Zenith revisits an esteemed calendar watch from 1969, launching the new Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar with the same case proportions as the original.
Not only is the new model’s 38mm steel case the same size as the Zenith reference A386 from 1969, but so is its bezel-free construction, domed sapphire crystal and its complete calendar with moonphase mechanism.
The Zenith compact triple calendar provides its time and date information with unusual clarity, displaying the days of the week and the months in symmetrically positioned windows above the chronograph counters.
The date is visible at the 4:30 position, which is standard for watches that utilize Zenith’s high-frequency El Primero one-tenth-of–a–second chronograph caliber movement. Finally, Zenith places the moonphase display within the chronograph’s 60-minute counter at the 6 o’clock position.
The new watch echoes a particular crucial point in Zenith’s development of its groundbreaking automatic high-frequency El Primero chronograph. The 36,000 vph caliber, it seems, was initially designed to accommodate the triple calendar and moon phase functions right from the very beginning.
Zenith explains that “A series of 25 prototypes was produced in 1970 as a proof of concept, using the same round case as the A386. But given the success of the core chronograph version, it was decided to wait a few years before releasing the first version of the El Primero triple calendar in a watch, which by the 1970s took on a much more space-age design.”
Zenith is offering two versions of the new Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar. One is a sporty silver-white “panda” opaline dial with black counters and a 1/00-of-a-second scale. The other debut features a familiar opaline slate-grey dial with silvery-white counters and scale, a pattern inspired a series of El Primero triple calendar prototypes from 1970.
A third dial variant (above) designed for Zenith boutiques (physical and online) features a more unusual sunburst olive-green tone with golden applied markers and hands. Note that on each version, the calendar wheels match the dial colors.
Inside each model is Zenith’s latest generation El Primero automatic high-frequency El Primero 3610 that operates at a rate of 5 Hz (36,000 VpH), delivering one-tenth-of-a-second chronograph functionality. Zenith shows off its caliber through a clear sapphire back, exposing the movement’s blue column wheel and open rotor marked with the brand’s five- pointed star logo.
Prices: $13,900 (on a steel bracelet) and $13,400 (on a leather strap).