A REMARKABLE TRIPTYCH OF THE EARLIEST EL PRIMERO MODELS FOR THE MANUFACTURE BOUTIQUE’S FIRST “ZENITH ICONS” SET

A REMARKABLE TRIPTYCH OF THE EARLIEST EL PRIMERO MODELS FOR THE MANUFACTURE BOUTIQUE’S FIRST “ZENITH ICONS” SET

A REMARKABLE TRIPTYCH OF THE EARLIEST EL PRIMERO MODELS FOR THE MANUFACTURE BOUTIQUE’S FIRST “ZENITH ICONS” SET

For the recently inaugurated boutique within the Manufacture in Le Locle, Zenith sought to offer a truly exceptional ICONS set of vintage and historically significant watches sourced, restored and certified by the Manufacture. Curated specifically for the birthplace of the seminal El Primero calibre, Zenith’s Heritage Department has arduously searched for some of the earliest examples of “Mark I” El Primero models from 1969, denoting watches that belonged to the very first production batches of their respective references. Considered some of the most exceedingly rare and sought-after references from the birthyear of the seminal automatic chronograph calibre, the resulting set is a trilogy of historically significant and superbly preserved ZENITH ICONS that have finally returned to the Manufacture after over 50 years. They will be prominently displayed at the Manufacture boutique in a splendid presentation box, handcrafted from wood sourced from the forest areas surrounding Le Locle that looks like the wooden beams and flooring found in the renown attic of the Manufacture. It will also showcase prints of production plans and advertisements from the same era as the watches. For those who can’t come to the Manufacture this ZENITH ICONS set will also be made available for purchase through the Zenith online boutiques in Europe, Japan and the U.S.A.

G581

G581

Part of the very first Zenith references intended to house the El Primero automatic high-frequency chronograph calibre, the G581 was ordered into production shortly after the history-making launch of the movement in January 1969. Crafted in 18k yellow gold, its overall silhouette was slim and elegant with discreet round pushers that were meant to emphasize the slimness of the El Primero. Its dial combined the sportier “panda” configuration with golden applied markers. Produced in a single batch of 150 pieces, the G581 is considered one of the rarest and most coveted pieces of El Primero lore.

G582

G582

Launched alongside the G581 as part of a gold trio of the very first El Primero-equipped models shortly after the unveiling of the calibre in 1969, the G582 features the same svelte round case in 18k gold with discreet pushers as the G581. Its golden dial with black counters was considered the more elegant option, endowed with features what would become the iconic signatures of the Zenith El Primero models including the date window at 4:30, the tachymeter scale surrounding the dial, the luminescent filled indexes and the red paddle-shaped chronograph second hand. This “Mark I” example is from the very first production batch in 1969.

A386

A386

Arguably the most significant of all the early El Primero stainless steel models, the A386 from 1969 set the tone of the design language that continues to influence Zenith to this day. The iconic tri-colour dial with decimal scale, the bezel-less round case and the pump-style pushers all made their El Primero debut in the A386. What makes this particular example even more rare and desirable is that it belong to the very first production batch of the model, which featured slightly different seamless lugs and a flat case back.