written by:
Ornatus Mundi

published:
2021-08-07

categories:
Novelty 2021, snapshot, watches, Zenith

Snapshots of the Chronomaster Original – the iconic Zenith A386 gets a second life


After a few more or less limited re-editions, the lovely Zenith A86 resurfaces permanently as Chronomaster Original



This year, Zenith presented another re-edition of one of its 1970s vintage pieces – the Chronomaster Original:

Zenith Chronomaster Original El Primero Cal. 3600(Zenith’s Chronomaster Original with traditional three-colours dial in stainless steel on bracelet (left), with an ‘inversed panda’ dial (centre) and in rose gold (right))

After the more cushion shaped A384 and A385 Zenith decided to revisit their better-known icon A386 from 1969, one of the early and certainly defining wristwatches, and a lovely watch to boot:

Zenith El Primero A386 1969 Cal. 3019 PHC

The round case is a lot more appealing to general taste than square, cushion or other shapes, plus this watch debuted the recognisable and attractive three-colour motive in shades of grey and blue on the subdials.

Sidenote: Strictly speaking, the Chronomaster Original is not the first revival of the A386 – there were two others: the Zenith El Primero A386 Revival from 2019…

Zenith Chronomaster El Primero A386 Revival 

… and the Zenith Chronomaster Revival Manufacture Edition one year later:

Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Revival A386 Manufacture Edition

Both were more or less limited (the former to 50 pieces each, and the latter only available at the manufacture, and during COVID times, also in the Zenith online store).

Both featured the same classical 38mm case with the wide lugs, and were driven by the ‘original’ El Primero Cal. 400, a direct descendant of the Cal. 3019 PHC of the original watches.

There are three versions offered, two with the classical subdial colours in either rose gold and stainless steel, respectively, and one in steel with an ‘inverse panda’ dial:

Zenith Chronomaster Original El Primero Cal. 3600 rose gold Zenith Chronomaster Original El Primero Cal. 3600 stainless steel bracelet Zenith Chronomaster Original El Primero Cal. 3600 stainless steel inversed panda dial

All watches come with the new El Primero Cal. 3600, with offers notable improvements compared to the venerable ‘old’ El Primero , such as the capability of recording 1/10th of a second and having a hacking second. Hence, the inscriptions of the chronograph scales differ from the original.

For more, visit our article on the Chronomaster Sport.


Technical Data:

Movement

  • Calibre El Primero 3600 Automatic
  • Frequency: 36,000 VpH (5 Hz)
  • Power reserve: approx. 60 hours
  • Functions: Hours and minutes in the centre. Small seconds at nine o’clock. Date indication at 4:30. 1/10th of a second Chronograph: central chronograph hand that makes one turn in 10 seconds, 60 minute counter at six o’clock, 60 second counter at three o’clock.

Case

  • 38mm stainless steel or rose gold. Pumper-style pushers, display back. 5 ATM watertight.


Of all three, I find the latter a bit more refreshing than the (still lovely, don’t get me wrong!) other two, therefore a few more images for your pleasure:

Zenith Chronomaster Original El Primero Cal. 3600 stainless steel inversed panda dial Zenith Chronomaster Original El Primero Cal. 3600 stainless steel inversed panda dial Zenith Chronomaster Original El Primero Cal. 3600 stainless steel inversed panda dial Zenith Chronomaster Original El Primero Cal. 3600 stainless steel inversed panda dial Zenith Chronomaster Original El Primero Cal. 3600 stainless steel inversed panda dial


Our Take:

With the new Chronomaster Original, Zenith presented a classical, moderately sized watch with very contemporary technical specification. Its and attractive watch, and I guess the colourways are wisely chosen to serve a variety of tastes.

Zenith Chronomaster Original El Primero Cal. 3600 stainless steel inversed panda dial

Further, Zenith seems to have found a way to integrate historical and contemporary watches into their Chronomaster collection: ‘Original’ and ‘Sport’ now serve as clear differentiators between the different offerings. This helps to guide collectors and manage expectations.


Zenith Chronomaster Original El Primero Cal. 3600 stainless steel inversed panda dial


It’s a lovely watch, not a revolutionary one, but one which should sell very well. And that is all there is to say!

Ornatus Mundi

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