It has been over 50 years since the original Chronomaster came tearing onto the horological scene. Featuring Zenith’s flagship El Primero movement, the Chronomaster A386 embodied bold styling, technological innovation, and – true to the brand’s name – the zenith of watchmaking. In the intervening years, the Zenith Chronomaster has remained one of the most well-regarded watches in all its variations.
So it was surprising when, in late 2020, Zenith announced they would be discontinuing the Chronomaster El Primero 1969. That watch, available in both 38mm and 42mm configurations, was exceedingly popular and the announcement left watch fans wondering what Zenith had planned as a replacement. In late June, that question was answered with the release of the Chronomaster Original. True in almost every detail to the design of the original A386, the Chronomaster Original is a 38mm stainless steel affair with the same domed crystal and pump-style pushers from a half-century ago. The overlapping gray, silver, and blue subdials are encircled by a retro-inspired black and white minute counter. Around that sits Zenith’s famous 1/10th second timer indication which can be used in conjunction with the lightning-fast El Primero movement. To that end, the EP 3600 movement is the latest and most advanced version of the record-setting movement.
Available in a variety of configurations, the Chronomaster Original is a fitting tribute to the A386 and Zenith’s place as a trendsetter and a brand that has moved forward the hands of watchmaking innovation.