The folks at Zenith have been very productive during the lockdown, as seen with their latest iteration of the El Primero calibre, that fast-tracks the Chronomaster Sport to the top of its class.
After a good showing at LVMH Watch Week 2020 in Dubai, Swiss watchmaker, Zenith, has decided to return this year to showcase their latest timepieces. Amongst new pieces and revival recreations, the most important release must surely be its Chronomaster Sport. Sportier, speedier, and swiftly accurate, the latest evolution of the El Primero calibre takes full advantage of its 5Hz or 36, 000 VpH to record a moment accurate to 1/10th of a second, and in this sense, it’s in a class of its own.
However, this is not the first watch to boast such a feature – Longines, Patek Philipe and Tag Heuer have made them before. In fact, Zenith had also done so ten years ago with the Striking 10th. However, that had a limited run while the latest Sport does not. The new Sport is a production model, boasts a beefed-up power reserve of 60 hours and more importantly, it encompasses an El Primero 3600 movement boasting substantial technical upgrades, including a design to the central train that enables its hands to beat at 6 times the speed of an ordinary chrono. And doing so in such a visibly spectacular display through its rear sapphire caseback, really sets it apart from the rest. In addition, the Sport has adopted the classic blue, coal, and light grey tones of its 1969 A386 brethren’s sub dials and the pump style pushers to lend it a comfortingly familiar feel.
Everything moves faster on the latest Zenith timepiece. It’s also very probable that heart rates might rack up a notch watching the latest Chronograph tick – the long arm of its stopwatch, its tip dipped in lethal red and racing past a black ceramic bezel that engraves its claim to fame – “1/10th of a second”, while little hands sweep busily over sub dials, all of which are counting down, fractions of a second, to a tightly fought race, a close shave, or a hairbreadth escape.
Speaking of the black bezel, this seems to have triggered many media mentions of its resemblance to the Rolex Daytona, with a critic calling it the ‘Zen-tona’. Truth be told, the El Primero, albeit heavily modified, once sat inside the Daytona for more than a decade. So being a brother from another mother results in a resemblance that is unlikely to faze the crowd. And take note – the Rolex Daytona does not even track 1/10th of a second.
And it is savvy of Zenith to bring out the Sport with an option of a matte black or white face; its 41mm caseback with a thickness of 13mm and compact lugs is wrapped and strapped in a highly finished stainless-steel bracelet with a clasp (that is very Rolex-inspired), thus making it a very wearable sports watch even for smaller wrists.
Unless you have the persistence and cash, a chronograph like this is hard to come by with most versions pitching in the high-end of the field. So certainly, Zenith’s plan to slide this sharp looking steel Chrono of such high frequency calibre within reach of many collectors and enthusiasts may very well play in its favour.
Images courtesy of Zenith, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.