The famed Zenith Chronomaster El Primero “Full Open” provides an unobstructed view of its legendary mechanism, thanks to a dial that is now entirely open – and openworked
To ensure a better understanding of the fundamentals governing its flagship Chronomaster collection, Zenith offers its legendary El Primero chronograph in three different versions: with an entirely solid (closed) dial, a half-open (Open) dial, and now, an entirely open (Full Open) dial, with the latter representing the marque’s major launch of 2017.
This complete opening enables aficionados to understand and visually appreciate the high frequency of the movement – the signature El Primero integrated automatic column-wheel chronograph calibre with its 326 components (including 31 jewels) – beating at the swift pace of 5 Hz (36,000 VpH) that measures and displays the time with tenth-of-a-second precision.
The watch carries a few subtle nods to the historical 1969 El Primero: the date window of the 38mm version has been placed between 4 and 5 o’clock just as in the original, with the famous blue colour identical to the historical version. Combined with the two other colours, anthracite and rhodium, the three galvanic tones make a perfect match serving to magnify the movement.
Three counters complete the picture: the 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, the 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock, and the small seconds counter at 9 o’clock that serves to verify the smooth operation of the movement. A silver-toned inner bezel ring – a black-and-white minute circle, together with facetted luminescent hands, combine to ensure optimal legibility, without obstructing the view, while the elegant transfer centred inside the sapphire crystal provides the Zenith signature touch.
The case design also reflects that of the 1969 El Primero Chronograph. Redesigned and modernised in 2010, this case has become a staple, revisited in every diameter. The case back is of course open with a sapphire crystal revealing a resolutely modern architecture.
Available in two 38mm and 42mm diameters – in steel or a two-tone version with steel topped by an 18K pink gold bezel – and fitted with an alligator leather strap (black for the steel variation, and brown for the two-tone steel-and-pink gold version) or a metal bracelet, this imposing, sturdy, and sophisticated chronograph enjoys a power reserve of over 50 hours and is water-resistant to 100 metres.