It’s fitting that to find one of the best new watches on the market, you’ve actually got to wind the clock back, and then dig through the archives. That’s what Zenith aims to do with the Zenith Chronomaster Revival El Primero A3817, and so far, consider that mission accomplished.
The new Chronomaster Revival houses the famed El Primero column-wheel chronograph movement in a sporty, tonneau-shaped case, and then takes the hybrid movement a step further with what the watchmaker calls the “striking tri-colour dial of the A386,” a classic round-dial watch.
It gets even better from there, if you can believe it. The El Primero A3817 nods to the fact that only 1,000 of the original A3817 were produced. That scarcity makes it a rare and coveted collector’s item for those who appreciate sport watches with precise movements and refinement built right into one dependable package.
Zenith used a mix of reverse engineering and historical blueprints to get the details just right for this revival watch, down to the pump-style chronograph pushers and the angled, tonneau-shaped case. A blend of grey and blue dial markings, with distinctive chronograph colorways to match, gives this watch a visually stunning depth and a striking appeal on the wrist.
It might wear particularly well with a navy cotton suit for a dash of versatile refinement, but it’s got the specs to stand up to days on the water or in the air. And then, there are the strap options, always a crucial part of any collector’s arsenal of stylish and limited-edition watches.
Zenith took great care in recreating the steel “ladder” bracelet, which it calls “a modern remake of the Gay Frères bracelets” that set El Primero timepieces apart in decades past.
The price point is what you might expect for a revival watch that’s true to the original: It retails for $8,400 at Zenith boutiques (and of course, it’s available online with but a few clicks).
Suffice to say, Zenith couldn’t have glimpsed the future 50 years on when it first introduced the El Primero, but we’re glad they’ve taken a look backwards to move your watch collection forward in iconic style.