The legendary El Primero by Zenith appears attired in striking black and white variations. An intense black ceramicised case, chiaroscuro three-counter dial and sporty perforated rubber strap 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. These contrasting twin timepieces - black on white, white on black – are a new couple, exuding a seductive aura characterised by natural balance.
A legend in black and white
1969 was a historical year for the watch industry that saw Zenith present the world’s most accurate series-made chronograph: the inimitable El Primero. 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. An original aesthetic that makes light of passing time and lends itself to infinite variations in terms of materials, styles and colours. 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.