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Zenith Brings Back One Of The First El Primero Chronos With A 1969 Revival

Back in 1969, Zenith made waves in the wristwatch world with the launch of its El Primero movement. As the first-ever automatic high-frequency chronograph, it was unprecedented in terms of its accuracy at the time. And when you consider that it was practically brand-spanking-new in the A385 — a watch which also happened to feature the industry’s first smoked dial — well, let’s just say that it’s for good reason that it remains a fan favorite to this day.

And now it’s back. With the announcement of its Chronomaster Revival A385, the Swiss watchmaker is resurrecting its ground-breaking ’60s chronograph. However, it’s hardly a mere modern reissue of the first El Primero. On the contrary, Zenith has completely reverse-engineered the design from the original blueprints in order to craft a watch that makes for an all-but-perfect reproduction. So, while it’s housed in the same 37mm tonneau-shaped stainless steel case with a brown gradient dial and pump-style pushers, it trades its acrylic glass for a domed sapphire crystal and its closed solid back for an exhibition back. Paired with a light brown calfskin leather strap, it cuts quite the vintage vibe. And it’s available now from Zenith for $7,700.

Purchase: $7,700