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Jason Pitsch

Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Heritage 146 Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

One of the most interesting timepieces that Zenith debuted this year was the Heritage 146 Chronomaster, which comes in a 38 mm x 12.45 mm vintage style 1969 El Primero stainless steel case (as opposed to 42 mm or larger). The Heritage 146 is fundamentally the same as the Zenith X Hodinkee limited edition that was introduced in 2016. The difference is that this model has a brown or blue dial (versus slate gray), extra graduations on the small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock, a different crown (the Hodinkee version is flatter), and this model has either a brown or blue perforated leather strap (whereas the limited edition came with 3 straps). Zenith watch that inspired the dial of the Heritage 146 Despite not being available in a slate gray sunray patterned dial, the Zenith Chronomaster Heritage 146 looks amazing

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Jason Pitsch

Baselworld 2017: Zenith Defy El Primero 21

Jason Pitsch

Zenith launched an all-new El Primero watch and movement under the “Defy” moniker at Baselworld 2017, and despite the fact that the aesthetics of the timepiece have been a polarizing topic of discussion amongst the watch community (due to the resemblance to Hublot), it is the horological importance of the movement that is sure to impress those that are serious about watchmaking. The Defy El Primero 21 borrows its movement architecture from its LVMH sibling TAG Heuer’s Mikrograph – which we did an in-depth review of last year – but this is not merely a shared caliber that has been aesthetically changed to fit another brand. There have been significant technical changes, which we will discuss below, and that foreshadowing what the future may hold for the venerable Le Locle-based watchmaker. Presented in either a brushed titanium or black ceramized

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Jason Pitsch

Baselworld 2017: Zenith Elite Chronograph Classic

Jason Pitsch

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)

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Jason Pitsch

Chronomaster El Primero Range Rover Velar Special Edition

Jason Pitsch

Following up on the collaboration between Zenith and Range Rover – that we first wrote about here last year, and then went hands-on with here – the two companies have created another model that debuted this week at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show. The new Chronomaster El Primero Range Rover Velar Special Edition features a straight-grained brushed gray dial with copper-toned details, and a new black rubber strap coated with black-toned perforated calfskin, that according to Zenith is, “inspired by ideas from both brands’ product design and engineering departments.” Featuring a matte black ceramized aluminum case, like the aforementioned El Primero Range Rover model, this too has a 42 mm diameter case and uses the same 5Hz chronograph movement. Furthermore, the leather is the same high-quality hide used on Range Rovers and is secured by a triple folding clasp

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Jason Pitsch

Pre-Baselworld: Zenith Pilot Extra Special Chronograph

Jason Pitsch

At Baselworld 2017, which takes place next month, Zenith will debut a new version of their Heritage Pilot Chronograph. We covered the launch of the Heritage Pilot Cafe Racer last year, and this is fundamentally the same watch but in a bronze case instead of stainless steel. The Pilot Extra Special Chronograph bronze-alloy case measures 45 mm x 14.25 mm, with a domed sapphire crystal, oversized onion-shaped ridged screwed-down crown, with flat ridged pushers, both designed to be used while wearing gloves. The solid caseback is titanium (which is hypo-allergenic), with an engraved Zenith flying instruments logo. Water-resistance is 100 meters. The dial has a frosted gray finish with two snailed counters and large gold-plated, facetted, luminous coated hands. Right below the Zenith logo “MONTRE D’AERONEF,” which was not on last year’s version. Naturally, the watch is powered by the

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Jason Pitsch

Introducing the Zenith Heritage 146

Jason Pitsch

Today, Zenith introduced the Heritage 146, which is essentially the same watch they made for Hodinkee earlier this year, with a 38 mm diameter steel case (which is the same size as the case we selected in a comparison of the 42 mm vs. 38 mm El Primeros in 2014), an El Primero Caliber 4069 chronograph movement, no date function, and a retro design theme. What is different is that these are regular production models, with the option of a tropical brown or blue, sunray pattern dial (not gray), the movements are not COSC chronometer certified and so there is no “CHRONOMETER CERTIFIED” text on the dial at 6 o’clock, the crown is also different as it is now deeper and less wide whereas the Hodinkee version’s crown is wide and very flat. The 5-second graduations for the crosshair small

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Jason Pitsch

Zenith Launches Black Ceramic El Primero Skeleton

Jason Pitsch

Zenith recently announced a new version of their 45 mm skeletonized El Primero Chronograph, similar to the version we showed you earlier this year, and the carbon fiber model that was launched in 2013 – except now the El Primero is presented in black ceramic case and with additional material cut-away. In particular, the subdials have been redesigned with just rings, allowing a view straight through to the movement. And, the sundial hands have been changed from baton style to syringe hands. The 5Hz automatic caliber 400B still powers the watch, offering a 50-hour power reserve and 1/10th of a second chronograph accuracy. With skeleton watches designers can easily get carried away, resulting in a watch that has so much of the component material removed it becomes gaudy. In this case, I think Zenith has done an excellent job with

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Jason Pitsch

Zenith El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar Boutique Edition with new fume dial Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Featuring an annual calendar complication, a chronograph, and a fume dial – the El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar Boutique Edition makes Zenith’s often forgot about annual calendar chronograph worth remembering. Specifically, the new brown-gold fume dial – contrasted by rhodium-plated applied Arabic hour numerals and rhodium-plated hour, minute, and second hands – transforms the watch into quite the stunner. Apart from the dial, this El Primero Annual Calendar is the same as previous models, with a 42 mm x 13.85 mm polished stainless steel case, an exhibition caseback, and powered by automatic caliber 4054. Running at 5Hz, the 30 mm x 8.3 mm El Primero movement consists of 29 jewels and 341 total components and has a 50-hour power reserve. The annual calendar function also called a “complete calendar” keeps the date set with only one adjustment needed per year

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Jason Pitsch

Zenith Heritage Cronometro Tipo CP-2

Jason Pitsch

This week Zenith launched a vintage re-edition called the Heritage Cronometro Tipo CP-2 – based on the 1960s Cairelli chronograph. The original Cairelli timepiece was sold by Roman retailer A. Cairelli, who supplied these particular watches to the Italian Air Force. The dial read “A. CAIRELLI, ROMA” and the solid caseback was engraved with AMI and CP. Aesthetically, not a lot has changed from the original 1960s model. The retailer name at 6 o’clock now reads “AUTOMATIC.” And the Zenith star is now applied instead of printed at 12 o’clock. Zenith 1960s Cairelli chronograph Ref. AMI, Photo Credit: Hodinkee The case is slightly bigger at 43 mm x 12.85 mm, compared to the original which is 42.5 mm x 12.5 mm. And a sapphire crystal is used now instead of a plexiglass. However, like the original, the back is made

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Jason Pitsch

Zenith El Primero Range Rover Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Last Thursday, Zenith announced a special edition co-branded timepiece with Range Rover, available in two versions, one with a beige strap and the other with a dark blue strap, which we reported on here. And this past Monday, Jean-Claude Biver, (who is the Head of LVMH’s watch division, the interim-CEO of TAG Heuer, and an LVMH board member), travelled from Switzerland, along with Land Rover head of design, Gerry McGovern, to officially launch the new timepiece to New York press. As part of the event, which took place at the New York Edition Hotel, artist, Carlito Dalceggio, painted a number of Range Rover body parts that had been flown in from the London. Gerry McGovern and Jean-Claude Biver unveiling the new El Primero Range Rover Special Edition During the unveiling, Biver and McGovern, made it clear that this is a

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