After the anniversary year is over for El Primero, Zenith continues to celebrate the venerable calibre with several new and exclusive watches. For its first Manufacture Edition, Zenith has reproduced a previously unknown prototype dial of its most iconic chronograph dubbed as The Chronomaster Revival Manufacture Edition.
Zenith is revisiting a secret part of the El Primero story and the first watches that were equipped with it. Housed in a steel case that mimics the proportions and finishes of the A386 from 1969, the signature tri-colour dial is inspired by a previously unknown prototype with three shades of blue for the chronograph counters.
Like a time capsule sheltered from our ever-changing world, the grenier or attic of the Zenith Manufacture is a special place with many secrets still being uncovered today.
There in the attic, among the countless artefacts and pristinely preserved tools that the heroic Charles Vermot had hidden away in the 1970s during the quartz crisis, a small, unassuming and unlabeled box was uncovered. In it, remarkably preserved after decades, were several dials: The signature El Primero tri-colour dial of the A386 that became a design icon, and more remarkably, another version of the tri-colour dials, using three different shades of blue.
To bring this prototype to life, it was only appropriate that Zenith produces it as a Revival piece. The 38mm stainless steel case with pump-style pushers is an exact reproduction of the A386 from 1969, using the blueprints of the original to preserve the proportions of the iconic chronograph.
What makes this edition significant and even more unique is that the Chronomaster Revival Manufacture Edition is in fact the final version of the A386 available with the original “Revival” case. Beating within it is the same movement it would have had if it was made in 1969, the venerable El Primero high- frequency automatic chronograph with column wheel.
As a Manufacture piece, they intend this revival edition to be an exclusive piece, available uniquely to visitors of the Zenith Manufacture. Given the current situation which does not allow to offer tours of the manufacture, Zenith is making the Manufacture Edition available on e-commerce, giving customers the opportunity to purchase the watch until the Manufacture reopens to the public for visits.
The watch comes in special packaging, mimicking a book that can be displayed on a bookshelf and bearing a blueprint of the Zenith manufacture on its cover. It will also include a comic book about Charles Vermot by renowned Swiss cartoonist Cosey, and a reproduction of the vintage dial found in the attic.