Zenith celebrates the rebirth of a legend: The watch manufacturer is bringing back one of the earliest and most emblematic El Primero-equipped chronographs from the earliest days of the revolutionary calibre in the form of a Chronomaster Revival model. So Zenith looks back to the year 1969, a year which brought not only significant changes to the watchmaking world but to the manufacture histelf with the official launch of the El Primero calibre. The debut of the world’s first automatic high-frequency chronograph was celebrated with three distinct steel models. Among them was the A385, a tonneau-shaped steel watch with with an eye-catching gradient dial, which was the first „smoked“ dial ever to be made. And now, after more than 50 years. the A385 is making a brilliant comeback.
The Chronomaster A385 Revival is far more than just a vintage-inspired creation. This watch is an actual reproduction of the original model from the late 1960s. Zenith brought it by „reverse engineering“. Using the original blueprints and production plans, each part of the tonneau-shaped stainless steel case, including the pump-style pushers, is faithful to the original model. The only differences are the domed sapphire crystal instead of an acrylic glass and the display back. The 1969 model came with a solid steel case back which did not allow a view of the spectacular movement behind it. Luckily, these days are over and the new watch now offers an unobstructed view of its El Primero 400 chronograph movement.
The case measures only 37 mm in diameter and is water-resistant to 5 atm.
What made the A385 truly stand was its smoked brown gradient dial with a vignette effect that blackens towards the edges and provides a striking sense of visual depth, as if the dial was domed. For the Chronomaster Revival, Zenith sought to recreate the same warm tones and gradient effect, almost indistinguishable from the original with its red chronograph central second hand and silvery-white chronograph counters. Hours and minutes are displayed centrally, and at 9 o’clock you’ll find the small seconds. The central seconds of the chronograph are complemented by a 10-minute conter at 3 o’clock and a 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock.
Between the indexes at 4 and 5 o’clock Zenith has placed the date window.
The aforementioned El Primero 400 chronograph movement is a powerful automatic movement. It operates at a frequency of 5 Hz and provides a power reserve of more than 50 hours.
Keeping with the retro theme, the Chronomaster A385 Revival is available in two options: the first is the steel ladder bracelet, a modern remake of the Gay Frères bracelets. The second is a light brown calfskin strap.