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Zenith Shows Off Its El Primero Movement with the New Chronomaster Open

In 1994, Zenith introduced the Chronomaster, which has since become its flagship model and the mainline for the watchmaker’s famed El Primero movement. The El Primero’s history dates back to the late 1960s, when it was dubbed the world’s first automatic, integrated high-frequency chronograph caliber. In 2003, Zenith created the Chronomaster Open as the first chronograph with a partially open dial that exposed the movement’s escapement and regulating organ.

Now, two decades later, the Swiss watchmaker has unveiled a brand new iteration of the Chronomaster Open at Watches & Wonders in Geneva that’s designed to show off the Maison’s newly-developed El Primero 3604 movement, a partly-skeletonized take on the brand’s sophisticated El Primero 3600. Like its sibling, the high-beat automatic movement boasts a chronograph that can measure down to 1/10th of a second.

The new Chronomaster Opens retains the traditional tri-color subdial arrangement of El Primero watches, and it does so in an exceedingly clever way. The chronograph’s 60-second counter is represented in blue at 3 o’clock, at 6 we find the 60-minute counter in gray, and the traditional silver running seconds subdial at 9 o’clock remains functional thanks to a hesalite bubble on the dial that’s been placed over the aperture. The bubble is readable and contains a seconds hand, yet still offers an unimpeded view of the escapement below. Water resistant to 100m, the Chronomaster open boasts a 39.5mm case that’s available in stainless steel or rose gold.

Zenith’s Chronomaster Open is coming soon to the brand’s online store, where it will be sold on your choice of a “CORDURA effect” rubber strap or a three-link stainless steel bracelet. The watches are priced from $9,500.

Purchase: $9,500+

Photo: Zenith