As a part of honoring its rich horological heritage, Zenith is launching a 500-piece limited series of revived model El Primero 410. It is named after the movement on which it is based and which was originally introduced in 1969. The caliber in question has the basic features of an El Primero – namely its chronograph function, automatic-winding and the high frequency of 5 Hz – accompanied with a full calendar indication with a display for the moon phases. The newcomer by Zenith will feature a silver dial, a steel housing and the price of around $10,500.
Originally Launched at the same Time as the First El Primero
In 1969, Zenith made a historic success when it debuted its first El Primero watch that combined automatic winding with a chronograph feature. It was a very significant timekeeper for several reasons. First, it was the first fully integrated chronograph self-winding movement. Moreover, it was and still retains the title of the most accurate series produced chronograph on the market. In the same year that the basic El Primero Caliber 3019 PHC was introduced, the Le Locle based company also presented a variation of the model that complemented the functions with an additional full calendar complication with a moonphase display. This watch worked on Caliber 3019 PHF which was later renamed to Caliber 410. It was the timekeeper with a very popular mixture of features and it remained in production all the way until 2000. The discontinuation of its production coincided with the brand’s overall crisis in functioning that occurred in that period. More recently, reconsolidated watchmaker chose to bring back its legendary piece. The model that we are reviewing is the second revived edition after a decade long hiatus. Previously, Zenith launched another 500 limited edition of El Primero 410. This timepiece launched last fall had an appearance that almost completely replicated the looks of the original model.
Unlike the first revived model made with a slate gray dial with contrasting silver sub-dials, the new model with the reference 03.2091.410/01 C494 has its dial completely in silver color and does not include two star-shaped hour markers. However, the looks of the latest model is not characterized with complete uniformity since there are some subtle differences regarding the chosen guilloche motif. The main portion of the dial is beautified with a sunray pattern while the chrono counters are snailed. Still, the latest El Primero 410 is not so far away from the original since its dial shares several features with it. For starters, it has the same layout of the calendar indications with a date display between four and five o’clock positions and two other indications set at the upper section of the face, spread a bit further apart than it is usually the case. Also, the moon phase display is at the bottom inside the 12-hour chrono counter and, finally, there is likewise a tachymetric scale on the periphery.
Slightly Larger than the Original
Zenith El Primero 410 has steel round housing, just like the archetype model it is based upon. Since the new model is made almost half a century later when general taste has shifted toward a bit larger watches that are nowadays standard, it is not that surprising that the new watch has the diameter of 42 mm, instead of the original 38 mm. Furthermore, the overall design and the appearance of the case itself is slightly different and that is especially visible in the shape of its lugs that attach the case with alternate polished and brushed finishes with a brown alligator leather strap. By the way, the attachment has rubber lining for more comfortable wear and it locks with a triple folding clasp made of steel. When talking about the design, one should also mention the watch’s neat round chrono pushers and cerrated crown which were likewise present in the model from 1969. Additionally, it should be noted that Zenith El Primero 410 includes cambered and glare-proofed sapphire crystal at the front side. The same material is used for the transparent case-back.
El Primero Standard – 50 Hours of Power Reserve
In the essence of the Zenith novel product there is the movement that gave the timekeeper its name – EL Primero 410. It is comprised of 390 components and it integrates 31 jewels in its structure. As it has been said, its high frequency is 36,000 vibrations per hour or, expressed differently, 10 vibrations per second. This allows it to be precise within 1/10th of a second which makes all El Primeros in general and this specific piece as well the most accurate mechanical chronographs in serial production. Caliber 410 features automatic winding and has a power reserve of over 50 hours. Its oscillating weight used to charge its power storage features Geneva stripes motif and the brand’s star-shaped logo. For the moon phase indication which is also provided as one of the functions, the movement utilizes a disc with two moons which is based upon a wheel with 59 teeth. This corresponds to the time frame of two lunar cycles (one lasts for 29.5 days).