The new Chronomaster Original is the brand’s latest iteration of the original 1969 El Primero ref. A386, an iconic design that needs little introduction and is best known as one of the world’s first automatic chronographs. Yet, beyond a straightforward homage alone— such as those introduced in 2019 for the El Primero’s 50th anniversary— the new release includes not only vintage-inspired aesthetics, but possibly more notably is powered by Zenith’s industry-advancing caliber El Primero 3600. In this regard, by its vintage aesthetics and impressive, forward-looking mechanics, the new Chronomaster Original represents some of the best that Zenith has to offer, with an eye to its iconic history, but with its focus clearly on the future.
The high beat El Primero 3600 powering the new design is same movement first placed into regular production at the start of this year with the Chronomaster Sport, and in this context represents the second use of the non-limited use of the caliber within the brand’s catalog. Among its various features, the mechanism most notably includes a 1/10th second chronograph counter alongside a new outer scale on the dial to match it, together allowing for the wearer to measure and quickly read elapsed time in precise fractions of a second. The 36,000 vph frequency movement otherwise is also capable of measuring chronograph seconds, a chronograph counter up to 60 minutes, and running seconds via the dial’s triple registers, in addition to standard hours and minutes via a pair of baton hands and the date via a 4:30 aperture. All of these features come powered via a 60-hour reserve, itself wound via an open-work rotor marked with the five-pointed star signature of Zenith.