Saturday , January 16 2021

Zenith re-created its 1969 Chronomaster with its smoky dial

NEW – Back in 1969 with the third part of the historical trilogy for Zenith, with the reissue of his vintage A385.

Not all years of watching are the same. And 1969 was one of the greatest harvests in history, with the launch of the best high-frequency chronograph movements. At Zenith it will be El Primero, along with the Caliber 11 offered jointly by Breitling and TAG Heuer. To launch this exceptional caliber with wheels on columns and a vertical clutch, Zenith will present three steel models, the A384 with Panda dial, the A385 with tone tone and tilt dial and the round A386 with silver dial and counters. blue gray. Apparently sought after pieces today, more than 50 years after their publication.


To mark the re-launch of the brand, under the auspices of Julien Tornare, after several years of creative hesitation and to pay tribute to this powerful page in its history, Zenith has therefore offered Revival releases in recent months. The third part of this trilogy is, therefore, the Chronomaster Revival El Primero A385, a magnificent vintage edition with a smoky-brown gradient dial. According to Zenith, it would even be the first dial with a degraded effect in the 1969 watch industry.

Laurent Xavier Moulin

This is a good exercise in reverse manufacturing engineering, using original plans as well as production plans, each part of the A385 stainless steel housing in the form of a 37 mm tube, including pushers. pump type, is true to the original 1969 model. Its 37mm steel body remains exactly true to the original look of the El Primero A385, even if the sapphire crystal apparently replaces the 1969 Plexiglas. The dial is dark brown, almost black on the border includes silver-white counters surrounded tachymeter scale. To this are added faceted hands and indexes as in 1969, a central red lacquered chronographic hand and a window with a date still tilted at the time, between the index at 4 and 5 p.m. The use of beige colored Super-LumiNova further enhances the vintage style of this watch.


The main visual difference is actually on the back, with the case equipped with a sapphire crystal so that you can admire the El Primero caliber. It is up to everyone to decide to wear it on a steel bracelet, a modern remake of the iconic Gai Freres bracelets of the first El Primero watches or on a calfskin shoulder strap. Zenith Chronomaster Revival A385, € 7,800 (leather), steel (€ 8,400).


In 1970, this A385 hit the headlines as early as 1970, participating in Operation Sky launched by Zenith. This extreme test consisted of attaching a watch to the landing gear of an Air France Boeing 707 during a Paris-New York flight to test its resistance to external aggressions such as sudden temperature changes, wind variation force and atmospheric pressure. When landing, the watch still worked perfectly! Repeating the test today with many models today would undoubtedly be very informative.

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