El Primero (“The First” in Esperanto) is one of those watches that inspires generations of watch lovers. As the first automatic Chronograph, it has established in 1969 a new milestone: the first one-piece caliber as chronograph automatic and not as a module on a base caliber. More than that, at the launch date there were available two versions: the caliber 3019 PHC – chronograph with date and the caliber 3019 PHF – chronograph with triple date and moon phase.
|El Primero cal. 3019 PHC from the Zenith Movements Website
But for today I have something special in mind: El Primero Tourbillon – a high-frequency Tourbillon Chronograph with date. Available case materials are rose gold, titanium and steel. The case has 46mm diameter, 15.6mm thickness, a domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides and a see through caseback with sapphire crystal.
Special at this El Primero is the unique patented date system around the edge of the tourbillon carriage. The El Primero Calibre 4035 D has 381 components, 35 jewels and beats with 5Hz / 36,000 vph.
The Calibre 4035D has 37mm (16½”), a power reserve of 50 hours and the oscillating weight is decorated with Côtes de Genève (for the rose gold version, the weight is also gold).
The gold version has a white lacquered dial with gold-plated, faceted and coated with SuperLuminova SLN C1 hour indexes with hands in gold or blued steel, faceted and coated with SuperLuminova SLN C1.
The brushed titanium version has a slate grey velvet-finish dial with rhodium-plated, faceted and coated with SuperLuminova SLN C1 hour indexes with hands in rhodium plated gold , faceted and coated with SuperLuminova SLN C1.
The stainless steel version has a black lacquered dial with the same rhodium-plated indexes and hands as the titanium version.
The 1 minute tourbillon is placed at 11 o’clock (interesting position, in my opinion, bold and more spectacular), together with the date function positioned around the carriage. At 3 o’clock is placed the 30-minute counter subdial and the 12-hour counter subdial is at 6 o’clock. The small seconds are on the tourbillon carriage and for the chronograph seconds it is used the central hand.
The strap is brown alligator / black hornback crocodile / alligator leather strap with protective rubber lining and stainless rose gold / titanium / steel triple folding clasp, respectively for each version.
On 28 November 2016, Zenith launched the El Primero Tourbillon Intense Black: a new black ceramic case 45mm in diameter and 14,65 mm in thickness.
The new dial has black elements screwed to the movement with hour-markers in Ruthenium-plated, faceted and coated with SuperLuminova hands with Ruthenium-plated, faceted and coated with
SuperLuminova. The watch has a black rubber strap with black PVD-coated titanium triple folding clasp. The black beauty is powered by the caliber El Primero 4035B (without date).
I would like to thank Zenith for the images and information (source is http://www.zenith-watches.com/). The video can be seen on the Zenith Official Youtube Channel. For more info you can visit the Zenith Website or one of their Boutiques.
The prices for the models available on the market can be checked on Chrono24.