Zenith presented the classic El Primero watch in 1969. It was the first ever integrated automatic chronograph. It was also equipped with a date and a tachometric scale. Its calibre beat at the exceptional speed of 36,000 vibrations an hour, corresponding to 1/10th of a second precision. That same year the Manufacture Zenith equipped its calibre with triple calendar and moonphase indications. The name of this movement was the El Primero 3019 PHF, later referenced as 410. The original Calibre 410 was manufactured until the year 2000.
Zenith has revived the classic as a 500-piece limited edition featuring a slate grey dial. The new Zenith El Primero Calibre 410 reproduces the original function layout in a distinctively 1970s spirit. The days and months are counted off at 10 and 2 o’clock respectively, while the date remains imperturbably enthroned between 4 and 5 o’clock. Merging into the hour subdial at 6 o’clock, the moonphase depicts the revolutions of the night star through a specialshaped aperture with two rounded cut-outs reproducing the dark part of the moon. The disc bearing two moons is driven by a 59-toothed wheel corresponding to two lunar cycles (2 x 29.5 days).
While Zenith wished to preserve the authentic character of the icon, it has given it a modern touch that makes it truly unique. Appearing in a contemporary 42 mm size, the steel case displays decidedly on-trend curves with alternating polished and brushed finishes. The round chronograph pushpieces proclaim their originality, while the snailed counters create a subtle contrast with the sunray dial motif.
Rimmed by the tachometric scale on the opaline inner bezel ring, the rhodium hour-markers stand out clearly to ensure perfect readability, while the Zenith star on the tip of the blue central chronograph seconds hand flies around the dial as if to underscore its prestigious kinship with the world’s most accurate series-made chronograph. The beating pulse of an authentic Manufacture model driven by the daring spirit of the one that will forever remain “the first”, the El Primero Calibre 410 reveals its fascinating 390-part mechanism through the sapphire crystal case-back. It brings to the wrist the unique pleasure of owning an icon.