Monochrome Watches
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The Dazzling Gem-Set Zenith Chronomaster Sport

Dazzling above and below deck, Zenith welcomes the first gem-set Chronomaster Sport with a golden meteorite dial.

| By Rebecca Doulton | 3 min read |

Any serious watch buff is familiar with the story of Zenith’s El Primero high-frequency automatic chronograph calibre of 1969. Fast-forward to the 21st century, and Zenith’s iconic movement ticks on thanks to upgrades and ever-higher frequencies to track elapsed times. A variant of the brand’s famous Zenith Chronomaster – itself a descendant of the iconic El Primero chronograph movement – the Zenith Chronomaster Sport of 2021 brought a sharper, more modernised spirit to the family boasting a significant upgrade below deck thanks to the El Primero calibre 3600. Technically a robust sports watch with 100m water-resistance and a souped-up 5Hz calibre displaying 1/10th of a second reading, the Zenith Chronomaster Sport dips into luxury waters with a boutique-exclusive model flaunting an opulent rose gold case, a meteorite dial and a generous splash of gemstones.

Sticking to stainless steel, a sporty, practical metal that resounds well with sporty chronographs, the first Zenith Chronomaster Sport came in a 41mm steel case with a sleek black ceramic bezel with a 1/10th of a second graduation. Well-executed and equally well-received, the handsome Chronomaster Sport took a Midas bath just four months after its launch and reappeared in a stunning rose gold case. Ascending the ladder to position itself as a bona fide luxury sports watch, on a par, say, with the Daytona, it was nicknamed the Daytona-killer. Don’t miss Brice’s in-depth article explaining the synergy between the brands and how Rolex chose the El Primero movement to power its first automatic Daytonas from 1988 to 2000.

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Although there was another gold model in 2022, presented alongside steel models with fun tri-coloured and two-tone ceramic bezels, nobody could have anticipated the latest Chronomaster Sport.

Marking Zenith’s first gem-set Chronomaster Sport reference, the new model comes in a 41mm rose gold case and bracelet, brushed and polished, with a sporty 100m water-resistance and the classic features associated with its ancestor – pump-style pushers, tri-compax, tricolour registers, etc. Where things depart from the norm, however, can be appreciated on the dial and bezel.

Gem-set models for men are tricky; there is always the risk of excess bling. Zenith’s designers have wisely gone with a more masculine cut of stone by using baguette-cut gemstones to adorn the bezel and dial. Designed to evoke the El Primero’s signature tricolour scheme, the bezel is set with a medley of white diamonds, black spinels and grey and blue sapphires. Punctuated with ten white diamonds, the bezel plays with a gradient effect; the right side of the dial is set with blue sapphires, gradually darkening to black spinels and lightening again at around 8 o’clock with grey sapphires. While the gemstones add an enviable cachet to the watch, the downside of having a gem-set bezel is that the 1/10th of a second readings corresponding to the chronograph seconds hand are lost, effectively hiding the star attraction of this model.

No less spectacular, the dial is made from a slab of meteorite treated with a golden colour that reveals the Windmanstätten patterns of the space rock. Twelve baguette-cut diamonds are used as indices, and the three snailed, slightly recessed and overlapping registers reveal the traditional shades of grey and blue. The hands are gold plated and treated with Super-LumiNova material and the date window blends in well with its golden background.

No surprises regarding the high-frequency El Primero calibre 3600 below deck. Beating at 36,000vph, it delivers 1/10th of a second chronograph readings, forcing the central seconds hand to rotate once around the dial every 10 seconds. A sapphire case back reveals the contemporary column-wheel architecture and the openworked rotor with the Zenith star transmitting energy to the barrel to offer 60 hours of autonomy. 

Availability & Price

The gem-set (total 5 carats) Chronomaster Sport is available exclusively at Zenith’s online and physical boutiques. It retails for CHF 98,000. For more information, please consult

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