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Watch Of The Day

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Luminox underscores its direct links with the Pacific Ocean with the Pacific Diver 3120 Series, a new dive watch collection named for the body of water central to the Luminox story.

The watch brand, founded in California in 1989, initially designed its watches to align with requirements of the Navy SEALS, whose members train in the Pacific Ocean near San Diego. 

This new Pacific Diver 3120 Series of four 44mm by 12mm quartz-powered steel diver watches all boast a carbon uni-directional bezel and a healthy water resistance rating to 200 meters.

Luminox also ensures that each watch features a screw-in crown and caseback, sapphire crystal and Luminox’s own tritium-gas-based Always Visible dial illumination, which Luminox says will keep the dial readable in the dark for up to twenty-five years.

Luminox engraves its motto, “Every Second Counts,” on the stainless-steel caseback, which protects a Ronda 515 quartz movement.

The four versions of the Pacific Diver 3120 Series include: An all-black model with dark dial, black bezel and black DLC case ($595) sold on a rubber strap, a black dial and black bezel model sold on a steel bracelet ($640), a model with blue dial and a black bezel sold on a steel bracelet ($640), and a black dial and black bezel model on rubber ($545).

To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Citizen X-8 Chronometer, the world’s first titanium watch, the Tokyo-based watchmaker unveils the new Satellite Wave GPS F950 Titanium 50th Anniversary Limited Edition.

Citizen’s new Satellite Wave GPS F950 Titanium 50th Anniversary Limited Edition.

The celebratory model builds on the ‘space design’ look of Citizen’s Satellite Wave watches that utilize technology Citizen first developed in 2011. Those models were also housed in titanium and featured the then-revolutionary satellite connection that assured highly accurate GPS-based timekeeping that would update to any location on earth.

All these Satellite Wave models, which Citizen updates with faster, more efficient modules regularly, are powered by Citizen’s battery-free Eco-Drive technology. Citizen’s newest movement in this range is the Citizen GPS F950, which powers this new watch.  

Space theme

As with nearly all the Satellite Wave models, Citizen’s new Satellite Wave GPS F950 Titanium 50th Anniversary Limited Edition features a round, multi-layered case with an angular-link bracelet nicely integrated into the case.

Here, Citizen darkens the 47.5mm Super Titanium case, the six-level dial and the bracelet, all blackened to convey what Citizen calls the “endless depths of outer space.”

With decades of research into titanium case technology, Citizen supplies its own surface hardening, which it calls Duratect 2 DLC, to the case of the new watch, while accenting the inner bezel with a rose-gold-like Duratect Sakura Pink titanium (which also coats the caseback.)

Citizen will sell its Satellite Wave GPS F950 Titanium 50th Anniversary Limited Model, a 550-piece limited edition, this December in the U.S. exclusively on its website. Price: $5,000

Three in titanium  

Ahead of the anniversary model described above, Citizen this August will also release a new titanium collection of three watches called Citizen Super Titanium Armor.

Designed to recall the look of high-tech armoring, the collection includes a 44mm chronograph watch (above) in two styles (both with ‘hidden’ pushers) and a 41mm time-only model with a crown at 4 o’clock.

All are light-powered, using Citizen’s own Eco-Drive technology, and all feature integrated Super Titanium cases and bracelets. Prices: $650 (chronograph) and $550.

 

Bulgari this week adds a handsome blue dial to its ultra-thin Octo Finissimo Automatic Steel line, essentially doubling the options – from one model to two – available at the collection’s entry level.

The new Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic model offers a new blue lacquered dial with sunburst finish to the ultra-thin, satin-finished steel watch collection.

Recall that during its debut event this past January in Dubai, Bulgari debuted the first Octo Finissimo Automatic watch with a steel case, and with a black dial, to glowing notices (including ours).

The first Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Satin-Polished Steel arrived in January with a black dial.

The Octo Finissimo collection is Bulgari’s multi-award-winning set of record-setting ultra-thin watches that includes complicated watches as well as this time-only edition. The design has previously only been offered with ceramic,  precious metal or titanium cases and bracelets.  

The new model adds a blue lacquered dial with sunburst finish to the satin-finished steel watch. Like its ceramic, titanium or gold brethren, the steel model is matched with a complex bracelet that echoes the case perfectly. Here that translates to full-length satin-finished steel links interspersed with central-set polished steel links.

Matte and polished finishes abound on both case and bracelet, adding a pleasing multi-dimensional caste to the watch.

Multi-dimensional

Matte and polished finishes abound on both case and bracelet, adding a pleasing multi-dimensional caste to the watch, especially when its wraps around a wrist.

Despite its 6.4mm thickness, just slightly thicker than the precious metal and titanium models, these steel Octo Finissimo Steel Automatic watches boast 100-meter water resistance thanks to a screw-down crown. The collection’s titanium, ceramic and precious metal models are rated to 30 meters.

Despite its 6.4mm thickness, just slightly thicker than previous models, the steel Octo Finissimo Steel Automatic watches boast 100-meter water resistance thanks to a screw-down crown.

The greater water resistance is appropriate for a steel watch, according to Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin, who suggests that with this sportier version of the Octo Finissimo Automatic “you can dive, swim, take a shower…you can wear it from the tennis court to the board room.”     

Platinum rotor

Inside you’ll find the same ultra-thin Bulgari BVL138 Finissimo caliber found in the other Octo Finissimo Automatic models. A record-breaking 2.23mm thin, the caliber is wound by a platinum micro-rotor nicely visible though the clear sapphire caseback, exposing its expertly applied Côtes de Genève motif, chamfered bridges and circular-grained baseplate.

The ultra-thin Bulgari BVL138 Finissimo caliber is a record-breaking 2.23mm thin and is wound by a platinum micro-rotor visible though the clear sapphire caseback.

With carefully calculate heft and machining, the rotor powers the watch’s hours, minutes and small seconds indications for up to sixty hours.  Price: $11,800.

 

Specifications: Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Satin-Polished Steel

Movement: Automatic BVL138 Finissimo caliber (2.23mm thick), winding via a platinum micro-rotor, hours, minutes and small seconds indications. Adorned with Côtes de Genève motif, chamfered bridges and circular-grained baseplate, 60-hour power reserve, 21,600 VpH.

Case: 40mm extra-thin satin-polished steel case (6.40mm thick), transparent caseback; polished steel screw-down crown set with ceramic inlay

Dial: Blue lacquered dial with sunburst finishing, faceted diamond rhodium-plated hands; water-resistant up to 100m.

Bracelet: Integrated satin-polished steel bracelet with folding clasp.

Price: $11,800

 

Ball Watch this week combines its well-known dial illumination and solid crown protector with a racing tachymeter to create the Engineer Hydrocarbon Racer Chronograph, the brand’s first automotive racing watch in years.

The new Ball Watch Engineer Hydrocarbon Racer Chronograph

While Ball has long focused on designing watches with functions requested by explorers, divers, travelers and adventurers, the historical U.S. brand (now based in Switzerland) now seeks to reach automobile racing enthusiasts with this new chronograph collection. Ball Watch has offered other watches with tachymeters in years past, including the Engineer Master II Slide Chronograph and two Fireman Storm Chaser models, but this debut is the first in recent years specifically designed with such a bezel.  

For Ball, adding a speed-monitoring tachymeter scale (here, in black ceramic) to the bezel of a chronograph is just a start. The remaining features Ball adds to the three-watch collection echo the brand’s attention to the needs of collectors who plan to wear their watch amid adverse conditions.

Ball Watch Engineer Hydrocarbon Racer Chronograph, showing illumination.

Shock resistance

These features include a COSC-certified, chronometer-rated automatic movement (Ball’s Caliber RR1401, an upgraded and customized ETA Valjoux 7750), resistance to shocks of up to 7,500 g and anti-magnetic protection rated to 4,800 A/m.

That Ball crown protector (left), standard on the watches throughout the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon collection, screws into the case once the owner sets the time on the watch. After the wearer clasps the patented steel protector over the crown, it won’t budge or allow dust or dirt to contamination the case interior.  

And as noted, Ball’s proprietary H3 gas tube illumination (colored green on the dial and hands and yellow at 12 o’clock) means that the time – and the timing – remains visible day or night. 

Three dials

Ball makes the new Engineer Hydrocarbon Racer Chronograph with a 42mm diameter stainless steel case with a black ceramic bezel and a choice of a black, blue or white dial.

Ball then finishes the watch with a stainless-steel brushed and polished bracelet with a folding clasp. Price: $3,599.

 

SPECIFICATIONS: Ball Watch Engineer Hydrocarbon Racer Chronograph

Movement: Automatic caliber BALL RR1401-C (ETA-7750-based), chronometer-certified COSC,

7,500Gs shock resistance, 100-meters of water resistance, anti-magnetic to 4,800 A/m

Functions: Chronograph with accumulated measurement up to 45 minutes, tachymeter, hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds and date

Dial: Blue, silver or black with 15 micro gas tubes on hour and minute hands and dial for night reading capability

Case: 42mm by 15.2mm stainless steel with black ceramic bezel, anti-reflective sapphire crystal, patented crown protection system

Bracelet: Tapered stainless steel with patented folding buckle and extension system

Price: $3,599

 

Alpina Watches has partnered with the Netherlands-based Gyre Watch to create the new Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic collection featuring watchcases crafted from recycled materials. Sales of the watch, with its case forged from a mixture of fiberglass (30%) and plastic debris (70%) caught in fishing nets in the Indian Ocean, will support the National Park Foundation.

The new Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic collection is composed of five models and is being officially launched to support World Oceans Day (June 8th). Alpina will donate $100 for every watch purchased through us.AlpinaWatches.com in order to help maintain the U.S. parks, both inland and coastal.

The collection

The full Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic range includes three men’s models (44 mm, $1,395) and two models designed for women (36mm, $1,295).

All five watches share blue-shaded dials, including turquoise and dyed mother-of-pearl, and luminescent hands. Inside each watch Alpina places its Sellita-based AL-525 automatic movement.

In addition, as a dive model, the watch features the requisite unidirectional bezel and water-resistance to 300 meters.

The Alpina Seastrong Gyre Diver Automatic, 36mm size. Each case is made using recycled materials.

Alpina will ship all the new watches with one of three two-tone NATO-style straps made from recycled plastic bottles. In addition, Alpina will include a black vegetable leather strap made of recycled apple waste with every 44mm watch.

Gyre origins

Alpina explains that the word Gyre is a reference to giant circular ocean currents. The Geneva-based watchmaker adds that the new collection represents the start of a long-term collaboration with Gyre Watch.

Gyre Watch, founded in The Netherlands in 2017, makes watches from recycled ocean plastic. Local fishermen along the Indian Ocean earn a fee collecting fishing nets from the sea for recycling, which means Gyre also contributes to local economies.

Alpina will make the Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic as a limited series of 1,883 pieces of each model, in reference to the year of Alpina’s founding. Each watch will be sold in an eco-friendly gift set made of recycled plastic and recycled plastic bottles.

To further enhance the collection’s ecological profile, Alpina is printing each watch’s guarantee and certificate of authenticity on one page of recycled paper and will utilize a paperless user manual, accessible via a QR code. The code will direct buyers to a dedicated site for the Gyre collection as well as the instruction and maintenance manual.

 

For many years Precision Engineering AG, a sister company of H. Moser & Cie., has been making balance springs for MB&F. These two high-profile independent watchmakers today expand their ties well beyond sharing component-makers by each launching a watch with functions and designs originally found on watches from both companies.

Thus, on the new Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon H. Moser × MB&F the wearer sees a cylindrical tourbillon and tilted dial that immediately recalls the MB&F LM Thunderdome or its Flying-T.

Likewise, on the new LM101 MB&F × H. Moser we see the highly recognizable MB&F suspended balance flying above a trademark H. Moser fumé dial with minimalized H. Moser hands indicating both time and power reserve.

Both companies have jointly created these two new watches and will make them available in several versions with each issued in a fifteen-piece limited series. Fifteen signifies the 15th anniversary of MB&F and the fifteenth anniversary of H. Moser & Cie.’s re-launch.

Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon H. Moser × MB&F

For this 42mm model, H. Moser & Cie. takes the MB&F concept of three-dimensional movements to another technical level with a one-minute flying tourbillon (with the aforementioned cylindrical balance) popping out of an aperture at 12 o’clock.

Down at 6 o’clock we see a 40-degree tilted dial, lifted directly from MB&F’s LM Thunderdome or Flying –T.  Rather than the white lacquer dial used by MB&F, here we find clear sapphire marked only by the H. Moser name, two hands and the twelve hour markers.

H. Moser CEO Edouard Meylan explains that his company has “Moserized the MB&F universe by developing a sapphire subdial, which melts into the background so as to highlight the beauty of our fumé dials.”

H. Moser will make the watch available in five different versions cased in steel and with a selection of favorite H. Moser fumé dials: Funky Blue, Cosmic Green, Burgundy, Off-White or Ice Blue.

LM101 MB&F × H. Moser

For its part in the cooperative venture, MB&F has outfitted its Legacy Machine 101 with distinctive H. Moser elements.

MB&F has retained the watch’s suspended flying balance, but has removed its own logo as well as the LM101’s white domed subdials, replacing them with an H. Moser fumé dial and three H. Moser hands showing hours, minutes power reserve.

MB&F chose four fumé dials to illustrate the watch’s cooperative nature: Red, Cosmic Green, Aqua Blue and Funky Blue. MB&F also retained the 40mm by 16mm steel case and domed sapphire crystal.

MB&F has also redesigned the LM101’s large suspended balance wheel by adding a Straumann double balance spring produced by Precision Engineering AG, the component maker that shares ownership with H. Moser. MB&F says the new spring actually improves the movement’s precision and isochronism while also reducing friction.

And there’s more ‘Mosering’ visible on this new LM101 MB&F × H. Moser. Rather than using a Kari Voutilainen finish, MB&F has supplied a contemporary NAC treatment to the movement, which is visible from the clear sapphire caseback.

Moser CEO Edouard Meylan and MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser compare their new creations to a “duet recital in the form of an exceptional concerto for devotees of fine watchmaking.”

Clearly, the two independent watchmakers are making beautiful music together. 

The two models are available in several versions, each issued in a fifteen-piece limited series. Prices: $79,000  (Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon H. Moser × MB&F) and $52,000 (LM101 MB&F × H. Moser).

 

 

 

Fresh from releasing two Chronomaster Revival pieces in recent months, Zenith this week returns to its forward-focused Defy collection with the Defy 21 Ultraviolet, a 44mm dual-escapement chronograph with eye-catching purple bridges, rotor and strap.

For this model, the color will now vie for attention with the Defy 21’s mesmerizing one-rotation-per-second central chronograph hand.

When activated, sending the seconds hand spinning around the dial, the regally hued watch times events using Zenith’s 1/100th-of-a-second El Primero 21 chronograph caliber, beating at an ultra-high 50Hz (360,000 vph).

The watch of course continues to retain the time of day, thanks to its three-hand indicators, powered by the more traditional El Primero caliber, with the watch’s second escapement vibrating at 36,000 vph.

Zenith has colored the bridges violet on watch’s El Primero 9004 automatic movement.

Mostly open dial

As with most of the earlier Defy El Primero 21 models, the dial here is mostly open, clearing a direct view to many of the violet-colored, angular-cut bridges within. But unlike most of the earlier, heavily skeletonized designs, the new Defy 21 Ultraviolet’s solid chronograph subdials most directly recall the Defy 21 El Primero 21 Carl Cox released earlier this year.

Echoing that model’s specialized subdial designs, this new example features three grey chronograph registers and a grey flange ring. Other than the Carl Cox edition, the only similar example with solid chronograph registers was seen last year within the Defy 21 El Primero 50th Anniversary edition and was only available as part of a box set of three watches.

Sandblasted case

All the purple-treated bridges inside this Defy 21 Ultraviolet stand out particularly well against the matte sandblasted grey titanium case.

Equally compelling – at least to consumers who appreciate the novelty of a violet-tinted watch – is the woven textile-like purple insert of the watch’s accompanying black rubber strap.

I’ve always appreciated how difficult it can be for historically rich Swiss watch companies to embrace more modern  design, and with this newest watch Zenith presents an eye-catching, contemporary variation for its already impressive Defy 21 technology.  While the new Zenith Defy 21 Ultraviolet is primarily an exercise in color and finishing, the choice of color here is not for the meek, and it makes the result particularly successful. Price: $13,100.

Specifications: Zenith Defy 21 Ultraviolet (Reference: 97.9001.9004/80.R922)

Key points: Unique violet 1/100th of a second chronograph movement with seconds hand rotation once per second. One escapement for the watch (36,000 Vph – 5 Hz) and one escapement for the chronograph (360,000 Vph – 50 Hz). Linear power reserve indicator. TIME LAB Chronometer certified.

Movement: El Primero 9004 automatic with ultraviolet finishings, with 50-hours of power reserve.

Functions: 1/100th of a second chronograph functions. Chronograph power-reserve indication at 12 o’clock. Hours and minutes in the center. Small seconds at 9 o’clock, Central chronograph hand, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, 60-second counter at 6 o’clock

Case: 44mm micro-blasted titanium with 100 meters water resistance,

Dial: Special open dial with grey closed chronograph registers, rhodium-plated, faceted markers coated with SuperLumiNova. Hands are rhodium-plated, faceted and coated with Super-LumiNova

Bracelet: Violet fabric-effect strap with micro-blasted titanium double folding clasp

Price: $13,100.

Frederique Constant’s most recent Vintage Rally Healey limited edition was seen two years ago, so this week’s announcement of two new editions of the ode to classic Healey car races has been warmly welcomed among the racing fans.

Begun in 2004 after a partnership between the Frederique Constant Manufacture and the Austin-Healey car brand, the once-annual watch debuts were a source of kinship among not only rally fans but for enthusiasts of all manner of retro-themed industrial designs. 

No chrono

While this year Frederique Constant returns with new Vintage Rally Healey watches, the Geneva-based watchmaker diverts from tradition with two models sporting time and date only. Previous models included at least one chronograph.

Declaring a focus on “urban design,” whatever that is, Frederique Constant in 2020 debuts two automatic Vintage Rally Healey models. Each 40mm watch is issued as a limited edition of 2,888; one is cased in rose-gold plated steel and the second is all steel.

The primary differences between the two models lie in dial colors and case and strap finish.

The rose gold model features a silver-colored dial with a brown seconds flange and applied rose-gold-plated indexes.

The steel-cased edition is a bit sportier, with a true British Racing Green dial framed in a silvery seconds flange and set with applied silver-colored indexes. Both watches are deftly set with luminous material on hands and markers.

British Racing Green has long been associated with the vintage Austin Healey and was last used by Frederique Constant on a chronograph Vintage Rally Healey offering in 2018.

Both watches are fit with a calfskin strap that has been perforated to enhance air circulation, a feature of many racing watch straps during the early decades of the last century. The strap on the rose-gold-plated model is a bit darker than the strap on the steel edition. 

Each watch is powered by a Sellita-based automatic FC-303 caliber with a date window at 3 o’clock and a power reserve of 38 hours.

On each caseback you’ll find an engraving of a Healey 100S NOJ393, the same car Frederique Constant includes in miniature replica form with each watch. Price: $1,895 (both models).

Specifications: Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey Automatic

Reference: FC-303HVBR5B4 (rose-gold-plated, limited to 2,888 pieces)

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date

Movement: FC-303 caliber (Sellita-based), automatic, 26 jewels, 38-hour power reserve, 28’800 alt/h

Case: 40mm rose-gold-plated polished stainless steel, 2-part, convex sapphire crystal, water-resistant to 50 meters

Dial: Silver color with brown ring, applied rose-gold-plated indexes with white luminous material, date window at 3 o’clock, hand-polished rose-gold-plated hours and minutes hands with luminous and pearl black seconds hand

Strap: Dark brown calf leather

 

Reference: FC-303HGRS5B6 (steel, limited to 2,888 pieces)

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date

Movement: Automatic FC-303 caliber (Sellita-based), 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph

Case: 40mm polished stainless steel, 2-part, convex sapphire crystal, water-resistant up 50 meters

Dial: British Racing Green with silver color ring, applied silver color indexes with white luminous material, date window at 3 o’clock, hand-polished silver color hours and minutes hands with luminous and silver color seconds hand.

Strap: Light brown calf leather

Wempe Glashütte I/SA, the watchmaking division of German-based watch and jewelry retailer Wempe, this week adds a third watch collection to its roster with Iron Walker, a set of four steel sport-leisure watches for men and women.    

The new Wempe Iron Walker Automatic Chronograph

Named in reference to steel girders used to build skyscrapers, the new Wempe Iron Walker is the latest of many high-profile collections industry-wide featuring integrated stainless-steel cases and bracelets. Of the recent integrated steel-cased watch debuts we’ve seen, Wempe’s Iron Walker is among the most comprehensive (and affordable) with a chronograph, a diver’s watch and two dressy unisex models. All together, Wempe is launching sixteen models (including a few with quartz movements).

Wempe’s new Iron Walker Automatic Chronograph

Automatic Chronograph

At the top of the line is an ETA 7753 (Valjoux)- powered automatic chronograph offered with two dial treatments: steel blue or black-silver in a ‘reverse panda’ layout. The 42mm watch features a date, tachymeter and three totalizers in a tri-compax arrangement; all hands and markers are coated with SuperLuminova. Two protected rectangular pushbuttons control the chronograph.

As is the case with all Wempe chronographs, the caliber here is adjusted in the company’s own workshops in Glashütte so that it passes the more stringent German chronometric testing standards. These require the movement’s maximum average rate variation at only two seconds per day when mounted in the case. Price: $4,250.

Wempe Iron Walker Automatic Diver’s Watch

Automatic Diver’s Watch

Water resistant to 300 meters, the dive model in the new collection is also a certified chronometer that adds a folding safety clasp with an extension element to the Iron Walker’s signature integrated three-row stainless-steel bracelet. With the extension element, the watch’s length can be increased by as much as 17mm.

This dive model utilizes an internal bezel dive-time ring, mounted behind the sapphire crystal, to meet all DIN and ISO standards for dive watches. To satisfy all underwater visibility requirements, Wempe has marked the watch’s triangular zero mark and its hands and markers with SuperLuminova. Both crowns are screw-in for added water resistance.

The Wempe Iron Walker Automatic Diver’s Watch on the wrist.

Despite its dive-ready technical design, the Wempe Iron Walker Automatic Diver’s Watch is sleeker than most dive watches. The watch is only 11.7mm thick – a moderate size that means it will fit nicely under any sleeve.

Inside Wempe places an ETA 2892 automatic movement that it watchmakers have adjusted to meet German chronometer and ISO 3159 dive watch standards. Price: $3,450.

Automatic and Quartz Unisex 


Iron Walker Automatic Women’s Watch (36mm).

As a moderately sized (40mm) or smaller sized (36mm) three-hand dress watch, Wempe’s remaining Iron Walker option is a simpler model offered with a choice of automatic or quartz movement.

Wempe’s 40mm Iron Walker Automatic Men’s Watch, also offered with a quartz movement.

All four models are certified chronometers with central hour, minute, and seconds hands and a date, and each features raised, luminous markers.

Iron Walker Automatic Women’s Watch (36mm).
Iron Walker Automatic Women’s Watch (blue dial).

Available with a black, blue or white dial, the automatic models are powered by an ETA 2892-A2 (power reserve of 50 hours) while and ETA E64.111 powers the quartz models (constant running time 41 months).

To impress as a dress watch, Wempe has made the both the larger ‘Men’s’ size and the smaller ‘Women’s’ size with a sleek 9.75mm-thick case. Nonetheless, any of these four dress models offers the same solid three-link tapered steel bracelet that marks the entire Iron Walker collection.

Iron Walker Automatic Women’s Watch
Iron Walker Quartz Men’s Watch

Prices: $1,950 (36mm quartz), $2,650 (36mm automatic), $2,050 (40mm quartz) and $2,750 (40mm automatic).

I’ve long been impressed with high value Wempe has built into its Chronometerwerke and Zeitmeister collections. With Iron Walker, Wempe appears to again combine well-considered styling with top-level specs.

Iron Walker’s elegant look, backed by the collection-wide chronometer rating, new angular case and three-link solid steel bracelet, is a winning combination. For details see the Wempe website.  Wempe’s U.S. store is located at 700 Fifth Avenue in New York City.

As Zenith prepared for last year’s fiftieth anniversary celebration of El Primero, its premier automatic chronograph, the Le Locle watchmaker sifted again through the cache of tools and prototypes slated for destruction in 1975, but preserved at the time by the forward-thinking Charles Vermot.

There, amid piles of boxes, Zenith found another version of its now well-known Chronomaster tri-color dial. But instead of the grey, black and blue subdials, the discovered prototype featured three different shades of blue.

And while Zenith says it has no records of these blue tri-color dials, the watchmaker has determined that they were part of the original prototype dials for the El Primero A386 in 1969 featuring a 38mm steel case.

New and Blue

This past week Zenith debuted the Chronomaster Revival Manufacture Edition, a production model Chronomaster cased in the El Primero A386 steel case and using the all-blue-subdial design on its dial. Of course, inside Zenith is placing its El Primero high-frequency automatic chronograph with column wheel.

Echoing earlier Revival models, Zenith is reproducing the recently discovered dial within the 38mm case (with pump-style pushers) paying close attention to the blueprints of the original. These Revival models will be cased in steel rather than in gold however, making them more affordable than the A386 Revival editions from 2019. 

Zenith adds that this release will be the final Revival model to feature the A386 case style and size.

The watchmaker will make the new Chronomaster Revival Manufacture Edition available for six months only on its pending e-commerce site (slated to open June 30) and then only at its Le Locle manufacturing facility after it reopens to the public for visits.

Zenith is producing special packaging for the watch. It will look like a book, and on its cover you’ll see a blueprint of the Zenith manufacture. Inside, Zenith adds a comic book about Charles Vermot. Price: $8,700

Specifications: Zenith Chronomaster Revival Manufacture Edition

(Reference: 03.Z386.400/60.C843)

Movement: Zenith El Primero 400 Automatic, 36,000 vph frequency, 50-hour power reserve.

Dial: White-lacquered dial with three shades of blue counters. Hours and minutes in the center, small seconds at nine o’clock. Chronograph: central chronograph hand, 12-hour counter at six o’clock, 30-minute counter at three o’clock. Tachymetric scale. Date indication at 4:30. Rhodium-plated hour markers, faceted and coated with SuperLuminova. Hands are white, faceted and coated with Super Luminova.

Case: 38mm steel

Bracelet & buckle: Blue alligator leather strap with protective rubber lining. Stainless steel pin buckle.