Zenith announces two new variations – black on white and white on black – of its legendary El Primero chronograph. Featuring an intense black ceramicised case, chiaroscuro three-counter dial and sporty perforated rubber strap, these timepieces reveal a fascinating take on a watchmaking legend born in 1969. The Manufacture’s iconic El Primero 36’000 VpH epitomises high mechanical precision endowed with enduring charm.
Introduced in 1969, the Zenith El Primero was the world’s most accurate series-made chronograph. Alongside its high-frequency movement, El Primero also stands for an emblematic design recognisable at first glance. Its three counters – originally in anthracite, blue and light grey – symbolise the functionality of a sophisticated mechanism and have been part of the Zenith DNA for almost half a century.
The fast-paced chronograph now reveals a particularly sophisticated look in two chiaroscuro interpretations. The counters provide an attractive and complementary ‘visual opposites’ effect against a finely sunray-patterned ebony black or silver-toned base, punctuated by black luminescent facetted hour-markers and hands enhanced with bright red touches.
The intense black ceramicised aluminium case of these two new El Primero 36’000 VpH models houses a high-frequency column-wheel chronograph movement, a signature of the horological expertise cultivated by the Manufacture for over 150 years. Beating at 5Hz and powering a tenth-of-a second display, the El Primero 400B calibre drives central hours and minutes functions, small seconds, chronograph and date, while ensuring a more than 50-hour power reserve. The domed sapphire crystal, round push-pieces and knurled crown accentuate the powerful build of this 42 mm chronograph.
This beautiful mechanism and its oscillating weight – offering a fascinating visual counterpoint to the model’s binary colour codes – may be admired through the sapphire crystal back of the 100m water-resistant case. Timeless and resolutely unconventional by nature, El Primero enriches its black and white look with a sporty touch thanks to a perforated black rubber strap secured by a titanium and black PVD-coated triple folding clasp.
EL PRIMERO 36’000 VPH
El Primero 400 B, Automatic
Calibre 13¼“` (Diameter: 30 mm)
Movement thickness: 6.6 mm
Frequency: 36,000 VpH (5 Hz)
Power-reserve min. 50 hours
Finishes: Oscillating weight with “Côtes de Genève” motif
Hours and minutes in the centre
Small seconds at 9 o’clock
– Central chronograph hand
– 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock
– 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock
Date indication at 6 o’clock
Diameter: 42 mm
Diameter opening: 37.1 mm
Thickness: 12.75 mm
Case-back: Transparent sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides
Material: Black ceramicised aluminium
Water-resistance: 10 ATM
Ref. 24.2041.400/21.R576: Black-toned sunray-patterned dial with silver-toned counters
Ref. 24.2041.400/01.R576: silver-toned sunray-patterned dial with black-toned counters
Hour-markers: Rhodium-plated, faceted and coated with SuperLuminova SLN C1
Hands: Rhodium-plated, faceted and coated with SuperLuminova SLN C1
Black sporty rubber strap
Black PVD-coated Titanium triple folding clasp