Zenith Chronomaster Sport
The Zenith Chronomaster Sport tastefully encompasses traditional elements, drawn from the brand’s extensive back catalogue, and blends them with contemporary aesthetic details. The resultant watch proves a harmonious composition which exhibits an extraordinary sense of charm.
Zenith‘s Manufacture is located close to the centre of Le Locle, on Rue des Billodes. The reception is located at street level in a comparatively modern building, however, it is the brand’s older buildings which will inevitably cause excitement among historians.
The firm was founded by Georges Favre-Jacot in 1865 and some of the original buildings date back to then. In 1904, the firm built a new 3-floor structure for the production of watches. This building, presented in white with red brick details, including Monsieur Favre-Jacot’s initials, continues to be used to this day.
History and traditions course through the veins of this brand. In recent times, while rummaging in the building’s loft, personnel discovered vintage dials sporting three registers, each executed in a different shade of blue. These dials would see the brand release a number of ‘Manufacture Edition’ models in 2020.
In recent times, the brand has released various revival pieces, including the A386 from 1969. Moreover, the company’s legendary and highly-regarded El Primero movement of 1969 often features in the brand’s collection of today, albeit in modern-day guise.
Now, the Swiss marque has unveiled a contemporary sports chronograph, the Zenith Chronomaster Sport. However, despite the model’s obvious modernity, it encompasses some historical details as well. The dial features three registers, presented in blue, anthracite and light grey, while at the heart of this new model, housed within a 41mm steel case, sits the El Primero. Although this movement shares its nomenclature with the 1969 original, it is a wholly new version of the revered calibre, the El Primero 3600 automatic.
Other contemporary touches include the black ceramic bezels, the 3-rows steel bracelets and the wonderfully casual, Cordura-effect rubber straps. The pump-style pushers found on watches of the 1960s also make an appearance, adding a further soupçon of period-inspired detail.
What distinguishes the Zenith Chronomaster Sport as an interesting ownership proposition is the repeated interplay of traditional elements and contemporary aesthetics. This design strategy could have ended in disaster, however, Zenith has accomplished the task with notable aplomb.
Prices are CHF 9,400 (Cordura-effect rubber strap) and CHF 9,900 (3-rows bracelet)
The brand’s press release (January 2021)
Some of life’s most decisive moments happen in a fraction of a second. A tight race towards the finish line, a perfectly struck ball scoring a goal, or even an instinctive decision at the crossroads of life, these instances are what shape the future. Zenith accompanies those who are always on the move towards achieving their dreams with an equally fast-paced chronograph: the new Chronomaster Sport collection, capable of measurements with an accuracy of 1/10th of a second.
Rebirth of a Legend
The latest Chronomaster Sport collection marks the beginning of new era for the quintessential Zenith sporty-chic chronograph. Once again pushing the boundaries of high-frequency precision, the Chronomaster Sport is the culmination point in Zenith’s unequalled legacy of automatic chronographs that combines the spirit of the El Primero A386, the form of the Chronomaster De Luca and the high-frequency performance established by the El Primero calibre for over 50 years in a sporty chronograph like no other – in both style and substance.
Always moving towards building the future of watchmaking, Zenith has built on the foundation of the El Primero caliber with a marked increase in performance directly perceptible by the user. The new El Primero 3600 calibre offers even more performance and precision than its forebearer, with its ultra-readable 1/10th of a second display etched directly on its black ceramic bezel – the only watch to do so.
Built for Motion
A descendant of the Chronomaster lineage through and through, the unique heritage of this emblematic chronograph line unfolds with a more refined dial, an integrated steel bracelet with optimized comfort, enhanced finishing details, an ever more accurate search for proportions and an extremely precise tenth of a second reading. Crafted in a sleek and robust steel case measuring 41 mm wide with pump-style pushers, the polished black ceramic bezel sets the new Chronomaster Sport apart from its predecessors. Graduated over 10 seconds, its bold contrast offers exceptional legibility on the periphery of the dial.
The Chronomaster Sport comes in two references. Whether the black or white dial, both feature the signature El Primero tri-color chronograph registers in blue, anthracite and light grey, just like the A386 from 1969. Each of the counters is graduated to 60 for an intuitive and instantaneous reading of the chronograph. Befitting the modern yet timeless aesthetic of this exceptional chronograph, the Chronomaster Sport comes on an integrated steel bracelet similar to those conceived by Gay Frères, who supplied many of Zenith’s metal bracelets in the past. A textured cordura-effect rubber strap option with a steel deployant buckle is also available.
El Primero Evolution
Always in the pursuit of improvement, the Chronomaster Sport line is equipped with a new version of the Manufacture’s most renowned movement, dubbed the El Primero 3600 calibre. With the experience gained after over five decades of the El Primero and high-frequency chronographs in general, Zenith is able to precisely offer a 1/10th of second display from the 5 Hz (36’000 VpH) escapement, as well as an extended power reserve of 60 hours. Visible through the sapphire display back, the new architecture is strikingly evident, revealing a blue column wheel and open rotor marked with the five-pointed star Zenith.
The Chronomaster Sport asserts itself as a sporty companion for all of life’s moments where even a fraction of a second is an instance of performance.