Zenith marks 50th anniversary of El Primero with El Primero Revival A384 watch

Half a century ago, the world was given the first automatic chronograph by Zenith – El Primero chronograph. The watch went to become and iconic statement in the world of haute horology. It became an important part of history – so important that it survived the onslaught of the Japanese quartz watch movement and stood the testimony of time, when the revolution waned in the 1980s.

It’s only fair that fifty years on, Zenith gives us a timepiece that is a fitting tribute to the original. Aptly called the Zenith El Primero Revival A384 watch, this recreation of the original brings about a sense of déjà vu. It is as if you are seeing the original, but under the hood, it hosts some essential updates that keeps the watch relevant to present times and industry requirements.

To understand the original watch and how it was created, Julien Tornare, CEO of Zenith says that merely deconstructing the original El Primero was not enough. The redesigning team had actually got in touch with watchmakers, product development managers and significant people who were around when the watch was made 50 years ago. Tapping into their memories and expertise formed the starting point of the El Primero Revival A384.  

The new Zenith El Primero Revival A384 is a reverse-engineered interpretation of the original (measuring time intervals to one tenth of a second). Using a new state-of-the-art movement, the other changes in the watch include sapphire crystals and an open caseback. Design-wise, the watch is the same, there is nothing changes there.

The 37mm faceted matte-finished steel case is very vintage-style and hosts the El Primero 400 chronograph movement – it has 278-parts. The watch functions include hours, minutes in the center, and small seconds at the 9 o’clock spot. Nostalgia hits you hard when you notice that the lacquered black-and-white tachymeter is very much like the original timepiece.

The chronograph tracks intervals of time up to 12 hours and 30 minutes, and sports a central chronograph hand. The dial comes with SuperLuminova SLN C3 hands and markers and the tachymeter scale is located on the outer chapter ring of the dial. The date indication is located at the 4 o’clock spot. The watch is water resistant to 10 ATM and retails for $7,600 (it’s not a limited edition watch). You can team it with a black alligator leather strap or steel bracelet.