Earlier this week, we managed to escape from the archipelago of all watchmaking novelties dangers, also known as Tag Heuer, after capturing the charming Autavia and its as mystical as technological new Isograph heart.
But on the way back to our ship left vacant off the lagoon of this legendary horological mermaids’s island, we were suddenly stunned when we discovered with an absolute terror that these mythological creatures had invaded the deck of our trusty three-masted vessel.
It was then that appeared at the Zenith in the heavens an indescribable aerodyne controlled by a mysterious Pilot who brilliantly overcame the Defying challenge to land his frail aircraft branded El Primero just a few meters away from our unbelieving face.
So were we delivered from the adversity we were plunged in by this generous and courageous aviator of a quite familiar profile.
And this year again, it is he who comes to help us reach some of these beautiful stars in the micromechanical novelties sky.
You guessed it, our worthy knight of the horological skies is none other than Zenith, whose faithful battle steed El Primero blows this year its 50 candles in the most beautiful way, with a tribute based cake covered with a topping made of innovation.
ZENITH EL PRIMERO 50TH ANNIVERSARY – EL PRIMERO A386 REVIVAL
The mythical and legendary automatic chronograph El Primero saw the first light of the watchmaking dawn 50 years ago, in 1969, after 7 years of gestation in the minds of Zénith’s masterminds.
What better tribute then but to give this young middle-aged caliber, fit as a fiddle, the face he had when he was a juvenile baby movement ?
It is thus in the most beautiful way that Zenith has paid a faithful and dignified tribute to his El Primero, by simply digitizing each component of the original chronograph in order to restore all its characteristics.
On this very special occasion, Zenith has ideally chosen to reissue the most iconic but also one of the rarest references containing the El Primero: the A386 Mark I.
Produced between 1969 and 1971 at around 2500 copies, this model has quickly become iconic with its trio of counters in light gray, dark gray, gray / blue, and its eclectic date between four and five hours.
So will be the 50 birthday copies of this 2019 A386 simply renamed Revival, embodying all the substance of yesterday while containing a contemporary essence with a transparent background through which one can admire the latest El Primero 400 movement.
ZENITH DEFY INVENTOR
A year and a half ago, Jean-Claude Biver and his technical teams were proud to present the avant-garde of watchmaking with the Defy Lab, the first Frankenstein-ish watch which saw three centuries of superfluous organs ripped off to make room for only a single one made of silicon.
The King balance wheel-spiral-anchor is dead, hail to the one and only monocrystalline silicon King !
Dubbed “Zenith Oscillator”, this new state-of-the-art organ, completely insensitive to temperature differences, gravity, and magnetic fields, beats at a frenetic yet constant frequency of 18Hz, thus allowing the Zénith Defy Inventor to keep the same precision for almost 95% of its 50+ hours power reserve.
The Zenith Defy Inventor finally inherits the Aeronith bezel from its big sister Defy Lab, which is a material made of an open port aluminum composite foam, but trades the rest of its case for a 44mm set of brushed titanium.
ZENITH PILOT TYPE 20 CHRONOGRAPH ADVENTURE
In the Pilot family, I ask for the Type 20 Chronograph Adventure and its bronze case with camouflage strap !
What else to say about this fantastic automatic chronograph and its El Primero 4069 with column wheel and Arabic numerals entirely made of SuperLuminova, except the fact that if my heart has been conquered long ago, you can bet that yours is already in its sights !
ZENITH PILOT TYPE 20 EXTRA SPECIAL
And if for any inexplicable reason the Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Adventure wouldn’t be enough to satisfy the insatiable watchmaking thirst of your wrist, it’s a safe to also bet that its sisters, the Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special and the Zenith Pilot Type 20 Silver with its 925 silver case, brushed silver riveted dial, and limited to 250 units, both equipped with the self-winding Elite 679 movement will find the arguments to sneak discreetly and wrap around it.
ZENITH PILOT TYPE 20 SILVER
By linking the past feats of arms of the A386 Revival to the stripes earned in the technological era with the Defy Inventor, Zénith gave us this year at Baselworld a real horological recital as much as a fabulous lesson of humanity, as for making us remember that to know where we go, we must already know where we come from.
Zenith is clearly not even close to stop putting horological stars on our wrists !