Zenith Elite 2020

After most of a year focusing almost exclusively on the ultra-modern Defy and their phenomenal El Primero movement, Zenith are finally taking a step back to take a look at their most classical model, the Elite – and by take a look at, we mean a total overhaul.

Don’t get us wrong, the Elite 2020 collection isn’t revolutionary in any particular way; but it’s an attempt to bring Zenith’s dressier collection in line with the other serious eveningwear pieces out there.

The starting point is an elegant case in steel or rose gold. It’s the archetypal dress watch shape, with thin, elegant lugs and a polished finish. There are some brushed accents to add a touch of luxurious contrast but otherwise it’s simplicity itself. The biggest change however is the dial.

Zenith Elite ClassicZenith Elite Classic

Every one of the dials has a stunning radial sunray pattern. It’s not as subtle as the usual guilloche; in fact it’s pretty graphical and intensely modern. In fact, it’s just what the Elite collection needed. They elevate the collection from something Zenith didn’t know what to do with into one of the most handsome new dress watches around.

There’s a grand total of eight new pieces in the revamped Elite. The first is the Classic, a restrained pair in either steel or rose gold, paired with a blue or white dial respectively. The only complication is a miniscule date at 6 o’clock, which is all it needs. They’re equipped with the Elite 670 automatic movement and it’s 48-hour power reserve.

Zenith Elite 2020

The second pairing is the Elite Moonphase, once again in either steel or rose gold. The gold is once again paired with white, but in this instance the steel is matched with a stunning slate dial. Rather than the central seconds of the Classic, the Moonphase version has a small seconds at 9 o’clock, with no date and the titular moonphase at 6, all powered by the Elite 692 automatic movement.

Zenith Elite Moonphase Zenith Elite Moonphase

Available in either 36mm or 40.5mm sizes, all of the new Elites are handsome pieces of watch, just what Zenith needed to counterbalance their chunky pilots or the Defy. They’re not cheap, but at first glance they certainly seem worth it.

Price & Specs:

Model Name: Zenith Elite Classic
Reference: 22.3200.670/01.C831 (36mm rose gold case with a silver dial); 16.3200.670/02.C832 (36mm steel case with a grey dial); 03.3100.670/02.C922 (40.5mm steel case with a blue dial); 18.3100.670/01.C920 (40.5mm rose gold case with a silver dial)
Case/Dial: 36mm or 40.5mm, stainless steel or rose gold
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Elite 670, automatic winding
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4Hz)
Power Reserve: 48h
Functions: Hours, minutes
Strap:
Alligator leather
Price: £12,200 (36mm rose gold case with a silver dial); £6,500 (36mm steel case with a grey dial); £4,900 (40.5mm steel case with a blue dial); £10,600 (40.5mm rose gold case with a silver dial)

Model Name: Zenith Elite Moonphase
Reference: 16.3200.692/03.C833 (36mm steel case with a grey dial); 22.3200.692/01.C832 (36mm rose gold/diamond case with a silver dial); 03.3100.692/03.C923 (40.5mm steel case with a grey dial); 18.3100.692/01.C922 (40.5mm rose gold case with a silver dial)
Case/Dial: 36mm or 40.5mm, stainless steel or rose gold
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Elite 692, automatic winding
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4Hz)
Power Reserve: 48h
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, moon phase
Strap: Alligator leather
Price: £13,100 (36mm rose gold/diamond case with a silver dial); £7,300 (36mm steel case with a grey dial); £5,700 (40.5mm steel case with a grey dial); (40.5mm steel case with a blue dial); £11,400 (40.5mm rose gold case with a silver dial)

More details at Zenith’s website.