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Zenith El Primero Chronograph Classic

May 14, 2015

Launched at Baselworld 2015, the El Primero Chronograph Classic is a brand new model for Zenith. The aesthetic is similar to the new Elite 6150 that debuted alongside it in Basel, however, they are being marketed as two separate collections.

Nevertheless, the Chronograph Classic comes in a similar 42 mm diameter by 11.80 mm thick case, with a fixed bezel, highly curved bezel. There are two models: stainless steel or rose gold. Both versions comes with a domed, sunburst silver-toned dial. And like the Elite 6150, the hour markers are engraved in the dial (even though they look applied). The indices alternate between double and single markers, and each is filled with rhodium plating (rose gold for the 18K model).

The leaf-shaped hour and minute hands are rhodium plated (or rose gold) and facetted. The center chronograph hand is baton shaped and also matches the finish of the hour and minute hands. The minute and seconds are printed on the dial in black, as are the small seconds and 30-minute chronograph subdials.


Protecting the dial is a domed sapphire with anti-reflective on both sides. The caseback is transparent. The push-in crown features a relief engraving of the Zenith star. Water-resistance is 50 meters.

Functions include hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph seconds and 30-minutes. Keeping it clean, there is no date window.

Ticking inside is a new version of the El Primero column-wheel and horizontal clutch (not vertical) chronograph movement. Caliber 4069 beats at 5Hz (36,000), has 31 jewels and 254 components. The power reserve is 50-hours. The skeletonized rotor is decorated with Geneva stripes. The bridges and plate have a perlage decoration and blued screws.

The Zenith El Primero Chronograph Classic comes with a black alligator leather strap with protective rubber lining and a triple-folding stainless steel clasp (or rose gold). It will be available November 2015 for $8,900 in steel (Ref. 03.2270.4069/01.C493) or $21,600 in rose gold (Ref. 18.2270.4069/01.C498).


Final Thoughts

Just as we told you we really like the new Elite 6150, this is an equally exciting new offering from Zenith. Everything from the new case to the curved dial with engraved hour markers, to the minimalist look, have been nicely executed. Unlike the aforementioned model, the Chronograph Classic’s new movement does not boast a 100-hour power reserve – which we wish it did. Despite the fact that the movement itself has basically stayed the same, overall, this was one of our favorite introductions at Baselworld 2015.

Baselworld, Hands-On, Zenith

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