NEW: Zenith Chronomaster Revival A385
The rebirth of a Zenith legend.
It feels like just last year when Zenith celebrated 50 years of the El Primero (perhaps because most of us want to forget 2020 ever happened), commemorating one of watchmaking’s most significant and important creations. But it was really in 2019 when Zenith threw a party for its legendary El Primero right here in Singapore with a unique pop-up exhibition.
Visitors were treated to the story behind the El Primero, hailed as the world’s first automatic high-frequency chronograph in its 1969 debut, along with some exceptional models from the archives. Over the years, various models have been given a new lease of life and this year, it’s the A385’s turn in the spotlight.
One of the original three stainless steel models launched in 1969 (above), the A385 also had the first ‘smoked’ dial in the industry, with a brown gradient that gave way to black in the perimeter of the dial. The new Chronomaster Revival A385 will see the return of the beloved brown dial and more, thanks to faithful reproduction using original blueprints and production plans. Even details like the tonneau-shaped case and piston-shaped pushers have remained.
The two updates to the timepiece come in the form of a domed sapphire crystal, as opposed to the original acrylic glass, and an open caseback where the El Primero 400 Automatic movement can be observed in all its glory. Open casebacks are certainly a nice touch in watches but when it comes to the El Primero movement beating at 36,000vph, we’d consider the sapphire caseback essential.
To round up the revival, the new A385 is offered in a steel ladder bracelet (above) or a light brown calf leather strap (below). We’re partial to the iconic ladder bracelet, a contemporary take on the Gay Frères bracelets that were paired with early El Primeros. We also like the added comfort and lightness that comes with the ladder construction.
Equipped with 50 hours of power reserve, a date display between four and five o’clock, and beige Super-LumiNova-coated hands and indices, the 37mm Chronomaster Revival A385 is definitely one of the more faithful recreations we’ve seen in recent times and is now available online as well as at Zenith boutiques and authorised retailers.
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