The tonneau-shaped family of watches that have come since the introduction of the Chronomaster Revival El Primero A384 — from the A384 “Edge of Space,” the Shadow, the Lupin watches to the A3818 “Cover Girl,” which gave Revolution the opportunity to work directly with Zenith — have time and again, yielded some of our favourite vintage inspired watches from the brand that gave the world its first integrated automatic chronograph movement.
Today, Zenith has announced a watch that absolutely deserves a revival of its own in the linage of the tonneau-shaped El Primero watches. The story goes that in 1971, Zenith had taken what was most recognizable about the tonneau-shaped A384 and the most recognizable element of the round cased A386 and put it together to form a chalice that would simultaneously hold three of the brand’s most iconic creations to date: the case from the A384, the tri-colour dial from the A386 and one common denominator that both watches shared, which was the 1969 El Primero. This was the A3817. And, therein, the very watch from Zenith’s archives that lends itself to the watch being launched today, the Chronomaster Revival A3817.
Coming in at the 37mm diameter of the ever familiar tonneau-shaped case of Zenith’s, the timepiece in homage to its ancestor, has the A386’s tri-colour dial. But it’s important to note that beyond the three colours drawn from the subdials of the A386 and likewise applied here, the rest of the dial is very much adjusted to fit the identity of the tonneau-shaped El Primero watches. For instance looking at the Chronograph scale markings, we see the A384’s “shark tooth” markings, totalling 300 white lines. Along with the space between each marking, there are 600 divisions on the chronograph scale, which is line with the El Primero chronograph’s ability to measure time to 1/10th of a second. The scale itself is interesting beyond this point, as it’s possibly the only one that has this unusual combination of a pulsation and tachymeter scale in one.
Which perfectly allows us to segue to talk about the movement powering the Zenith Chronomaster Revival A3817, the contemporary, self-winding El Primero 400, which clocks in with a frequency of 36,000vph , or 5 Hz, and is the sole reason why the watch is able to measure time 1/10th of a second.
Movement: Self-winding El Primero 400 Automatic; hours and minutes in the centre. small seconds at nine o’clock; central chronograph hand, 12-hour counter at six o’clock, 30-minute counter at three o’clock; chronograph scale, a combination of a tachymetric and pulsometer scale; date indication at 4:30; 50-hour power reserve
Case: 37mm stainless-steel; water resistant to 50m
Dial: White-lacquered dial with three different-coloured counters; rhodium-plated hands, faceted and coated with beige Super-LumiNova; rhodium-plated hour markers, faceted and coated with beige Super-LumiNova
Bracelet/Strap: Comes fitted with either the stainless steel “ladder” bracelet and double folding clasp or a light brown calfskin leather strap with protective rubber lining and stainless steel pin buckle
Price: CHF 8, 400 (“ladder” bracelet); CHF 7,900 (calfskin strap)
The Chronomaster A3817 is exclusively available at Zenith Boutiques around the world as well as its online shop from May 2021. More information at zenith-watches.com