Zenith Chronomaster Original: Few watches have been as influential as the Zenith A386, which made its debut in 1969 as one of the first steel watches to be equipped with the iconic El Primero calibre – the world’s first automatic high-frequency integrated chronograph movement. Over 50 years later, the El Primero remains the benchmark of precision among automatic chronograph movements, giving way to new versions and iterations.
The Chronomaster Original retains the design of the A386 while integrating the performance of the 21st-century version of the El Primero. Boasting 1/10th of a second precision and time measurement.
Watch: IDGuy put together an excellent video review of the new watch.
Zenith Chronomaster Original Design Inspiration
The 38mm round bezel-less steel case with a raised and domed crystal, the pump-style chronograph pushers, the faceted lugs, and the mix of radial brushed and polished surfaces throughout are indistinguishable between the past and present models. The steel bracelet has been reimagined, foregoing the open “ladder” design of the 1960s for solid links that are sumptuously chamfered and decorated in the same fashion as the case.
Dial Design & Tachymeter Scale Updates
Undoubtedly, the most visually distinctive design element of the A386 is its dial. Its unique aesthetic language includes the emblematic tri-colour chronograph registers in shades of grey and blue, the trapezoid date window at 04:30 and the red chronograph second hand. All these designs have been passed down to the Chronomaster Original, with a few subtle updates.
The black inner scale surrounding the dial of the A386 once used to calculate time spent working using a 1/100th of an hour time division system, finds a new purpose in the Chronomaster Original, with its 1/10th of a second chronograph hand making a rotation around the dial in 10 seconds, totalling 100 measurable time units. Substituting the tachymeter scale on the outer circumference on the dial, a 1/10th of a second chronograph scale takes its place, allowing for the measurement and reading of elapsed time in precise fractions of a second. And for instantaneous, precise reading of the 10th of a second, the paddle-shaped seconds hand of the original A386 has been replaced with a straight, red-lacquered hand. The logo has also been updated to the more contemporary script Zenith uses today.
Equipped With The El Primero 3600 Movement
The Chronomaster Original is equipped with the latest version of the El Primero calibre, dubbed the El Primero 3600. With its high frequency of 5 Hz (36’000 VpH), the movement allows the wearer to measure 1/10th of second. Visible through the sapphire display back, the new architecture features a sleeker and more open design, revealing a blue column wheel and open rotor marked with the five-pointed star Zenith.
Apart from the signature steel with tri-colour dial configuration, the Chronomaster Original is available in two other versions: A steel case with a “reverse panda” black dial with silver chronograph registers, and an 18k rose gold version with the tri-colour dial.
Should you wish to enquire into the Zenith Chronomaster Original, drop us a line. Our team of Watch Specialists would love to assist.