Brand new from Zenith is a watch that proves this Swiss manufacturer’s mettle and goes back to the very foundations of Swiss watchmaking. To simply call the El Primero 410 a beautiful or functional watch is to grossly understate its aesthetics and the work that has gone in to making this timepiece. The watch carries a lot of the characteristics that many of us have to come to expect from Zenith, but it also has a few subtle additions that, no doubt, will make it a highly sought after piece in the coming year.
The Zenith El Primero 410 is offered in stainless steel, which is highly polished, and brushed at the lugs. The case comes in at a cool 42mm – a great size for a dressy watch. To facilitate the El Primero high frequency movement, the case is a bit thick at 12.75mm. To be honest, at 12.75mm the case isn’t clunky in the least; or even in the vicinity of obtrusive. Zenith uses T-styled chrono pushers and a prominent ridged main crown to add some perceived girth to this timepiece.
The case back is transparent allowing the wearer to admire the decorated movement. Now when I say decorated movement, I am not only referring to the Cotes de Genève pattern on the oscillating mass but also the countless awards that the El Primero has won since its release in 1969. The movement in its greatness has practically remained unchanged since then. The El Primero movement’s main claim to fame is its frequency, which stands at 36,000 VpH. Such a high frequency allows the watch to time smaller intervals of seconds. This is especially useful in chronographs where fractions of seconds may need to be recorded. The automatic movement also boasts a power reserve of 50 minimum and 31 jewels.
Protecting the slate grey dial is a domed sapphire crystal with antireflective coating on both sides. The dial features a brushed sunray pattern which contrasts with the silvered subdials at 3, 6, and 9. The subdial at 6 indicates the chronograph hours and is also fitted with a moon phase aperture. The chronograph minutes occupies the subdial at 3, while the small seconds can be found at the 9 position. Slotted neatly between the two chrono subdials is a date aperture. Apart from the date, this watch also indicates the day of the week and the month positioned at 10 and 2 respectively. As if to highlight these two apertures, Zeniths places its logo – the five pointed star at both these hour markers. The rest of the markers are indexes and, as well as the hands, are coated with Super-LumiNova for nighttime readability. The chronograph seconds hand is hued in red, which stands out very well against the dark dial. This hand uses the Zenith logo as a counterweight. On the flange is a graduated tachometric scale for the calculation of average speed. Just below the flange, there is a 1/100th of a second scale on the El Primero 410.
This gorgeous timepiece is fitted with a black alligator leather strap with protective rubber lining and is water resistant to 10 ATM or 100 meters. Securing the 410 is a triple folding clasp made from stainless steel. The Zenith El Primero 410 is limited in production to just 500 examples and will retail for USD $10,400.