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Review: Zenith Chronomaster Original

Zenith is introducing today the Chronomaster Original, the 21st century heir of one of the most iconic models powered by the legendary El Primero movement, the reference A386 that was launched in 1969.

Zenith Chronomaster Original

In 2019 and 2020 Zenith paid tribute to the A386 with some limited editions presented as part of the Chronomaster Revival collection but until today we had no steel versions in the permanent collection of the brand.

With the new Chronomaster Original, Zenith is not only bringing back the design of the A386 in a non-limited steel version but it is going one step further by powering this model with an El Primero calibre offering 1/10th of a second precision and time measurement.

Zenith Chronomaster Original

The new Zenith Chronomaster Original is available in the signature version with tri-colour dial configuration as well as in a “reverse panda” variation, with black dial and silver chronograph registers. A rose gold version with the tri-colour dial has also been released.

Zenith Chronomaster Original

We had the opportunity to test and wear the two steel versions and we are now delighted to share our live pictures and first impressions.

Zenith Chronomaster Original

Zenith Chronomaster Original

The 38 mm round steel case is nearly identical to the original A386 with almost no bezel, raised and domed sapphire crystal, pump-style chronograph pushers and faceted lugs. The lines of the watch are highlighted by the alternation of radial brushed and polished surfaces.

Zenith Chronomaster Original

Zenith Chronomaster Original

But if you inspect the dial more closely you will notice a major difference: the distinctive tri-colour chronograph registers in shades of grey and blue, the trapezoid date window at 04:30 and the central chronograph seconds hand are all there but the tachymeter scale on the outer circumference on the dial is replaced by a 1/10th of a second chronograph scale allowing for the measurement and reading of elapsed time in precise fractions of a second. 

Zenith Chronomaster Original

Zenith Chronomaster Original

The central chronograph hand - red or white depending on the version - sweeps around the inner scale, that displays 100 measurable time units, in 10 seconds. Differently from the original A386, this hand is straight, with no paddle, for improved readability and a cleaner design.

Zenith Chronomaster Original

The three counters display clockwise: chronograph 60 seconds at 3 o’clock, chronograph 60 minutes at 6 o'clock and running seconds at 9 o'clock. Rhodium-plated and faceted, the hands and the hour markers are coated with Super-LumiNova SLN C1 for enhanced readability in poor light conditions.

Zenith Chronomaster Original

The Chronomaster Original is equipped with the latest version of the El Primero calibre, dubbed the El Primero 3600, beating at the high frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour (5 Hz) with an extended power reserve of 60 hours. 

Zenith Chronomaster Original

Visible through the sapphire display back, the updated architecture reveals the blue column wheel and the open rotor marked with the five-pointed star Zenith, a recurring element that can be found also on the dial, the crown, and the buckle.

Zenith Chronomaster Original

The large teeth column-wheel controls the chronograph levers according to the impulses received (start and stop with the pusher at 2 o'clock, reset with the one at 4 o'clock) and contributes to more accurate and precise functionality – noticeable through the smooth impulse when manipulating the pushers.

Zenith Chronomaster Original

Zenith Chronomaster Original

Thanks to its diameter and ergonomically-shaped lugs, the watch sits nicely on wrists of any size (the wrist in our pictures is 18cm / 7in) on either its calfskin leather strap with triple folding clasp or the redesigned steel bracelet with more contemporary solid links and a double folding clasp. 

Zenith Chronomaster Original

Zenith Chronomaster Original

Zenith Chronomaster Original

Water resistant up to a pressure of 5 bar (approximately 50 metres / 165 feet), the new Zenith Chronomaster Original has a price of CHF 8,400 with leather strap or CHF 8,900 with steel bracelet. zenith-watches.com

Zenith Chronomaster Original

Zenith Chronomaster Original

COMMENTS

BLOGGER: 1
  1. Nice watch but who needs 1/10th of a second?

    ReplyDelete

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Time and Watches | The watch blog: Review: Zenith Chronomaster Original
Review: Zenith Chronomaster Original
Hands-on review of the Zenith Chronomaster Original with pictures and price. Zenith 2021 novelties. Zenith Chronomaster Original 03.3200.3600/69.M3200
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Time and Watches | The watch blog
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