the triple calendar has always been particularly well balanced in the way it conserves dial space and makes use of the chronograph subdials to draw the eye where it needs to go, so it’s nice to see it refreshed here as part of the modern Chronomaster Original line. 

The new Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar, as it’s officially known, adds a complete calendar complication to the Chronomaster’s 1/10th of a chronograph. The day of the week and month are displayed in small apertures right above the 9:00 and 3:00 subdials, respectively. Zenith has nailed the symmetry here, with each aperture nestled between a subdial and an hour marker (10:00 and 2:00) which in a nice detail have been slightly reshaped to make room for the calendar indications. The date is still located at 4:30, and we also get a very nice looking moonphase in the 6:00 subdial. 

The new triple calendar version of the Chronomaster Original is available in a total of three colorways to start. There’s a variant with a classic panda style layout featuring a white silvery dial and black subdials with a matching outer 1/10th seconds scale, and slate gray version with silver subdials. In addition to these two dial variants, which each borrow heavily from classic vintage executions, there’s also a Boutique Edition version of this watch in a dramatic olive green colorway that will only be available through Zenith’s online and brick and mortar boutiques. 

A new complication for the Chronomaster means a new movement, which in this instance means the debut of the El Primero 3610 caliber, which notably operates at a blistering pace of 5 Hz, allowing for precise timing of events to 1/10th of a second, assuming the chronograph operator is dextrous enough to take full advantage of the movement’s speed. Zenith claims that even with the addition of the calendar complication, which saps considerable energy from the movement, the caliber still maintains a full 60 hour power reserve. Fans of the existing Chronomaster Original’s proportions will be glad to know that the diameter of the stainless steel case remains 38mm.

The new Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar has a retail price of $13,400 on a leather strap, and $13,900 on a matching steel bracelet. More information can be found at Zenith’s website

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.