The Speak your mind The style has long been associated with the classic El Primero chronograph, the watch’s fast-beating heart, its 5Hz escapement, fully exposed through a hole in the dial. The watch is so emblematic of the 2000s editions of the collection that it somehow lost its appeal… until earlier this year, Zenith brought back the concept with a very modern take. Now, the Zenith Chronomaster Open is presented with a new dial color, which complements the brand’s boutique editions.
While the El Primero Open concept dates back to the 2000s, it has recently been revived with the new Chronomaster Open. This new range of watches, which we discovered here in March as part of the Watches & Wonders novelties, use the much-acclaimed Chronomaster Sport specifications, albeit in a streamlined case, but with a more complex dial architecture. In fact, the Zenith Chronomaster Open is a Chronomaster Sport without the ceramic bezel and with a hole in its dial. And for this reason, it has much more appeal than previous editions…
The Chronomaster Open Boutique Edition, like the standard models in this collection, is presented in a classic 39.5mm stainless steel case, identical in shape and finish to the Chronomaster Sport, yet slightly reduced in diameter (minus 1.5mm), largely due to the absence of an external ceramic bezel. Even the crown and pushers are the same, and the overall shape is just a classic, modern watch with a vintage appeal. It is also a dual resistance watch with 100m water-resistance and sapphire crystals on both sides of the watch. It is a rather compact watch on the wrist with a lug-to-lug measurement of 45 mm.
New to this Zenith Chronomaster Open Boutique Edition is the dial, which features the same dark blue color as the Chronomaster Original Boutique Edition. With sunray-brushed, applied faceted markers and hands, it features the classic gray and silver snailed sub-counters, a hallmark of El Prairie watches. Being an open zenith, there is a hole in the dial, which now takes up some space between 9 and 12 o’clock, as it reveals the mechanism behind the balance wheel, escapement and small seconds, which is transparent. Polymer plate.
Under the hood is the in-house El Primero caliber 3604, once again essentially the same movement as the Chronomaster Sport, only modified to have exposed parts. And there’s nothing wrong with that, on the contrary, this move is a strong update on an icon engine. Using the traditional 5Hz frequency of this collection, it adds a long power reserve of 60 hours and a silicone escape wheel and anchor for antimagnetic, lubrication-free properties. The decoration has also been greatly modernized and the display now features a 1/10th of a second central chronograph hand that rotates around the dial in 10 seconds. The rest of the display consists of a small seconds counter at 9 o’clock, a 60-minute counter at 6 o’clock and a 60-second totalizer at 3 o’clock.
The Zenith Chronomaster Open Boutique Edition and its unique blue dial come with a brushed and polished steel bracelet. Presented alongside silver and black editions, it is not limited in production, only available through the brand’s official boutiques and online on the brand’s e-commerce website. It is now available and priced EUR 9,700 (Classic editions are priced the same). For more details, please visit www.zenith-watches.com.