Watchuseek Blog

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Zenith concentrate: El Primero Chronomaster 1969 chronograph

The new El Primero Chronomaster 1969 chronograph, like Campbell’s soup, is a concentrated blend of all that is good about Zenith.

This revised classic bears the historical colours of the first El Primero chronograph and, for the first time, the dial opening reveals the beating heart of the movement – the signature of the Manufacture Zenith.

Pure Zenith

In 1969, the El Primero cut a distinctive dash with its multi-hued dial featuring three counters in different colours and a red sweep seconds chronograph hand for enhanced readability.

Now these same colours are echoed on the new El Primero Chronomaster 1969 chronograph: the two 30-minute and 12-hour counters at 3 and 6 o’clock respectively feature the same colours as the original 1969 El Primero model: midnight blue for the former and anthracite for the latter.

The dial opening reveals an exceptional movement, another Zenith innovation, and for the first time this is linked with the colour codes of the original 1969 chronograph.

The cutaway provides fascinating glimpses of what is now arguably regarded as “the world’s best series-produced movement.”

Zenith movement design engineers and watchmakers rethought the construction of the calibre and shifted the regulating organ – and its 10 vibrations per second – to 10 o’clock, on the periphery of the movement.

New El Primero movement 

The Chronomaster 1969 houses a new automatic chronograph movement developed and produced in-house, the El Primero Calibre 4061.

Like all El Primero movements, it beats at a frequency of 10 vibrations per second (or 36,000 vibrations per hour) and can thereby measure 1/10ths of a second. With an approximately 50-hour power reserve it comprises 282 parts and meticulous finishes.

The new El Primero displays the hours, minutes, small seconds at 9 o’clock, as well as the chronograph function with a central sweep seconds hand along with 30-minute and 12-hour counters at 3 and 6 o’clock respectively.

It comes with a 42 mm-diameter steel case that is water-resistant to 100 metres and equipped with vintage-style round pushbuttons. As for the strap, the new El Primero comes on a black alligator leather band complete with steel buckle.


El Primero 4061, automatic
Calibre : 13¼ ``` (Diameter: 30 mm)
Thickness : 6.60 mm
Components : 282
Jewels : 31
Frequency : 36,000 VpH – (5 Hz)
Power reserve : min. 50 hours
Finishings : Oscillating weight with “Côtes de Genève” pattern.

Hours and minutes in the centre Small seconds at 9 o’clock 2-counter chronograph Central chronograph hand
30-minute counter at 3 o’clock
12-hour counter at 6 o’clock
Case, dial & hands
Material: Stainless steel
Diameter: 42 mm
Diameter opening: 37.10 mm
Crystal: Box-shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflection treatment on both sides
Case-back: Transparent sapphire crystal
Water-resistance: 10 ATM
Dial: Silver sunray with 2 coloured counters
Hour-markers: Rhodium with SuperLuminova SLN C1, faceted
Hands: Rhodium with SuperLuminova SLN C1, faceted

Strap & buckles
Alligator leather strap with protective rubber lining black alligator leather
Ref.: 27.00.2118.496
Stainless steel buckles Stainless steel pin buckle
Ref.: 27.01.0018.008
Stainless steel triple folding clasp (optional)
Ref.: 27.03.0138.940

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