Zenith has just dropped a delightful blue version of its open-dial Chronomaster Open, set to be a boutique edition, available only from physical and online boutiques. We covered the updated Chronomaster Open release earlier this year. The idea was simple: take a Chronomaster and showcase the latest El Primero movement. The first batch of open models had silver and black dials, as well as a gold cased version. I’m not sure a blue dial is exciting as far as boutique editions go, but that’s what Zenith decided to do, and I won’t argue that it’s not a good color.
As with other Chronomaster Open models, the main attraction with the Chronomaster Open Boutique Edition is the dial. Here, Zenith used a deep sunburst blue for the main dial and organized tri-color subdials, with a radial gray 60-minute counter at 6, a radial silver 60-second counter at 3, and a running seconds counter at 9. Hesalite glass. As for the chronograph, the 1/10th of a second central chronograph hand is sure to provide the most excitement as it flies around the dial. The most obvious temptation, however, is the beveled aperture at 9 to 11 with a Hesalite subdial and displaying a silicon escape wheel and balance wheel. Of note, the dial leaves out El Primero’s signature date window, a perfect choice for the business created by the open dial. The case remains the same: 39.5mm diameter, 45mm lug-to-lug, 100m water resistance, with a mix of polishing and brushing. It is attached to a bracelet fitted with a folding clasp with matching finish and microadjustments; At this point, I’d like to see Zenith add a quick-adjust armrest like many other brands do, but I suppose it’s not time for a boutique edition of an existing model.
The Chronomaster Open would be nothing without its movement, the in-house El Primero Caliber 3604. The successor to the original El Primero movement, the 3604 is a revised version of the 3600 that debuted in the smash-hit Chronomaster Sport. 3604 has numbered and open base plate and bridges to facilitate open dial. With the typical 5hz frequency of the movement family, it has a power reserve of 60 hours and a decoration suitable for a modern in-house movement. Of particular note are the silicon escape wheel and pallet lever, which are antimagnetic and lubrication-free operation to increase longevity and durability. El Primero is an iconic movement family, so any manipulations should be undertaken with caution; Here Zenith has only made the necessary changes to sell the open dial concept, so purists should still be satisfied.
Again, no one will deny that this is a good looking watch and I’m sure it will sell well. Blue, after all, is still a popular color for watches (though recently almost eclipsed by green). At the very least, this new offering adds a bit of color to the previously available grayscale options. The Zenith Chronomaster Open Boutique Edition has been priced $10,000 USD and available only in, but not limited to, physical and online boutiques. For more information, please visit Brand’s website.