Zenith extends their chronograph mastery with two new collection extensions this year. The first is a new Chronomaster Open and the second is the introduction of solid gold and two tone steel and gold version to the Chronomaster Sport line.
Press Release information with commentary in italics.
Zenith novelties from Watches & Wonders 2022
Prices are as follows:
- Zenith Chronomaster Open SS with SS bracelet: CHF 9,900
- Zenith Chronomaster Open 18k rose gold, calfskin strap with triple folding buckle in 18kg: CHF 19,900
- Zenith Chronomaster Sport in 18k rose gold with 18k rose gold bracelet: CHF 37,900
- Zenith Chronomaster Sport in two tone 18k rose gold and stainless steel: CHF 16,900
Prices are inclusive of Swiss VAT.
The Chronomaster Open is one of the watches from Zenith’s history under the leadership of the flamboyant Thierry Nataf, where the brand explored the outrageous and the incredible. The lofty ambitions, or rather the method in which these ambitions are achieved were reigned in by the legendary Jean-Claude Biver when he took charge of the company, and eventually put Julien Tornare as CEO. Julien has been a steady hand for Zenith, moving in steady but strong steps, with clear goals and identity. Zenith began to mean something again to collectors, especially the traditional collectors who have been fascinated by the mechanics of watches. So in 2022, we come full circle, with Zenith now laying claim to the title “Master of Chronographs”, a well deserved title in our opinion. For the El Primero has been in the forefront of the automatic winding wrist chronograph from the very beginning, and have been carrying the flag since. And not without innovation. Zenith has perhaps pushed the envelope of the state of the art of chronograph more than any other brand.
It is thus with interest that Zenith releases a new version of this flamboyant Chronomaster Open – with apertures on the dial to give one a peek into the movement, allowing a glimpse, teasing perhaps. Tantalizing. But they have done this new Chronomaster Open, not as a reissue, but as a relook at the concept, incorporating the principal element of allowing a glimpse of the movement through apertures on the dial side, but updated. The aperture is now not just an opening in the dial, which in the bad old says can be a framed rectangle opening or a framed shape of a heart, but is now a hesalite crystal element. This clear plastic cover gives a view into the silocon star-shaped escape wheel, but is printed so that it readable as a sub-dial. The case is a very wearable 39.5mm in diameter.
The movement is the now iconic El Primero 3604, which is a version of the 3600 first seen in the Chronomaster Sport in 2021.The 3604 features an open worked base plate and bridges to allow more of the movement to be visible. Three versions are released. Two in stainless steel cases, with the option of a white or black base dial with tricolour sub-dials, and a version in 18k rose gold.
Other than the case metal changes, the Chronomaster Sport remains the same as the launch models. Also released in this occasion is a new boutique edition in stainless steel case and bracelet with a special tri-colour ceramic bezel.
Chronomaster Sport in gold and two tone steel and gold
The Chronomaster Sport was release to a very good reception in 2021. We even did a comparative article with the legendary Rolex Cosmograph Daytona.
This new release are model extensions in additional case materials. In this release, the Chronomaster Sport is now available in solid 18k rose gold in two variants – one with a white dial background and the other with a black dial background, as well as a two tone version in steel and gold, with 18k rose gold bezel and bracelet middle links.
Press Release information
Zenith Chronomaster Open
In 2003, Zenith introduced the Chronomaster Open with the aim of making the high frequency beating heart of its El Primero calibre as prominently visible as possible. It marked the first time in the history of watchmaking that a chronograph featured a partially open dial solely to reveal the regulating organ and escapement. The Chronomaster Open was an instant hit, lauded for its daring design that is often imitated but never matched. For Zenith, the partially open dial has remained a prominent and coveted feature in many of its Chronomaster references for nearly 20 years.
With 2021’s introduction of the new and improved El Primero 3600 that boasts a 1/10th of a second chronograph function and improved efficiency, the time had come to adapt and incorporate the latest developments into the imbued with the lines and attributes of the latest generation of the Chronomaster collection. Somewhere between the sleek sportiness of the Chronomaster Sport and the historically inspired Chronomaster Original for a modern distillation of the essential Zenith El Primero chronograph.
Revisiting the iconic tri-colour dial configuration that debuted with the iconic A386 in 1969 and which remains a distinctive and instantly recognizable El Primero design element, the latest iteration of the Chronomaster Open retains it entirely with a transparent twist. Instead of cutting out the small seconds counter at 9 o’clock entirely as was the case with the previous versions of the Chronomaster Open, the three counter colours are retained thanks to a hesalite crystal element that serves as a readable sub-dial while allowing a view of the silicon star-shaped escape wheel. The opening itself has also been reinterpreted, foregoing the former version’s applied “frame” and instead opting for circular openings with chamfered edges, revealing the movement with more straight bridges and a more contemporary grey tone.
Catering to the prevalent demand for watches with more modest proportions, the round case now measures 39.5mm wide compared to the previous 42mm model, with slimmer lugs and more pronounced polished bevels on the edges. The pump-style pushers now feature rounded tips for a more ergonomic touch. The steel bracelet option follows the contours and mixed polished and satin-brushed finishes of the case.
Visible through the sapphire display back, the El Primero 3604 1/10th of a second automatic chronograph movement is a modified version of the 3600 that debuted in the Chronomaster Sport, featuring an open base plate and bridges that allow for a clearer view of the high-frequency 5Hz escapement with lubricant-free silicon escape wheel and pallet lever. The automatic winding mechanism with an open star-shaped oscillating mass efficiently delivers a power reserve of 60 hours.
Available at all Zenith boutiques and authorized retailers around the world, the Chronomaster Open is available in steel with a white or black dial, delivered with either a steel bracelet or cordura-effect rubber strap. A rose gold version featuring a white dial with a blue cordura-effect rubber strap is also introduced in the new line, along with a boutique-exclusive edition in steel with a blue dial and steel bracelet.
The reintroduction of the Chronomaster Open marks the completion of Zenith’s seminal chronograph collection; respectful of the past but assertively modern in its form and function.
Chronomaster Sport in gold and two tone steel and gold
With the unveiling of the Chronomaster Sport in 2021, Zenith once again set a new gold standard for automatic sporty chronographs. Crowned with the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2021 “Chronograph” prize, the Chronomaster Sport is already a modern chronograph icon in the making. Now, Zenith is expanding the collection with new versions incorporating precious metals while retaining the performance-centric allure of the model.
“In just one year, the Chronomaster Sport has catapulted into becoming one of the most sought-after modern chronograph watches, as well as a significant pillar for Zenith that brings together our unique know-how in high-frequency chronographs with a distinctive aesthetic direction. Today, we’re pleased to expand the collection with new versions and materials that bring another dimension to the Chronomaster Sport.”
Zenith CEO Julien Tornare
During Watches & Wonders, Zenith has publicly unveiled the first boutique edition of the steel Chronomaster Sport, exclusively available at Zenith physical and online boutiques around the world. This version stands out with its engraved ceramic bezel, which consists of three separate coloured ceramic elements in the traditional El Primero tricolour palette of grey, anthracite and blue that have been seamlessly forged together within the base of the bezel – also in ceramic. The colours of the bezel are extended from those of the dial’s registers, allowing for easier reading of the 1/10th of a second chronograph in clearly segmented parts. Making this special edition even more outstanding is its silver sunray-patterned dial with tricolour counters.
Full gold chronographs have a special place in Zenith history that even predate the El Primero. Because performance and preciousness don’t have to be mutually exclusive, Zenith has crafted the Chronomaster Sport entirely in rose gold – including the bracelet and engraved bezel with 1/10th of a second scale. Available with either a black or white dial with the signature El Primero tricolour counters with golden hands and applied markers, the Chronomaster Sport in rose gold is meticulously finished with satin-brushed and polished surfaces to bring out the warm radiance of the precious metal.
The Chronomaster Sport is now also available in a “two-tone” aesthetic, combining the durability of stainless steel and the splendour of rose gold. The case as well as the side links of the bracelet are crafted in stainless steel, while the bezel, crown, pushers and the bracelet’s centre links are in rose gold. The silver sunray-patterned tricolour dial adds a shimmery effect that emphasizes the mix of tones and textures.
The result of over 50 years of perfecting the El Primero, the world’s first automatic high-frequency chronograph calibre, the Chronomaster Sport line is equipped with the newest version of the venerable movement, the El Primero 3600. With its high frequency of 5 Hz (36’000 VpH), the movement is able to precisely offer a 1/10th of second function that’s easily readable, displayed directly on the bezel as well as the dial. Its autonomy has also been rendered more efficient, with an extended power reserve of 60 hours. Visible through the sapphire display back, the new architecture is strikingly evident, revealing a blue column wheel and open rotor marked with the five-pointed star Zenith.
With these new references, the Chronomaster Sport line is expanded to deliver the same groundbreaking performance in new materials and executions that are bound to please an ever-growing audience seeking the perfect modern sporty chronograph.