Zenith makes a strong move into the hardcore re-issue market with an incredibly accurate El Primero classic...
This week we once again found ourselves in London for another horology focused event. This time? An exclusive preview of the latest and final celebration of the El Primero on its 50th birthday, the Zenith A384 El Primero Revival.
Held in the hotel heart of Mayfair, a small room of no more than 20 of us were presented to the A384 Revival. Currently, there are only two of these prototypes in existence so this is one of the first opportunities to experience this non-limited release.
The first noticeable feature of the watch is its size. Sure, the press release mentioned it was 37mm wide, but for some reason, I had arrived at the assumption that it was going to be a lot bigger. Fortunately, the watch is very much true to size framing the wrist evenly and effectively.
The brushing on the period correct cushion style case was the next feature that caught my eye pretty quickly. The finish was fine and sharp with the edges polished. The angled top and bottom section of the case are taken up the with lugs. These also get the polished treatment and somehow manage to give the watch an almost modern look (even though it’s clear the watch is publicised as being a re-issue).
The watch quite simply feels like a very very good example of an original piece. The dial itself feels up to date yet because of the overall size and feel on the wrist the watch remains classical. Zenith has brought back an iconic case here which opens the doors and enables them to step up and really make a move into the re-issue aspect of the industry to bring back other loved models.
The watch is as 1 to 1 as you can get to an original apart from two features (both being glass). The watch dial is protected by a domed sapphire crystal on the front and a display caseback also in sapphire.
The dial itself remains faux patina free with a very clean timeless look. Zenith has managed to produce this level of accurate all because of one key technique. They digitally scanned original watches from 1969 meaning they had the exact proportions to work with to end up with a perfect re-issue.
A choice of straps
The A384 is available on a black alligator leather/rubber hybrid strap or a metal bracelet. Unfortunately the metal bracelet wasn’t available for viewing, however, images online show it to be exactly like the one seen in original adverts for the Zenith when it was first released.
Zenith also thought they would treat us to another look of the trio of El Primero’s in golds released at Baselworld this year. We have already chatted about the releases and how much we enjoyed them here and I’m pleased to report my opinion on them hasn’t changed at all. Naturally, the 50 limited editions sold out almost instantly.
The A384 Revival will retail at $7,600 or around £6,000. Many will be pleased to hear the watch isn’t limited either which sends a positive message to watch consumers that we can expect more of the same in the future.