Last year Zenith celebrated 50 years of the world’s first automatic chronograph movement, the El Primero, with the launch of the suitably retro A384 revival. The revival wasn’t simply a re-issue with an updated movement but an identical recreation which utilised digital schematics to replicated the components from the original movement exactly.
While delving through the archives to create the watch the Zenith team discovered a walled-off attic where chronograph specialist, Charles Vermont, stored plans and parts when he was told to no longer focus on mechanical research and development in favour of quartz-based movements.
Tucked away amongst the files and parts was a long since forgotten prototype, remarkably similar to the A384, but shrouded in a dark PVD coating. Given the anniversary this was too fortuitous an opportunity to pass up and so, in 2020, this watch is reborn as the Zenith Chronomaster Revival ‘Shadow’.
The case is the same 37mm cornered tonneau shape as last years A384 but replaces steel with titanium, which is sandblasted to bring out a darker tone in the metal. Colour-wise it isn’t too dissimilar to the Bamford Watch Design and Mr Porter ‘Edge of Space’ limited edition though we’re told it is slightly darker in hue.
Replacing the white on the dial is a deep matte black which is contrasted by a lighter grey for the chronograph subdials and tachymeter scale. The minute and hour hands are also rendered in black, but to assure legibility white strips of lume are added to these and the applied indexes.
The watch features the shame domed sapphire to complete the retro vibe while the Calibre 4061 is on show through the exhibition caseback. The movement is based on the tried and tested El Primero, a self-winding, column wheel chronograph which beats at the high frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour.
The Shadow will be available on a matching black rubber strap and will be priced at £6,900. Not a lot for a watch with a great piece of watchmaking trivia attached to it.
Price & Specs:
Model: Chronomaster Revival El Primero A384 Shadow
Case/Dial: 37mm diameter x 12.6mm height, micro-blasted titanium
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Calibre El Primero 4061 Automatic, automatic, in-house
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, 12-hour chronograph with 30-minute counter
Frequency: 36,000 vph (5 Hz)
Power reserve: 50h
Strap: Black rubber strap with white stitching, micro-blasted titanium pin buckle
More details at Zenith’s website.