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Zenith Watches: A Forefront in Precision and Reliability

Throughout its 156-year run, Zenith has always been known for producing its movements and pieces in-house. This proves that the company always gives its full attention to its practices and its traditions to be able to come up with releases that reflect their admirable journey. Moreover, the Swiss luxury brand takes pride in being the pioneer in creating dependable and superb automatic chronograph watches that cater to people coming from different walks of life. 

With the emergence of the highly-accurate and sleek El Primero movement, Zenith was able to set the bar higher in the entire watch realm, making it the true icon not just in men’s watches but also in women’s. Through continuous minor tweaks and upgrades since its release, the El Primero remains unrivaled among its other competitors. Aside from the fact that it bears rich history and the title of being the world’s first automatic chronograph calibre, the movement offers superior quality, characterized by its incomparable speed and accuracy. From the classic Zenith Chronomaster to the extraordinary Zenith Defy, watch lovers can easily identify the movement through its celebrated and diverse collections. 

How much do Zenith watches cost?

Prices for the Zenith models vary depending on its material, characteristics, and rarity. Specifically, the watches range from $4,700 USD to a whopping $40,000 USD. You can check the table below to know which Zenith model best suits your personality and lifestyle. 

ModelPrice (approximate)Size (mm)Material Features
Zenith Chronomaster Sport Ref. 03.3100.3600/69.M3100$10,200 USD41mm Stainless Steel
  • El Primero 3600 Automatic Movement
  • 100m Water Resistance
  • Increased power reserve of 60 hours
  • Stop-second mechanism
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Tourbillon GFJ, Ref. 18.2520.4805/98.C713$86,150 USD45mm18ct Rose Gold 
  • El Primero 4805 Hand-wound Movement
  • 50m Water Resistance
  • Tourbillon at 6 o’clock position
  • Power reserve indicator
Zenith Elite Classic 39, Ref. 18.2290.679/18.C498$8,735 USD39mm18ct Rose Gold
  • Elite Calibre 679 Automatic Movement
  • 50m Water Resistance
  • Power reserve of 50 hours
  • Bronze dial with sunray pattern
Zenith Defy El Primero 21, Ref. 95.9001.9004/01.R582$8,500 USD44mmTitanium
  • El Primero 9004 Automatic Movement that measures up to 1/100 of a second
  • Silver panda dial
  • Frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour (“vph”)
  • Power reserve of 50 hours
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero 42, Ref. 24.2041.400/21.R576$7,800 USD42mmAluminum
  • El Primero 400 B Automatic Movement with 31 jewels
  • 100m Water Resistance
  • 30-minute, 12-hour  and running seconds sub-dials
  • Power reserve of 50 hours
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero 38, Ref. 03.2150.400/26.C714$6,000 USD38mmStainless Steel
  • El Primero 400 Automatic Movement with 31 jewels
  • 100m Water Resistance
  • Power reserve of 50 hours
  • Luminous hands and hour-markers
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special, Ref. 29.2430.679/21.C753$5,900 USD45mmBronze
  • Elite 679 Automatic Movement with 27 jewels
  • Luminous and gold-plated hour-markers
  • Titanium case-back engraved with Zenith’s signature logo
  • Frequency of 28,800 vph
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Ton-Up, Ref. 11.2430.4069/21.C773$6,500 USD45mmStainless Steel
  • El Primero 4069 Automatic movement
  • Small seconds sub-dial
  • 100m Water Resistance
  • Green leather bracelet
Zenith Heritage 146$5,900 USD38mmStainless Steel
  • El Primero 4069 Automatic movement with 35 jewels
  • Chronograph
  • Power reserve of 50 hours
  • 100m Water Resistance
Zenith Elite Moonphase Ref. 03.3100.692/03.C923$6,000 USD40mmStainless Steel
  • Elite 692 Automatic movement 
  • Moonphase indication
  • Stop-second mechanism
  • Rhodium-plated and faceted hands and indices
Zenith Chronomaster Revival El Primero A384 Ref 03.A384.400/21.M384$7,370 USD37mmStainless Steel
  • El Primero 400 Automatic column-wheel movement 
  • Revival of “Gay Frères” ladder bracelet
  • 30-minute, 12-hour  and small seconds sub-dials
  • Tachymetric scale
Zenith Chronomaster Revival El Primero A385 Ref 03.A384.400/385.C855$8,370 USD37mmStainless Steel
  • El Primero 400 Automatic column-wheel movement 
  • Gradient dial
  • Date indication
  • Minimum power reserve of 50 hours
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Open Ref. 03.2040.4061/01.M2040$6,760 USD42mmStainless Steel
  • El Primero 4061 Automatic COSC-certified movement 
  • Silicon escape-wheel and lever
  • Tachymetric scale
  • Small opening that reveals the movement
Zenith Defy Classic Ref. 87.9001.670/79.M9001$11,200 USD41mmTitanium
  • Elite 670 Automatic movement 
  • Luminous rose gold-tone hands
  • Transparent caseback
  • 100m Water Resistance



Zenith Watches’ Collections

Prices for the Zenith Chronomaster: Precise Watches That Never Go Out of Style  

It is nearly impossible for an individual not to think of the Zenith Chronomaster when talking about automatic chronographs. The pieces under this line are equipped with the majestic and well-built El Primero movement that has been loved by many since 1969. While it prides itself as the brand’s most famous and widely-recognised collection, the Zenith Chronomaster is also exceptional due to the cutting-edge serviceability it brings. The watches from this line will surely exceed your expectations. Aside from the fact that they go well with any outfit you wear it with, the pieces also encapsulate Zenith’s heritage and give wearers the opportunity to wear the brand’s precious legacy around their wrists.

The Chronomaster came to life during the time when the watch making industry started to pick up interest in creating automatic movements. Realizing there is no company that has released an automatic chronograph yet, Zenith took a step forward and worked on the idea in 1962 with the aim of unveiling the final result in 1965 during its centennial anniversary. However, the release was delayed for four more years due to inevitable challenges in the watch’s production. Finally, in January 1969, the brand announced the development of the world’s first-ever integrated automatic chronograph and successfully debuted the pioneer timepiece with the prestigious mechanism later that year. Even though Zenith was not the first one to conquer the trade, there is no denying that the brand is the main reason behind the automatic chronograph’s popularity among watch lovers even until this present day.

One of the cheapest men’s watches from the collection is the Zenith El Primero 36’000 vph Ref. 03.2080.400/01.C494, which uses the calibre El Primero 400 B. It provides around 50 hours of power reserve and sports a white lacquered dial with a date window between the 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock positions. Its polished steel 42mm case, hands, and indexes also give the watch a more glamorous vibe. Simple as it may seem, this watch could easily pass as your daily companion due to its neat finish. Its price ranges from $4,620 USD to $8,226 USD.

Another strong contender is the Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Open with reference number 18.2040.4061/69.C494. This watch gives a nod to the vintage Zenith watches under this collection due to the colors of its strap and dial. Moreover, it also has two sub-dials dedicated for the 12-hour and 30-minute counters as well as a tachymetric scale that fans will easily recognize. Underneath, it runs on the El Primero 4061 movement, which can provide up to a minimum 50 hours of power reserve. The calibre is also COSC-certified so you will surely get your money’s worth. Gracing the newest roster of Zenith watches, this timeless beauty in rose gold case costs $19,000 USD. You may also cap the stainless steel model in leather, fabric, or rubber straps with black, blue or white dials for a cheaper price of around $6,000 USD to $9,000 USD. 

A more complicated version with moonphase indicator and date window is also available for an expensive price tag of around $21,964 USD. The Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Open Grande Date Ref. 18.2160.4047/01.C713 is the contemporary example of a Zenith Automatic watch for it uses a Calibre El Primero 4047 that provides a power reserve of 50 hours. It beats at a frequency of 36,600 vph like any other models with the El Primero movement and dons a moonphase and sunphase indicator at 6 o’clock. 

Prices for the Zenith Pilot: Vintage-Inspired Watches for Adventure-Seekers  

As its name suggests, the Zenith Pilot can provide not only refined and vintage aesthetics but also basic yet high-level of functionalities that an aviator needs. Rather than completely relying on the contemporary trends, the brand ensures that these professional watches carry a retro vibe, with additional subtle modern touches on the side. These Zenith men’s watches are known to have large dials, oversized crowns and a case that can go as big as 45mm, which can significantly aid in making a pilot’s job easier. Furthermore, the watches under this collection are also characterized by luminous hands and hour-markers for easier readability under dim light conditions, whether up in the sky or down here on Earth. 

Zenith introduced its Pilot collection to the public in the early 1900s. While the company had already laid its interest in creating dashboard clocks and pocket watches, its founder, Georges Favre-Jacot, had another idea in mind. He wanted to expand his business by entering the world of airplane watches as well as altimeters, which eventually led to the production of pilot watches. As proof of its strong background, famous French aviator Louis Blériot took this watch to his journey across the English channel in 1909. The first Zenith Pilot watch that Blériot had in his wrist was beyond exceptional. It featured a chrome-plated case with a cool black dial and large Arabic numerals for easier readability. The word “special” above the sub-dial dedicated for the running seconds also steals the spotlight. With Blériot’s notable achievement, the Zenith Pilot also received praises for the credibility it brought during the flight.

Today, the whole Pilot line serves as an ode to Zenith’s fruitful past. Some models have the classic 40mm case you can see mostly in vintage Zenith watches. An example is the Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special with Ref. 29.1940.679/21.C800, which you can get for approximately $3,970 USD. True to its name, this release is truly one-of-a-kind since it comes in a blue color, with matte dials and bronze case as its main features. You do not have to worry with tracking time at night since the huge hour-markers in the dial are coated with the SuperLuminova mechanism, along with the hands that sport a cathedral look. The protruding crown also reflects the original design of the first Zenith Pilot watches. 

Meanwhile, some models are also advanced in terms of the functions it came with like the Zenith Pilot Type 20 Tourbillon. Known for increasing the value of a watch up to three or more zeroes, the tourbillon is responsible for increasing the accuracy of a watch, no matter what position you place it in. Initially released in 2013, these beautiful watches for men have a starting price of $21,630 USD. It can go up to $118,051 USD if you opt for a variant that has diamonds all over its surface. With these facts presented, the Pilot Type 20 Tourbillon is one of the most expensive Zenith watches in the market today. 

Another Pilot model to look out for is the Zenith Pilot Montre d'Aéronef Type 20 GMT 1903. This breathtaking field watch has red tips that adds a quirky vibe. Furthermore, the addition of the second time zone also makes the watch even more valuable. This is helpful for those men whose life mainly revolves in traveling. Inside, it runs on the 26-jewel calibre Elite 693, which can last for 50 hours when fully wound. Although not powered by the top-tier El Primero movement, you can consider this one the ideal Zenith automatic timepiece due to its additional splendid functionalities. The Zenith Pilot Montre d'Aéronef Type 20 GMT 1903 has a price tag of around $6,500 USD. A pre-loved piece may come as affordable as $5,200 USD.

Prices for the Zenith Elite: The Favorite Watch of Stylish Men and Women  

It is no doubt that Zenith leads the game when it comes to producing watches that are extremely unique that could certainly make many heads turn. The Chronomaster El Primero Open and the Defy El Primero 21 are the prime examples of these. However, when the company decided to release the Zenith Elite line in 2015, their reputation became more honorable and recognized among the leading names in the watch industry. Watches under this collection exhibit sophisticated, minimalist and ergonomic designs, which is why people typically use them for formal occasions. Aside from the exteriors, the Elite series also come with various complications such as having a tourbillon and moonphase mechanism as well as sporting the legendary El Primero movement.

Its story began in the early 1990s when Zenith decided to launch its efficient calibre Elite 6150 after the horrendous quartz crisis took place between 1970s to 1980s. Its applaudable performance resembles what the El Primero movement can do and offer. Known for being incredibly thin but mighty, this movement also fits even the smallest watch case, while also having the capacity to store up to 100 hours of power. 

The Elite is one of the cheapest Zenith watches you can get your hands on. However, this doesn’t mean that it has low quality.  In fact, many novice collectors often opt to buy a timepiece from this line to test out the abilities of Zenith as a brand. Some good examples of these are the Zenith Elite Classic with reference numbers 18.3100.670/01.C920 and  03.3100.670/02.C922. Both of these models use the calibre Elite 670 with a frequency of 28,800 vph. These watches also come with a sharp date display at 6 o’clock position. Furthermore, they offer a stop-second mechanism for more meticulous timekeeping. Generally speaking, these watches retail around $6,000 USD for the steel variation and $13,000 USD for the gold variation. However, if you’re on a tight budget and you want to save up for other models the brand offers, you can get a pre-loved one in good condition for as little as $1,800 USD.

Moving to a much more elegant version, the Zenith Elite is also available in a variation that perfectly complements the taste of a fine and modern woman. This is called the Elite Lady Moonphase. While the Elite line was initially made for men, the brand also wanted to cater to a wider range of consumers, which is why they came up with various phenomenal models for women. The model with the reference 16.2320.692/80.C714 stands out because of its versatile white mother-of-pearl dial with numberless indices in silver hue. Moreover, it has a moonphase indicator with blue accents, making the watch more attractive as ever. Inside, it uses an 27-jewel Elite Ultra Thin self-winding movement, which beats at 29,800 vph. This Zenith Elite watch costs around $8,000 USD. 

On the other end of the spectrum, the Zenith Elite 6150 with reference number 18.2270.6150/01.C498 is perfect for those who want a bigger watch that still sits nicely on the wrist. Like its smaller siblings, this watch is also simple and alluring. It also has Elite 6150 calibre, comprising 195 parts, at its very core. While it does not have any date or moon phase indication, the symmetrical lugs and the strap made out of crocodile skin will surely take your breath away. The straightforward signature format and the thin hands also makes this watch worth adding to anyone’s collection. Since it is made out of rose gold material, this model is readily available for around $11,200 USD to $13,500 USD, one of the most expensive Zenith watches in the collection. On the other hand, the date version without the chronograph costs only $5,900 USD. These prices are certainly worth it, given that it is one of the coveted Zenith men’s watches in the collection. 

Prices for the Zenith Defy: A Ruggedly Powerful Watch 

If there is one thing where Zenith ultimately excels, it is creating tough and sturdy automatic watches that could last perhaps even a lifetime. This is evident in their Zenith Defy collection that many watch enthusiasts always bring up in any conversations. First released in the late 1960s, the collection effortlessly redefines the watch world through its meticulously-made blueprints and inventive concepts. The pieces in this line also sport loud, stunning, and compelling designs you will not see in any other luxury brands. This is why it is impossible to compare these watches to others as they have their certain charms guaranteed to make your jaws drop. Due to their detailed and gripping structures, the models under this line become the rightful epitome of a modern Zenith men’s watch. 
Spearheading the popularity list, we have the Zenith Defy El Primero 21 with reference number 95.9000.9004/78.M9000 that costs $9,500 USD. This multifaceted timekeeper has a complicated aesthetic that displays two multi-colored sub-dials. It also comes with a titanium case which is known for its durability and lightweight characteristics. You would not notice the 30-minute and the 60-second counters at first glance due to the open skeleton dial, unless inspected closely. The transparent dial that exhibits the entire El Primero 9004 movement makes it visually appealing. Since it runs on a high performing calibre that measures 1/100th of a second, the watch beats at an impressive frequency of 36,000 vph and carries a power reserve of 50 hours. Other features worth noting about this mesmerising watch are the central chronograph hand’s powerful capacity to make one turn per second as well as its ability to resist water pressures of up to 100 metres. While it contains ultra-modern parts and mechanisms, the Zenith Defy El Primero 21 reflects the essence of the vintage Zenith Defy models released in 1969. 

For fans of watches that have a reserved vibe, the Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Ref. 95.9001.9004/01.R582, popularly known as the Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Black Croco, is the perfect option. On the outside, it has a black, white, and silver colour scheme with some red accents on the dial and small hands on two of the sub-dials. Not to mention, the edges of the watch also match the whole theme, along with the numberless yet luminous hour-markers and hands. However, this watch is not only about its extravagant appearance. It also tells the exact time with its 53-jewel and 203-component calibre El Primero 9004. You can get this gem for as low as $8,400 USD. If you fancy a more flawless-looking scratch-resistant case, you can cop a Zenith Defy El Primero 21 in a ceramic material for $8,400 USD.

Demonstrating its flexibility, some Defy models also come with in-house Elite movements. The Zenith Defy Classic with reference number 49.9000.670/77.R782 and the Zenith Defy Midnight in 03.9200.670/02.MI001 variation are some of the best examples you can find. While the first one features a 41mm ceramic case, the latter has a smaller one at 36mm. The looks of the dials and straps also vary, with the first model having a rugged and unbreakable feel. This is primarily due to the differences in its purpose. The Defy Classic is a men’s watch, which costs around $5,650 USD. The other one is solely dedicated for women and has a price tag of $6,500 USD. 

One of the latest models from this series is the Zenith Defy Inventor. Released in 2019, it features a 44mm titanium case and a lightweight aeronith bezel. On the dial, it bears a refreshing blue tone that is pleasing to the eye. As if the design is not yet enough, this timepiece also runs on the brand’s newest offering, the Zenith Oscillator 9100 movement that boasts an enormous frequency of 129,600 vph. This watch is indeed a go-getter’s best friend and costs around $18,000 USD, which is more on the expensive side.

Prices for the Zenith Captain: A Versatile Watch 

One of Zenith’s iconic slogans was “powered for brilliance” and they are living up to their word with the Zenith Captain collection. While only a handful of people know about this line, its watches contain trailblazing mechanisms like a second time zone and calendar display. Browsing through the catalog, you will see that a lot of these watches have a simple yet outstanding exterior, much like the vintage watches we see around. Some of them have Roman numeral hour markers, while others are plainly numberless and have a neutral colour scheme. They perfectly embody the phrase “do not judge a book by its cover” for its true purpose lies on its core. Notably, some are powered by El Primero automatic movements, while some rely on Elite calibres. 

The Zenith Elite Captain Central Second Automatic Ref. 03.2020.670 is the popular go-to choice and it costs only $4,000 USD. It is uncomplicated because it only displays the time and date on the tobacco plume-colored dial. Since its 40mm case has a steel finish, you also do not have to worry about its longevity because it can resist even the highest level of moisture. Under the hood, it runs on an automatic calibre coupled with the ability to withstand up to 10 metres. This means that you cannot submerge this ornate beauty onto deep seas nor it can stay alive with even a splash of water.

For the dapper gentleman, who wants a watch that showcases an annual calendar along with the regular date and day indicator, the Zenith El Primero Captain Winsor Automatic with reference number 22.2070.4054/02.C711 is the right choice. Apart from the gorgeous hands and case in rose gold hue, this men’s watch breaks barriers with the 31-jewel El Primero 400 calibre that ensures the displayed time is always on-point. The silver guilloche-colored dial and the hands in dauphine style adds a rather lavish and luxurious vibe to it. Due to the addition of diamonds in the bezel, it has an expensive price of $37,084 USD. Despite the gigantic price tag it came with, the watch guarantees a precise timekeeping ability that you will certainly need for the years to come.

Prices for the Zenith El Primero 50th Anniversary: A Powerhouse Watch 

To pay homage to the magnificent El Primero movement, Zenith released a collection of watches that reflects the technicalities and design of the original models that were released years ago. As mentioned above, the El Primero was released in 1969 and it subsequently achieved success because of the thoroughness it offers to wearers. While the line consists of pieces that prove the brand’s loyalty to its hallmark, the Zenith El Primero 50th Anniversary collection also has watches that provide enthusiasts a glimpse of Zenith’s future. Through this series, you will realize why people continue to patronize Zenith and its amazing products. 

One of the most popular models you can opt for is the Zenith El Primero A384 Revival. What’s great about this one is that it stayed true to the classic A384 in terms of aesthetics and functionalities. Besides the fact that it comes with a 37mm steel case, it is also equipped with a dial in white color and a sculpted date indication between the 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock position. Moreover, it also has a 12-hour totaliser and a strap made out of alligator leather. This watch will set you back for around $10,000 USD. But if you want something with a more sumptuous look, you can get a stainless steel version (reference number 03.A384.400/21.M384) for $6,500 USD.

Moving on, we have the Zenith El Primero A386 Revival that looks a lot like the A384. The only difference is that this one has tri-colored sub-dials and a tachymetric scale in a milky white color. Moreover, a domed sapphire crystal is what protects the watch and the bloody red seconds hand also serves as its focal point. Its huge crowns and the revered signature at 12 o’clock position also stayed true to the original version of the A386. Inside, it uses a calibre called the El Primero 400, which is the upgraded version of the calibre you will find in the first-ever model. Since you can only find this timepiece in the 50th Anniversary Box Set, along with the Zenith Defy El Primero 21 and Zenith Chronomaster 2.0 El Primero, expect that it comes with a heavy price tag. Being a limited-edition release with only 50 pieces worldwide, the whole set costs $50,000 USD.

Zenith’s Milestones and Innovations

The Zenith El Primero Movement 

One cannot bring up Zenith’s achievements into any horological discussion without mentioning the El Primero calibre. As emphasized above, this movement was introduced in 1969 with an aim to change the watchmaking landscape. Translated from Spanish as “The First”, the El Primero deserves its title as the world’s first automatic chronograph calibre for a reason. It stands out because of its finesse and slick form, leading to a suave operation and performance. Thanks to its defying and whopping frequency of 36,000 vph, the movement remains superior among the extensive list of automatic calibres we have today. In fact, it is so iconic that even brands like Rolex and Tag Heuer adapted the mechanical system into their watches. This is seen in their Daytona and Carrera Calibre 36 collections, respectively.

The El Primero 21 Calibre

Treated as one of the company’s newest accolades, the development of the state-of-the-art El Primero 21 calibre is something that people should not ignore. Released in 2017 at Baselworld, the said movement is the direct successor and latest upgrade of the famous El Primero calibre. According to company officials, this calibre is also 10 times more accurate than its predecessor. With a wheel train that can beat at 36,000 vph as well as an escape wheel that runs at 360,000 vph, the El Primero 21 is surely one of the fiercest and strongest forces in the watchmaking game. These amazing capacities also allow the movement to give a resolution of 1/100th of a second. Above all, it sports a well-executed finish, with the patented balance-springs as its main point.  

Bringing Back the Past With the Pilot Collection

An ode to vintage Zenith watches that will never get old — this is what sums up the entire Zenith Pilot collection. It is one of Zenith’s notable masterpieces, which reflects the brand’s historical ties to aviation. By accompanying Louis Blériot in his voyage to the English skies, the Pilot watch offered became one of the most sought-after models offered by the brand. 

From its large Arabic numerals and crowns to its illuminated hour-markers and eye-catching coloured straps, all watches from this series are oozing with regality and peculiarity that will make you want to hoard every single model it offers. Exceptional and handsome watches in this lineup include a Pilot Type 20 Tourbillon, Pilot Type 20 Extra Special, Pilot Type 20 Chronograph as well as the Pilot Cronometro TIPO CP-2. It is highly unusual for a watch label to come up with a collection that signifies diversification at its finest. However, Zenith did this marvelously with this line at question through its watches that give not only a good level of assortment but also unparalleled complications. 

Redefining Elegance With the Elite Series

Although seldom placed in the limelight, the Zenith Elite series is simply a sight to behold. This line needs more recognition for it boasts timepieces that are of superior quality. Not only men could benefit from these Elite watches, but also women coming from either the older or younger generations. Significantly, extremely thin movements that are dependable up to its smallest parts are what set it apart. In fact, the 1994 Elite 6150 calibre only has a thickness of 3.92mm, making it the ideal system for watches sporting small cases. 

Adding to its grandiose attributes such as having stop-second and second time zone features, the calibre, bearing the same name as the lineup, also has the capacity to preserve power of up to 100 hours. Despite being released years ago, the collection still holds great value because it is the testament to the eminence of Zenith’s wondrous watchmaking skills. 

The Zenith El Primero Legacy

When talking about Zenith, the El Primero is certainly the first thing that comes to mind. While it is the primary reason behind the company’s glory, the El Primero is also its greatest and most precious feat. This is why it is impossible for one to disassociate the pioneer movement to the brand. Their decades worth of history is enough proof of how tight-knit their relationship is.

Comprising two movements namely 3019PHC and 3019PHF, the El Primero has been known for its tri-coloured counters and its smooth-sailing running seconds hand. Moreover, the calibre is also rich in frequency which is why it effortlessly stands out among its other competitors during the 60s such as Seiko’s Calibre 6139 and Hamilton-Buren, Breitling, Dubois-Dupraz, and Heuer-Leonidas’ Chronomatic invention. Notably, the 6.5 mm-thick chronograph movement has 36,000 vibrations per hour. To emphasize how efficient it is, the El Primero beats faster than  Chronomatic and Seiko 6139 with 19,800 vph and 21,600 vph, respectively. This makes it possible to have time intervals measuring up to 1/10 of a second. Adding to its amazing details, the calibre also boasts a power reserve of up to 50 hours. 

Among the top Zenith watches that house the El Primero movement at its core are the El Primero Full Open Ref. 03.2081.400/78.C813, Chronomaster El Primero Grande Date Full Open Ref. 03.2530.4047/78.C813, and the new Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Ref. 95.9000.9004/78.M9000. While they sport different case sizes, these watches all have the ability to endure water pressures of up to 100 metres. Other great examples are the Chronomaster El Primero Tourbillon GFJ with reference number 18.2520.4805/98.C713 and the El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th with reference number 03.2062.4057. The first luxury men’s watch utilizes an 807-component El Primero hand-wound movement, coupled with the presence of a tourbillon mechanism and power reserve indicator. It was also released in commemoration of the company’s founder, Georges Favre-Jacot, who is the mastermind behind all the incredible ideas and innovations Zenith has spread throughout the watchmaking industry. Meanwhile, the latter is more of a sports watch rather than an everyday dress watch. It features a stopwatch seconds hand, a date window, and a black outer minute track, which are all useful for people who want to track time in a proper and effective manner. 

Reasons to Buy a Zenith Watch

1. It is more affordable than its competitors in the market. 

Compared to Rolex and Patek Philippe, Zenith has a cheaper price point. While it is technically a luxury label, Zenith can also be considered as a brand accessible to all because it offers a diverse range of watches that could fit every lifestyle and budget. Though it may seem off at first, you will realize that the company intentionally made some of their lines cheaper to cater to different people regardless for their social status. They also did this so that consumers will get an equal taste of the superb quality of Zenith watches without worrying about the price tags.

2. The brand offers both timeless designs. 

One of the best things about Zenith watches is that they reflect the brand’s passion for detail and design. From rugged-looking pieces to watches that scream extravagance and intricacy, Zenith makes sure that everyone would be able to resonate with their collections effortlessly. Its releases are the living testaments to the brand’s courage when it comes to exploring possibilities. Moreover, they are also the proof that Zenith was not afraid to experiment and expand their horizons.

3. It sports solid and dependable movements. 

The brand excels simply because of their groundbreaking movements such as the El Primero and Elite. Both of them guarantee accurate timekeeping as well as great usability. Zenith’s calibres are simply incomparable for they bear certain appeal. For one, they have the capacity to function a rich frequency. Moreover, they also offer superb power reserves, which makes them the ideal companion to every adventure you will conquer. These are the main reasons why Zenith’s watches are known to last long despite its slightly low resale value. 

The Colorful History of Zenith 

The history of this renowned luxury brand started in 1865, when Georges Favre-Jacot instituted his own small company in Le Locle, Switzerland. When he founded this business, he had one goal in mind — to make accurate watches all under one roof. He swayed away from the budding trends during that time, proving that he wants to make a difference in the horology realm. This led to the establishment of the Manufacture, which served as the home for the highly-precise watches and movements you will ever find. Moreover, it also serves as Zenith’s official nest for their research and development. In other words, this is where the magic and their pursuit of greatness really happens. 

Ever since the foundation of the Manufacture, Zenith consistently left significant marks in the industry with their durable releases and solid achievements. One of which is the pocket chronograph released in 1899. Afterwards, Georges Favre-Jacot won a gold medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition, which led to the expansion of Zenith’s manufacturing plant. By 1911, the Manufacture finally adopted the name Zenith, which pertains to the highest point above a particular location or observer on Earth. The name also signifies the brand’s continuous commitment to excellence and success. From 1948 onwards, the company attained massive recognition with their avant-garde innovations like the Calibre 135 as well as the El Primero. All in all, Zenith dominated numerous horology events, won 2,333 awards and filed over 300 patents, demonstrating its expertise when it comes to legendary watchmaking. Today, Zenith is headed by the French giant LVMH. Joining them are other eminent names such as TAG Heuer and Hublot

Famous Patrons of Zenith

Zenith may not immediately ring a bell to common people but this does not mean that it did not bring significant contributions to history. In fact, when you see it in another perspective, Zenith is like a rare gem in the watch world that only people with enough dedication to study the origin and composition of timepieces as well as how they perform will know. Aside from Louis Blériot, there are other big names that have proudly carried Zenith’s trademark and legacy on their adventures that certainly changed the world, one way or another. 

Felix Baumgartner

An A-lister in the skydiving and stunt industry, we have Felix Baumgartner, who loves Zenith timepieces as much as watch connoisseurs do. In 2012, the daredevil dove from the edge of space while riding a helium balloon. With this unprecedented achievement, Baumgartner became the first individual in the world to break the sound barrier even without the support of a vehicular power. While wearing a Zenith watch, he also broke various records in the skydiving landscape such as being the only one in history to achieve the highest freefall. The model that accompanied Baumgartner in the Bull Stratos mission is the Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th. Because of the attention and hard work Zenith poured into making the watch, it came back from the flight with no taint of damage at all. Later on, it also scored the top spot in the GPHG Sports Watch category.

Mahatma Gandhi

A lot of people immediately recognize the name Mahatma Gandhi — an Indian lawyer and political ethicist, who spearheaded India’s independence campaign from Great Britain. He dedicated his life in serving his countrymen and his principles are still being recognised by many up until this present day. While he lived a simple and modest life, Gandhi considers his silver pocket watch as one of his ultimate possessions. This Zenith watch was given to him by his friend Jawaharlal Nehru, who served as India’s Prime Minister from 1947 to 1964. Accompanying Gandhi in his most important schedules such as his praying time, the watch has served him a great purpose all throughout his life. That is why when he briefly lost it, he was wrapped in regret and sadness. However, the thief eventually decided to return the watch, much to Gandhi’s delight. At present, the said pocket watch is in possession of Vijay Mallya, an Indian billionaire. 

Zenith: A Timeless Brand You Can Count On

With over 150 years of heritage, Zenith has been known for manufacturing timepieces, both for men and women, that fuse innovation and tradition all in one. One of its greatest contributions to the entire watch history is their automatic chronographs, measuring time up to 1/10th of a second. Due to its authenticity and great legacy, one cannot simply mention Zenith without its iconic companion, the El Primero. While it may not be as popular as other luxury brands you hear regularly, Zenith stays true to its trademark of being a flexible company through its world-class designs that accentuates their dedication to craftsmanship. Indeed, Zenith is the brand you should definitely keep your eye on. 

Editor's Choice

Lloyd Stevens
Zenith Watches
Another top Swiss watch contender is Zenith. Zenith watches got started back in 1865. Zenith offers a unique line of watches within four of their awesome collections: Defy, Chronomaster, Elite and Pilot. All four collections have their own creative looks and features, but they all provide wearers with the same comfort and durability.
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