Zenith’s proud El Primero movement has gone through half a century of glory. As the first integrated self-winding chronograph movement in history, for 50 years, El Primero has continuously broken the boundaries of precision timepieces, leading the mechanical watch industry from 1/10 seconds to 1/100 seconds accuracy. At this commemorative moment, Zenith sincerely presents the 50th Anniversary Gift Box of El Primero. It is limited to 50 sets worldwide and contains three extraordinary chronographs: one of which is the first El Primero model in 1969 A classic reproduction; another El Primero flagship watch equipped with an improved movement; and a DEFY El Primero 21 watch with accurate timing to 1 / 100th of a second. The box also reserves a space for the 1/1000 second that will be launched in the future, highlighting Zenith’s unremitting pursuit and firm belief in precise timepieces.
ZENITH El Primero 50th Anniversary Set Box, Price: 350,000 RMB
In 1969, the advent of the El Primero chronograph opened the splendor of Zenith in the field of high-frequency chronographs. El Primero means ‘first’ in Spanish, deserving its name: its birth has gone through seven years of exploration and research and development. It is the first integrated self-winding column-wheel chronograph movement in history. The high vibration frequency makes it the only watch that can accurately measure 1/10 seconds at that time, which has a landmark significance in the field of mechanical watches.
However, when the ‘Quartz Crisis’ swept the Swiss watchmaking industry, a large number of movements, including El Primero, were ordered to be discontinued and destroyed. An ordinary watchmaker named Charles Wilmot resolutely hid all technical drawings and parts in a humble attic, so that this excellent movement was not destroyed, and it also laid the renaissance of mechanical watches. The seeds of hope. After the storm subsided, he immediately presented the ‘secret’ hidden in this attic. His courage and courage gave El Primero a miraculous rebirth in 1984, and revived the already stagnant mechanical watch industry.
Charles Vermore, the ordinary hero who rescued El Primero on his own
‘Mysterious’ attic with treasures of time
For fifty years, the El Primero movement has continued to innovate, incorporating a number of complex functions and mechanisms. In addition to owning its own models, El Primero’s precision and excellence are also favored by many fine watch brands, and their timepieces are equipped with this legendary movement. El Primero has been leaping for a long time with endless vitality. Zenith has also joined other brands to support the vast sky of Swiss watchmaking. In 2017, the DEFY El Primero 21 was born, raising the timing accuracy to 1/100 second again. Zenith’s pioneering position in the field of ultra-high frequency timing can be seen.
Defy El Primero 21, born in 2017, improves time measurement accuracy to 1/100 second accuracy
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of El Primero, Zenith presents the El Primero Memorial Box with sincerity, which is limited to 50 sets worldwide. The gift box contains three watches, each representing the El Primero movement’s legendary history of improving the traditional chronograph display with a precision of 1 second to 1/10 second, and then breaking through 1/100 second accuracy. In addition, the fourth epitope in the gift box is empty, ready to meet Zenith’s breakthrough in the UHF timekeeping field again, highlighting the brand’s firm conviction towards one thousandth of a second.
The first watch was a perfect reproduction of the 1969 El Primero chronograph. In order to bring this classic model back to life, engineers carried out a complicated ‘counter-time’ process, laser scanning a genuine watch in the brand museum to restore every component. The 38 mm stainless steel case, the magnifying curved mirror, the three-color timer, the scale of the tachymeter, the shape of the font, the hands and the hour markers, and the leather strap all retain the original features. The original solid case back was adjusted to an open design, fully showing the movement of the movement.
The second replica watch in the gift box, the flagship series, with its grand design and high-frequency mechanical structure, inherits the tradition of Zenith. While paying tribute to the original outstanding models, the upgraded flagship watch is equipped with an improved version of the El Primero 3600 movement, which vibrates at a high frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour. The accuracy of the time measurement is accurate to 1/10 seconds. Data is read directly on the dial and bezel. In addition to taking the original advantages to the extreme, the new flagship series will also increase the power reserve to 60 hours. The 42mm stainless steel case and the carbon black ceramic bezel show the dynamic avant-garde.
The last watch in the fiftieth anniversary gift box is the DEFY El Primero 21 chronograph, symbolizing the future of fine watchmaking. The 44mm titanium case is equipped with a revolutionary mechanical movement, with a vibration frequency of 360,000 times (50 Hz) per hour, which is 10 times higher than the original model. Measurement and display accuracy is 1/100 second, highlighting its unparalleled high-speed timing function, achieving extraordinary self-breakthrough and transcendence. The lightning-fast hands move around the dial in a full revolution in just one second. On the hollowed-out dial, three solid timers that retain the original colors pay tribute to the classic.
Since its epoch-making in 1969, El Primero has witnessed many revolutionary breakthroughs in Zenith. It is a passion and faith that has achieved Zenith’s heritage and persistence in precision and innovation. Today, Zenith once again challenges the limits of precise timing: 1/1000 second accuracy will be available in the near future. In the box, in addition to the three El Primero 50th anniversary models, we have reserved a blank space for the future 1/1000 second chronograph ingeniously, showing Zenith’s firm belief in the field of high-precision watchmaking and The future is infinite.
In the commemorative box, there is also a key component that composes the El Primero movement—the coupling wheel bridge plate. It invites its future owner to visit the watch factory in Le Locle, to experience the hand-press molding in person and complete the two coupling wheels Bridge. One will be given to the owner of the gift box as a precious memorial; the other will be named after him or her and engraved on the wall at the entrance of the famous Mr. Vermot loft. Two coupled wheel and bridge plates across the ocean will witness the unremitting pursuit of Zenith in the field of precision timepieces, and invite watch enthusiasts from all over the world to write the brilliant future of mechanical watchmaking.