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Zenith El Primero Heritage 146 With Blue Dial 03.2150.4069

With a case designed in the exact same shape that was used by the original Zenith El Primero Reference A386, a dial inspired from one of our favorite early Zenith models in the reference A271, and a movement and design concept influenced by Zenith's iconic 146 caliber mechanism, the Zenith El Primero Heritage 146 is a vintage enthusiast's dream.

On the wrist, the timepiece uses the same 38mm case that was used by the original El Primero Reference A386 in 1969, and like that watch features excellent sizing that feels equally effortless as it is sturdy, the overall sense being that it’s a sport watch ready for anything. This sense of versatility and melding of sportier elements with dressier design features is found throughout the watch: from the aforementioned case and its silhouette, to the crisp brushed and polished finishing adorning it, to the two-register chronograph atop a beautiful sunray dial.

The dial, in homage to even earlier Zenith chronographs, allows for running seconds to be displayed above a cross-hair register, and chronograph minutes are shown at three o'clock. The overall configuration is executed extremely cleanly, with plenty of charm in its strategic lack of applied markers at the three and nine o'clock positions, in addition to a lack of lume which indicates the watch's intended purpose as more formal, albeit one that's highly functional.

Inside the vintage-inspired case, and powering a set of faceted rhodium hands, is Zenith's El Primero caliber 4069. The mechanism is a two-register variation of the standard El Primero caliber, but more than that is a full manufacture, integrated, column-wheel, high-beat chronograph, capable of a 50-hour power reserve, and visible with all its intrigue via a sapphire crystal exhibition case back.
Way back in 2016, we released our second collaborative model ever in the Zenith El Primero Original Limited Edition For fashiontourbillon.com, a special sunray grey dial timepiece that recalled both the classic El Primero Reference A386 of 1969 and importantly even early vintage Zenith’s like the reference A271 and those containing the brand’s historic chronograph caliber 146. The watch at the time was a big deal, serving as a true collaborative effort between fashiontourbillon.com and Zenith, and ultimately producing one of, in our humble opinion, the more interesting vintage-inspired timepieces of the year.

This watch is the closest thing that Zenith has made since to our shared winning design, with the fashiontourbillon.com edition serving essentially as a template for this 2017-launched model's cool blue looks. Inside is the Zenith El Primero chronograph movement, a truly legendary caliber that every watch collector should have the chance to experience. In addition to being the first automatic chronograph, the El Primero was also the first chrono to be fully integrated.

This particular Zenith El Primero is in overall excellent pre-owned condition, which indicates that there are signs of very light wear, possibly some small scratches on the case. The case has been professionally refinished. The caseback displays information about the model as well as the watch's serial and reference numbers. During our quality control check, any necessary adjustments are made to ensure the watch is functioning as intended. A correct deep blue Zenith leather strap with racing holes is fitted and matches the watch perfectly. The look is finished with a Zenith star signed tang buckle.

The dial, crown, case, movement, strap, and buckle are all signed by Zenith. This watch is delivered with its original box, papers dated 3/8/2019, and manuals.
Founded in 1865 by a then 24-year-old Georges-Favre Jacot, Zenith has enjoyed a reputation as one of the few real movement manufacturers in Switzerland since long before the current industry trend of vertical integration. Among Zenith’s stable of in-house movements, the most famous by far is the El Primero, which ushered in the era of automatic chronographs that took the industry by storm in the late 1960s and early 1970s. With its high-beat of 36,000 VpH and straightforward column-wheel construction, it remains at the core of many new Zenith watches.

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