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Zenith El Primero

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Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Full Open Skeleton/Steel 38mm -...
TOP
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Full Open Skeleton/Steel 38mm -...
C$ 9,682
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
433
US
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Full Open Grey Steel/Leather...
TOP
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Full Open Grey Steel/Leather...
C$ 9,112
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
433
US
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Open Blue Steel/Leather 42mm -...
TOP
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Open Blue Steel/Leather 42mm -...
C$ 7,851
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
433
US
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Full Open Grey Steel/Leather...
TOP
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Full Open Grey Steel/Leather...
C$ 9,112
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
433
US
Zenith El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar
Zenith El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar
C$ 5,357
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
34
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Bullitt
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Bullitt
C$ 8,815
Seller
Chad Warrick
16
US
Zenith A386 A386 Tri Color El Primero RARE SS (29193)
Zenith A386 A386 Tri Color El Primero RARE SS (29193)
C$ 24,275
Seller
European Watch Company
190
US
Zenith : El Primero Stratos Flyback :  03.2067.405/51.M2060 : ...
Zenith : El Primero Stratos Flyback : 03.2067.405/51.M2060 : ...
C$ 7,255
Seller
Bernard Watch Co.
287
US
Zenith El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar
Zenith El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar
C$ 7,750
Seller
Private Seller
CA
Zenith CHRONOMASTER XXT
Zenith CHRONOMASTER XXT
C$ 6,645
Seller
Royal Jewelers
11
US
Zenith Grande Class Rattrapante, Split Second ElPrimero, Ltd,...
TOP
Zenith Grande Class Rattrapante, Split Second ElPrimero, Ltd,...
C$ 21,177
Seller
Plus Ultra AG
5
CH
Zenith El Primero El Primero Caliber 400 Chronograph Steel...
Zenith El Primero El Primero Caliber 400 Chronograph Steel...
C$ 4,062
Seller
Element iN Time NYC
181
US
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero 38mm 03.2150.400/69.m2150
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero 38mm 03.2150.400/69.m2150
C$ 6,933
Free shipping
Seller
Prestige Time
227
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Open T 03.0240.4021 Black Dial...
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Open T 03.0240.4021 Black Dial...
C$ 5,425
Seller
Priceless Shine Inc
36
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster
TOP
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster
C$ 5,559
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
Zenith : El Primero Stratos Flyback :  03.2060.405/21.R515 : ...
Zenith : El Primero Stratos Flyback : 03.2060.405/21.R515 : ...
C$ 6,564
Seller
Bernard Watch Co.
287
US
Zenith 03.2050.4026/91.c719 El Primero Split Second Chronograp...
Zenith 03.2050.4026/91.c719 El Primero Split Second Chronograp...
C$ 9,086
Seller
European Watch Company
190
US
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Chronograph Steel 45mm Watch...
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Chronograph Steel 45mm Watch...
C$ 5,764
Seller
Jewels in Time
67
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Silver Mens Watch Ref: 03.2040....
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Silver Mens Watch Ref: 03.2040....
C$ 9,216
Seller
La Jolla Jewelry and Collateral Loan Company
33
US
Zenith El Primero Retrotimer 03.2030.4055
Zenith El Primero Retrotimer 03.2030.4055
C$ 5,187
Seller
DFW Watches
 
US
Zenith Grande Class El Primero Chronograph 18k White Gold 44mm...
Zenith Grande Class El Primero Chronograph 18k White Gold 44mm...
C$ 12,172
Seller
Element iN Time NYC
181
US
Zenith El Primero
TOP
Zenith El Primero
C$ 7,662
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
Zenith Pilot 03.2410.4010 Chronograph Steel Automatic Big Date...
Zenith Pilot 03.2410.4010 Chronograph Steel Automatic Big Date...
C$ 6,442
Seller
Priceless Shine Inc
36
US
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero 42mm 51.2080.400/69.c494
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero 42mm 51.2080.400/69.c494
C$ 7,228
Free shipping
Seller
Prestige Time
227
US
Zenith : El Primero Stratos Flyback :  24.2060.405/21.C714 : ...
Zenith : El Primero Stratos Flyback : 24.2060.405/21.C714 : ...
C$ 7,120
Seller
Bernard Watch Co.
287
US
Zenith El Primero Synopsis
Zenith El Primero Synopsis
C$ 6,510
Seller
Sea Wave Diamonds
187
US
Zenith El Primero 24.2060.405 Watch with Leather, Nylon...
TOP
Zenith El Primero 24.2060.405 Watch with Leather, Nylon...
C$ 6,412
Free shipping
Seller
Crown & Caliber
159
US
Zenith Grande Chronomaster Xxt Open 03.1260.4021 Mens Watch
Zenith Grande Chronomaster Xxt Open 03.1260.4021 Mens Watch
C$ 9,216
Seller
La Jolla Jewelry and Collateral Loan Company
33
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Moon Triple Calendar 02.0240.41...
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Moon Triple Calendar 02.0240.41...
C$ 6,713
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
359
US
Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Chronograph Steel 46mm Blue...
Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Chronograph Steel 46mm Blue...
C$ 8,103
Seller
Element iN Time NYC
181
US
Zenith El Primero Triple Date Moon Phase Chrono, All 18K Gold,...
Zenith El Primero Triple Date Moon Phase Chrono, All 18K Gold,...
C$ 18,918
Seller
G-Link
27
US
Zenith Grande Class Grande Date Chronograph Stainless Steel...
Zenith Grande Class Grande Date Chronograph Stainless Steel...
C$ 5,086
Seller
Priceless Shine Inc
36
US
Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback 03.2067.405/51.M2060
Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback 03.2067.405/51.M2060
C$ 7,486
Free shipping
Seller
Prestige Time
227
US
Zenith El Primero Flyback Chronometer
Zenith El Primero Flyback Chronometer
C$ 6,442
Seller
Tarrytown Jewelers
120
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 18.2080.4021/01.C494
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 18.2080.4021/01.C494
C$ 21,316
Free shipping
Seller
Watch My Diamonds
180
US
Zenith el primero chronomaster
Zenith el primero chronomaster
C$ 3,458
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster
C$ 8,500
Seller
IT'S ABOUT TIME & JEWELRY
12
CA
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero 36'000 03.2040.400/04.C496
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero 36'000 03.2040.400/04.C496
C$ 6,713
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
359
US
Zenith El Primero 36,000 VpH Chronograph Steel 42mm White Dial
Zenith El Primero 36,000 VpH Chronograph Steel 42mm White Dial
C$ 7,995
Seller
Element iN Time NYC
181
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Open 03.2080.4021/01.C494
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Open 03.2080.4021/01.C494
C$ 8,001
Seller
LuxWatch.Com
35
US
Zenith 03.0510.4021/02.C683 Open Class El Primero 40mm Steel...
Zenith 03.0510.4021/02.C683 Open Class El Primero 40mm Steel...
C$ 4,808
Seller
Swiss Time Buyers
19
US
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero 42mm 18.2041.400/76.c795 LEGEND...
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero 42mm 18.2041.400/76.c795 LEGEND...
C$ 14,565
Free shipping
Seller
Prestige Time
227
US
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Sport Land Rover Limited Edition
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Sport Land Rover Limited Edition
C$ 6,767
Free shipping
Seller
The Luxury Well
168
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 03.2530.4047/78.C813
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 03.2530.4047/78.C813
C$ 9,276
Free shipping
Seller
Watch My Diamonds
180
US
Zenith El PrimeroCHRONOMASTER EL PRIMERO OPEN
Zenith El PrimeroCHRONOMASTER EL PRIMERO OPEN
C$ 7,662
Free shipping
Seller
Prestige Watch
195
US
Zenith Chronomaster Open Moon
Zenith Chronomaster Open Moon
C$ 9,486
Free shipping
Seller
AJ Watches
184
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 03.2040.4061/69.C496
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 03.2040.4061/69.C496
C$ 8,069
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
359
US
Zenith Grande Class Grande Date Chronograph Stainless Steel
Zenith Grande Class Grande Date Chronograph Stainless Steel
C$ 7,525
Seller
Element iN Time NYC
181
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster
C$ 10,171
Seller
BlackTagWatches
107
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster moonphase
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster moonphase
C$ 5,357
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero 38mm 03.2150.400/26.c714
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero 38mm 03.2150.400/26.c714
C$ 6,451
Free shipping
Seller
Prestige Time
227
US
Zenith El Primero Legend of Cohiba Chronograph 18kt Gold Edition
Zenith El Primero Legend of Cohiba Chronograph 18kt Gold Edition
C$ 13,534
Free shipping
Seller
The Luxury Well
168
US
Zenith El Primero 36'000 VpH 03.2522.400/69.R576
Zenith El Primero 36'000 VpH 03.2522.400/69.R576
C$ 6,428
Free shipping
Seller
Watch My Diamonds
180
US
Zenith El Primero CHRONOMASTER EL PRIMERO OPEN
Zenith El Primero CHRONOMASTER EL PRIMERO OPEN
C$ 8,815
Free shipping
Seller
Prestige Watch
195
US
Zenith El Primero Stratos Spindrift Chronograph 75.2060.4061/2...
Zenith El Primero Stratos Spindrift Chronograph 75.2060.4061/2...
C$ 6,713
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
359
US
ZenithEl Primero Sport 45mm S/S Range Rover BAR Team LE -...
ZenithEl Primero Sport 45mm S/S Range Rover BAR Team LE -...
C$ 6,373
Seller
Timeless Luxury Watches
19
US
Zenith El Primero Automatic Tourbillon Chronograph
Zenith El Primero Automatic Tourbillon Chronograph
C$ 29,157
Seller
BlackTagWatches
107
US
Zenith El Primero Doublematic
Zenith El Primero Doublematic
C$ 12,747
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero 42mm 24.2041.400/21.r576
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero 42mm 24.2041.400/21.r576
C$ 8,377
Free shipping
Seller
Prestige Time
227
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Grande Date Full Open 45
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Grande Date Full Open 45
C$ 9,737
Free shipping
Seller
The Luxury Well
168
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 03.20410.4061/07.C772
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 03.20410.4061/07.C772
C$ 7,656
Free shipping
Seller
Watch My Diamonds
180
US
Zenith El Primero CHRONOMASTER EL PRIMERO GRANDE DATE FULL OPEN
Zenith El Primero CHRONOMASTER EL PRIMERO GRANDE DATE FULL OPEN
C$ 11,527
Free shipping
Seller
Prestige Watch
195
US
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Precision Since 1969

The Zenith El Primero was the first automatic chronograph caliber in the world. Oscillating at a high frequency, this movement can measure 1/10th of a second. Current top models are made of gold and have a tourbillon and skeletonized movement.

Highlights

  • Top Zenith El Primero models feature a tourbillon
  • High balance frequency enabling chronographs to measure 1/10th of a second
  • Defy El Primero 21 with two escapements, measures 1/100th of a second
  • 50-hour power reserve

Zenith El Primero: The First of Its Kind

The El Primero (Spanish for "the first") is inextricably tied to the Swiss watch manufacturer Zenith. The caliber rocketed the company to fame and earned them a place in the history books. The El Primero was introduced in 1969, making it the first automatic chronograph caliber worldwide. Thanks to its unusually high balance frequency of 36,000 A/h (5 Hz), it can measure 1/10th of a second – an ability that, to this day, remains a rarity in mechanical chronographs.

In spite of this high balance frequency, the movement runs for 50 hours once fully wound. In comparison, ETA's Valjoux 7750 only has a power reserve of around 44 hours. This movement is the most frequently used automatic chronograph caliber in the world. Today, Zenith is a master of timekeeping, offering ultra-precise watches such as flyback and double chronographs.

Current top models from Zenith using the El Primero caliber have skeletonized movements with a tourbillon and are made of ceramic or rose gold. If the skeletonized movement isn't a requirement for you, you can go for an El Primero Tourbillon instead. This model is available in stainless steel, titanium, or 18-karat rose gold. Tech lovers will be taken with the Defy El Primero 21 , which was introduced in 2017. The watch features two escapements: one for displaying time and the other for the chronograph function. The chronograph escapement vibrates at 50 Hz, ten times the speed of the standard El Primero. Its speed allows it to measure 1/100th of a second. This is an exceptional achievement in the world of mechanical watches.

How much does a Zenith El Primero cost?

Pre-owned Zenith chronographs with an El Primero caliber are available at comparably affordable prices. Models from the 1990s in good or very good condition start at around 1,500 euros. Gold watches from this time are only a bit more expensive, ranging between 1,700 and 2,000 euros. If you're looking for a wristwatch with an automatic in-house caliber and stopwatch function, then the Zenith El Primero could be the right fit for you. Models from the 90s are very affordable.

Prices for models from the 1980s start at around 2,300 euros, but can go up to and over 6,000 euros. The more expensive models have an 18-karat gold case and are powered by the caliber 3019PHF. The movement features a moon phase display as well as a complete calendar. A complete calendar displays the date, the day, and the month, but needs to be manually corrected during months with less than 31 days. The timepiece is also known as the El Primero 410. Without the calendar function, a pre-owned vintage watch from the 80s costs between 3,200 and 3,800 euros.

Detailed Price Information

Model Price (approx.) Features Case material
El Primero Tourbillon GFJ, Ref. 18.2520.4805/98.C713 72,000 euros Fusée-and-chain transmission, tourbillon Rose gold
El Primero Tourbillon, Ref. 18.2280.4035/01.C713 55,000 euros Tourbillon Rose gold
El Primero Tourbillon Skeleton, Ref. 49.2520.4035/98.R576 33,000 euros Tourbillon, skeletonized dial and movement Ceramic
El Primero Grande Date Full Open, Ref. 03.2530.4047/78.C813 7,900 euros Oversized date, moon phase display, escape wheel, silicon pallet fork Stainless steel
El Primero Full Open, Ref. 03.2081.400/78.C813 7,200 euros Skeletonized dial and movement Stainless steel
El Primero Open, Ref. 03.2040.4061/69.C496 6,500 euros Partly skeletonzied dial, silicon escape wheel and pallet fork Stainless steel
El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow, Ref. 03.2061.405/21.M2060 6,000 euros Flyback chronograph, rotatable bezel, multicolor 30-minute counter Stainless steel
El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th, Ref. 03.2060.4057/69.C714 5,700 euros Flyback chronograph, rotatable bezel, chronograph second hand makes one full 360-degree rotation in 10 seconds Stainless steel
El Primero Stratos Flyback, Ref. 03.2066.405/69.R515 5,400 euros Flyback chronograph, rotatable bezel Stainless steel
El Primero 38.00, Ref. 03.2150.400/69.C713 4,800 euros 38-mm diameter, retro design resembling the original from 1969 Stainless steel
El Primero Synopsis, Ref. 03.2170.4613/21.C714 4,500 euros Three-hand version, partly skeletonized dial, silicon escape wheel and pallet fork Stainless steel

Zenith El Primero

Early models from the first year of their release are often appealing to collectors. A Zenith El Primero in good condition from 1969 can be purchased for as little as 5,000 euros. Models in very good condition cost 6,000 euros, while gold versions start at 8,500 euros. Compared to other vintage chronographs, the Zenith watch is very affordable. A Heuer Monaco from 1969 costs at least 13,500 euros. The Calibre 11, another one of the first automatic chronograph calibers, powers these chronographs. Stainless steel Rolex Daytonas from the 1960s, which are manual, often cost over 50,000 euros. Both of these examples show the relative affordability of a pre-owned Zenith El Primero.

New Watch Prices

New watches with the El Primero cost less than 4,000 euros. The 38-mm Chronomaster El Primero 38.00 timepieces come closest to the first watches from 1969. Prices for new stainless steel variants (03.2150.400/69.C713) start at around 4,800 euros. Retro models with an 18-karat rose gold case cost around 10,000 euros. Stainless steel versions with a partly skeletonized dial, called the El Primero Open, cost around 6,500 euros. This model gives you a view of the escapement and swing systems. If you want to be able to marvel at the movement from the front and back, then you should take a look at the Full Open variant. Stainless steel Full Opens cost about 7,200 euros. The El Primero Grande Date with an oversized date display is in the same price range.

Zenith El Primero Plus Tourbillon

Top Zenith El Primero models are made of rose gold and feature a tourbillon, which increases a watch's precision by compensating for gravity-related deviations from the correct time. The model with reference number 18.2280.4035/01.C713 costs almost 55,000 euros new. The version with a titanium case costs 10,000 euros less. The Chronomaster El Primero Tourbillon Skeleton is available with a lightweight, hard, and scratch-resistant ceramic case. Additionally, the dial and movement are skeletonized. You should be prepared to spend at least 33,000 euros on this black watch. Rose gold models cost around 48,000 euros.

One highlight from the Le Locle-based manufacturer is the Chronomaster El Primero Tourbillon GFJ . The last three letters, GFJ, are the initials of the company's founder, Georges Favre-Jacot. Zenith introduced the model in 2015 in celebration of the company's 150th anniversary. This wristwatch has Zenith's first tourbillon movement that uses a fusée-and-chain transmission. This system ensures a constant driving force and thus incredible precision. The El Primero Tourbillon GFJ is available with a ceramic or 18-karat rose gold case. The rose gold version costs over 70,000 euros new.

Zenth's Speedy Sport Watches

The majority of the chronographs using the Zenith El Primero have a sporty-elegant design. Therefore, most of them are perfect everyday watches that you can wear to the office or in your free time. Some timepieces, on the other hand, are true sports watches , such as the Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback. It has a rotatable bezel and flyback function. You can purchase this model pre-owned for around 4,000 euros. Prices for new models start at around 5,400 euros.

The El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th (03.2060.4057/69.C714) is an particularly special watch; its central stopwatch seconds hand only needs 10 seconds to make a complete rotation. This mechanism makes it easier to read tenths of seconds. Usually, this hand needs 60 seconds to rotates 360 degrees. You should be prepared to spend at least 5,700 euros on this watch.

The El Primero Rainbow is also a popular model among fans. The manufacturer developed the Rainbow in the 1990s based on the needs of the French military. The company introduced the pilot's watch to the market in 1997. These Rainbow timepieces feature a multi-color 30-minute counter at three o'clock, a red chronograph seconds hand, and a rotatable bezel. The first 20 minutes of the scale on the bezel are in red. Using the telemeter scale on the rehaut, the edge of the dial, you can calculate distances. Models from the 90s often cost less than 3,000 euros. Current versions of the Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow are 45.5 mm large and cost 6,000 euros new.

1969: An Exciting Year

Nineteen sixty-nine was a significant year in many aspects. That summer, the first men landed on the Moon with the Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch on their wrists. Richard Nixon became the 37th President of the United States, and the Woodstock Festival went down in music history. There were also historical moments happening in the watch world, such as the competition to create the first automatic chronograph caliber between Zenith, Seiko, and a team made up of Heuer, Breitling, Büren, and the chronograph specialists Dubois Dépraz.

Breitling and Heuer began developing an automatic chronograph caliber in the early 1960s, as standard manual movements were becoming less and less popular. Automatic movements, which made regularly winding your watch a thing of the past, were gaining in popularity. Heuer, Breitling, Dubois Dépraz, and Büren joined together to tackle the challenge of creating an automatic chronograph caliber. The result was the Calibre 11 with a chronograph module and micro-rotor. Due to technical reasons, the crown was on the left side, while the push-pieces for starting and stopping the chronograph were on the right. The movement was presented in March 1969.

Zenith had introduced their El Primero in January 1969. Unlike the Calibre 11, the El Primero was an integrated chronograph movement. That meant that the movement was designed for the purpose of timing and its components fit perfectly together. The Calibre 11 had a chronograph module that was mounted onto the base movement. The Zenith El Primero, however, first came to market in the autumn of 1969. The Japanese manufacturer Seiko sold the first wristwatches with automatic chronograph movements in the early summer of 1969.

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