When the El Primero automatic chronograph calibre was first announced in 1969, it took the world of watchmaking by storm. It was the first automatic chronograph movement and brought forth a set of distinctive features, which have allowed it to stand the test of time and remain an exceptional movement half a century on: a high frequency of 36’000 vph, a column-wheel chronograph mechanism, and an automatic winding system that delivers 50 hours of power reserve.
Coinciding with the announcement of the movement in 1969, the first watch to house it was also announced: the ZENITH El Primero A384. As groundbreaking as its movement was, the A384 also stood out with its original design. For the A384 Revival, ZENITH sought to preserve and reproduce just about everything from the original watch by adopting a “reverse engineering“ approach, where every component is faithful to the original. Each part of the original A384 from 1969 was digitized so as to be accurately reproduced, from the 37mm faceted steel case to the lacquered white and black tachymeter dial. The only differences, or rather improvements, are the sapphire crystal instead of an acrylic glass, the display back replacing the solid steel case back, and the latest version of the El Primero 400 chronograph movement, the culmination of half a century of gradual fine-tuning and perfecting. In keeping with its inherently retro appeal, the El Primero A384 Revival comes on a black alligator leather strap with a black rubber lining, completing the vintage look of the A384 with contemporary durability. An integrated metal “ladder” bracelet option is also available, mimicking the look of the one from the original 1969 El Primero A384.
Following the highly sought-after El Primero box set unveiled in January, as well as A386 Revival series in three gold alloys announced during Baselworld, the A384 Revival will be produced as a special edition on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the El Primero, marking the final piece of the El Primero Revival series paying tribute to iconic ZENITH watches that first used the illustrious calibre. Unlike the A386, the A384 Revival is not produced in a limited edition, making it an exclusive yet attainable piece of El Primero history.
ZENITH: the future of Swiss watchmaking
With innovation as its guiding star, ZENITH features exceptional in-house developed and manufactured movements in all its watches, such as the DEFY Inventor with its monolithic oscillator of exceptional precision, and the DEFY El Primero 21 with its high-frequency 1/100th of a second chronograph. Since its establishment in 1865, ZENITH has consistently redefined the notions of precision and innovation, including the first “PILOT Watch” at the dawn of aviation and the first serially produced “El Primero” automatic chronograph calibre. Always one step ahead, ZENITH is writing a new chapter in its unique legacy by setting new standards of performance and inspired design. ZENITH is here to shape the future of Swiss watchmaking, accompanying those who dare to challenge time itself and reach for the stars.