In 1969, Zenith joined Heuer and Seiko as the first brands to develop and launch an automatic chronograph watch. Zenith’s mechanism was the most complex of the group, utilizing a column-wheel chronograph within a high-beat movement that could maintain accuracy down to 1/10 of a second. They dubbed their achievement the “El Primero” and fitted it within the A384, A385, and A386 watches in the fall of that year.
In the summer of 2021, Zenith took direct inspiration from the A386 El Primero and released the Chronomaster Original. The new model came with the same case size, shape, and dial design, but with a few modern upgrades including a sapphire crystal, Super-LumiNova, an exhibition case back, and a chronograph function that can measure up to 1/10th of a second. While pretty much any El Primero in the classic 38mm size is worth collecting, this particular reference stands out with its coveted tri-color dial that is very dynamic in different lighting and absolutely mesmerizing on the wrist.
El Primero 3600
Zenith navy calfskin strap with deployant buckle
Max Wrist Size:
Hand model has a wrist size of 6.2 in
UNWORN: Case is pristine with no signs of use. Original stickers may still be present. Dial, hands, and lume have no imperfections and may show natural, even aging.
MINT: Case has only a few superficial hairlines. Lugs are thick, full, and sharp with superb finishing. Dial, hands, and lume may have micro imperfections visible only with a loupe.
EXCELLENT: Case has very light scratches or nicks. Lugs are thick, full, and well-defined. Dial and hands may have imperfections visible upon close inspection. Lume is fully intact and may show slight discoloration.
VERY GOOD: Case may have a few moderate scratches or nicks. Lugs are thick and full but may have softened edges. Dial and hands may have light stains or marks. Lume may have cracks or discoloration.
GOOD: Case has many scratches and nicks. Lugs may show signs of moderate polishing with worn edges. Dial and hands may have noticeable stains or marks. Lume may be damaged or show significant discoloration.
Case: The stainless steel case is in pristine condition with no signs of wear. The lugs are thick, sharp, and factory fresh. The central caseback is protected by a clear sticker.
Dial, Hands, & Crystal: The silver dial and painted hands are in perfect condition with fully functioning Super-LumiNova. The front and rear sapphire crystals are squeaky clean and scratch-free.
Bracelet/Strap: The Zenith calfskin strap shows no signs of wear, with no creasing or fraying at the holes. The deployant clasp retains the original blue protective stickers.
Functions: All functions including the crown winding, time setting, quickset date, and chronograph start/stop/reset are working as expected.
Service History: None.