In 2015, Zenith debuted the all-new El Primero Chronograph Classic, which was basically the chronograph version of the Elite 6150, also launched in 2015.
This year, at Baselworld 2017, Zenith has – somewhat quietly – debuted a renamed version that is now called the Elite Chronograph Classic, at a starting price a full $2200 less than the original version from 2015! Additionally, the watch is now available with a gray or brown smoked dial.
The watch measures 42 mm x 11.80 mm and features leaf-shaped rhodium-plated or gold-plated hands, depending if you get the steel or rose gold version. And one of my favorite design details that were also retained from the 2015 model is the engraved hour markers, either rhodium or gold plated, depending on the case material.
Inside, is the El Primero column-wheel and horizontal clutch (not vertical) equipped chronograph movement. The automatic caliber 4069 movement beats at 5Hz (36,000), has 31 jewels, 254 components, and a power reserve of 50-hours. Finishing includes a skeletonized rotor decorated with Geneva stripes, perlage on the mainplate and bridges, and blued screws.
The new Elite Chronograph Classic, with your choice of a gray or brown smoked dial, retails for $6700 in stainless steel and $14400 in rose gold, representing an excellent value for an in-house column-wheel equipped chronograph.
This collection is also one of my personal favorites from Baselworld 2017.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article stated that the new Elite Chronograph Classic comes in a 39 mm diameter case, but it is actually 42 mm.