Part of the first automatic chronograph calibres to hit the market back in 1969, the Zenith El Primero is still regarded as one of the best and most accurate chronograph movements ever created. Back then, a trilogy of El Primero-powered watches was launched: the A384, A385 and A386. In the frame of the celebration of the El Primero’s 50th anniversary, Zenith presented faithful re-editions of the A386 and A384. The well-executed A384 remake now comes in a modern monochromatic grey version. Meet the Zenith Chronomaster Revival El Primero A384 Shadow.
Produced from 1969 to 1972, the A384 was part of the inaugural trilogy of watches to be fitted with the El Primero movement. Last year, Zenith presented a faithful remake of this quirky panda dial chronograph standing out with its 1970s vibes. The A384 is now released in a matte grey titanium edition, the Shadow.
As a source of inspiration for this new take on the A384, Zenith mentioned a 1970 blackened steel prototype fitted with a hand-wound chronograph that was never commercialized and that was discovered recently in its archives. We’ll try to get pictures of this watch as soon as the situation permits.
The case of the El Primero A384 Shadow retains the 37mm diameter of the original model and of the recent re-edition. Instead of steel, it is now presented in highly durable, lightweight titanium – just like this exclusive MR PORTER edition. The matte, micro-blasted finish brings out dark stealth grey nuances on the sharp, angular tonneau case. Among the other concessions to modernity, the watch is fitted with an exhibition caseback and the domed crystal is made of sapphire. Water-resistance is rated 50m.
On the wrist, the watch looks stunning. The quirky angled tonneau case wears slightly bigger than its 37mm suggest. The use of lightweight titanium makes it very comfortable.
Despite its dark character, the A384 Shadow remains perfectly legible with grey counters textured with a concentric pattern and tachymeter scale subtly contrasting against the matte black dial. The hands and stick hour markers feature luminescent material for low light visibility.
Turning the watch over, the exhibition caseback reveals the iconic El Primero Chronograph, more precisely the Calibre 4061 – which means an automatic, high-frequency, integrated column-wheel chronograph with horizontal clutch and 50 hours of power reserve – for more information, read our El Primero in-depth review here. This version displays the hours, minutes and a small seconds, as well as the chronograph with central seconds and 30-minute and 12-hour counters. There is no date on this shadow edition. The decoration is classic – well executed and clean – and the openworked rotor incorporates a black Zenith star logo.
The Zenith Chronomaster Revival El Primero A384 Shadow is worn on a black rubber strap embossed with a Cordura effect and white stitching. It is fitted with a micro-blasted titanium pin buckle. It will be priced at CHF 8,400.
For more information, visit www.zenith-watches.com.