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Parthian Watch Company

Zenith Chronomaster Original Limited Edition of 300 Hodinkee, Full Set, Unused, 2022

Zenith Chronomaster Original Limited Edition of 300 Hodinkee, Full Set, Unused, 2022

Regular price $13,500.00
Regular price Sale price $13,500.00
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Hodinkee worked with Zenith for two years to create this model. Their intent was to design a new watch that was rooted in Zenith’s rich history with a strong element of familiarity. In our opinion the two companies created a winner: one that is at once fresh and modern, and at the same time harkens to Zenith’s historically important models from the 1970s.

This watch is a modern El Primero whose very name means “the first”. The original El Primero was born in a tumultuous era for watches because of the fierce competition between Zenith, Seiko and Heuer/Breitling to be the first company ever to launch an automatic chronograph. It was also a departure for Zenith, because in 1962 they had purchased Martel – their supplier of manual winding chronographs – and intended to launch their first automatic chronograph by 1965. Notwithstanding the four-year delay in their plan, and a slump in mechanical watches as a whole, in 1969 Zenith’s El Primero became the first automatic chronograph to be produced in a series. El Primero has since become an enduring symbol of chronograph design and engineering that has been respectfully reinterpreted over the last half-century.

One of the features that sets El Primero apart is that most automatic chronographs rely on horizontal clutches, because this is a cost-efficient design that also gets around the oscillating winding weight of an automatic watch. Zenith’s El Primero was designed with a traditional column-wheel construction. Column-wheel chronographs are much more labor intensive and expensive to produce. However, the effort and cost are worth it, because the vertical clutch which accompanies a column wheel offers a smoother more precise start (no initial jerk) when the chronograph seconds starts timing. The superior functionality happens because the gearing is lifted up and out as the column wheel turns in one swift, direct movement – thus the hand can stop and start with precision. The wearer also needs to apply less force to start and stop the timer.

The El Primero movement was so outstanding that Rolex used it in their first generation of automatic Daytonas starting in 1988 and for the next 12 years.

The original El Primero did not just feature the best automatic chronograph movement of its time, it also had one of the most subtle, comfortable, and well-proportioned cases of the era. The dial design from 1969 still feels fresh despite being more than fifty years old. With the Zenith Chronomaster Original Limited Edition for Hodinkee, both the history of form and function is accounted for. It’s in the wrist-hugging comfort, the angularity of the lugs, and the classic tricolor subdials.

The case is ideally sized at 38 mm and is inspired by 1969s Zenith A386 El Primero. The dial is a unique matte Salmon dial with a trio of overlapping, galvanic subdials in shades of grey and silver. The watch offers a delightfully unexpected moment of color, it’s a playful take on the A386 that ensures this latest collaboration has a unique presence. The column-wheel movement features a high-beat 36,000 VpH movement with El Primero’s signature 1/10th of a second accuracy.

Model: Chronomaster Original Limited Edition for Hodinkee

Case Size:             38mm

Case Depth:        12.7 mm

Dial:       Matte Opaline Salmon

Movement:         Automatic El Primero Caliber 3600, Column Wheel

Frequency:          High Beat 36,000 VPH

Power Reserve: 60 hrs


About Zenith

Founded in 1865 by a then 24-year-old Georges-Favre Jacot, Zenith has enjoyed a reputation as one of the few real movement manufacturers in Switzerland since long before the current industry trend of vertical integration. Among Zenith’s stable of in-house movements, the most famous by far is the El Primero, which ushered in the era of automatic chronographs that took the industry by storm in the late 1960s and early 1970s. With its high-beat of 36,000 VpH and straightforward column-wheel construction, it remains at the core of many new Zenith watches.

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