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Chronographs for the Ages

By Samson Crouhy

03.10.17

Subhead: 
Like the man whose courage and conviction saved the brand during mechanical horology's darkest hour, Zenith understands that the past must be recognized, even as one advances upon the frontiers of modernity.
Zenith Heritage Cronometro Tipo CP-2
Heritage Cronometro Tipo CP-2
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Heritage Cronometro Tipo CP-2
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A celebrated champion of military and aviation-grade chronographs, the Swiss watchmaker pays tribute to one of its most iconic models. In presenting the Heritage Cronometro TIPO CP-2, Zenith reinvigorates a timepiece that equipped the wrists of Italian pilots from the 1960s onwards. Boasting the same 43mm diameter as its predecessor, the stainless steel timepiece ensures its wearer the optimal legibility that made the original TIPO CP-2 such a natural choice for the strict standards of 20th-century military personnel. While the DP146 caliber that powered the original model endowed the wristwatch with an exceptional degree of precision, the Heritage Cronometro TIPO CP-2 now takes on the 21st century with a mechanical movement as iconic as the brand that brought it to life. The Zenith El Primero caliber, oscillating at the extraordinary rate of 36,000 vph, powers the dial’s indicators with indispensable reliability. The 254-component self-winding movement, equipped with a column-wheel chronograph, animates the hours, minutes and small seconds as well as a high-precision chronograph comprised of a central seconds hand and complementary 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock. An authentic flight instrument, the limited edition timepiece achieves ideal visibility thanks to the stark contrast of its numerous SuperLumiNova-enhanced indicators against its rich black dial and bezel. Finished with a transparent caseback through which the wearer can admire the movement’s Côtes-de-Genève finishing, the Heritage Cronometro TIPO CP-2 is worn on a black calfskin strap and boasts a power reserve of 50 hours.

 

Zenith Heritage Pilot Ton-Up
Heritage Pilot Ton-Up
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Heritage Pilot Ton-Up
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Zenith takes its vintage watchmaking spirit on the road, honoring the British “Café Racer” biker movement of the 1950s and ’60s. Inspired by the Café Racer principle of maximum performance with no superfluous components, the Heritage Pilot Ton-Up perfectly combines an understated aesthetic and high-performance “engine.” The 45mm timepiece’s case, in aged stainless steel, finds a fitting complement in a slate-gray dial whose grained pattern gives the watch an irresistible sense of texture and depth. By enhancing the Arabic numerals and primary hands with coatings in beige SuperLumiNova, Zenith ensures flawless legibility at whatever speed the wearer chooses to careen around street corners, while providing a unique color palette that sets the timepiece apart. The self-winding wristwatch does its most impressive work beneath the frame, powering the timepiece with excellent precision and reliability. The column-wheelchronograph El Primero 4069 caliber drives its indications of the hours, minutes, small seconds, central chronograph seconds and 30-minute counter with a precision to the tenth of a second thanks to its oscillation frequency of 36,000 vph. Finishing the rugged vintage design of the watch, a green oily-nubuck leather strap provides the Heritage Pilot Ton-Up with a chic, lived-in aesthetic while ensuring a comfortable grip against the wrist of its high-speed wearer.

Zenith El Primero 410 Tribute to Charles Vermot
El Primero 410 Tribute to Charles Vermot
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El Primero 410 Tribute to Charles Vermot
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The El Primero 410 Tribute to Charles Vermot is more than mere homage; it is a statement of gratitude to one of Zenith’s unforgettable heroes. When the quartz crisis in the 1970s led Zenith’s new management to abandon the automatic chronograph and place its complete energy toward the production of electronic watches, senior engineer Charles Vermot pled for them to reconsider. Told he was merely being sentimental to a bygone era, Vermot stuck firmly to his conviction, defying orders and hiding equipment parts and instructions inside the manufacture’s attic, convinced that mechanical horology would rise once again. Without him, the historic El Primero caliber would never have seen the light of day again. Zenith itself might not have survived had it not been able to fill sudden orders, in the 1980s, for the iconic caliber—an impossible feat without the appropriate equipment, cams and blueprints. Zenith was reborn. The El Primero 410 Tribute to Charles Vermot honors the courage and strength of its savior with a sophisticated personality perfectly in line with the brand’s unmistakable design codes. Housed in a 42mm stainless steel case, the automatic-winding El Primero 410 caliber drives a full time display, complemented by a calendar with day, date and month, a moonphase indication at 6 o’clock and a two-counter chronograph with a central seconds hand beating at 36,000 vph— the frequency of the caliber that Charles Vermot saved from extinction.

Zenith El Primero Range Rover
El Primero - Range Rover
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El Primero - Range Rover
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Inspired by its collaboration with Land Rover / Range Rover, Zenith presents a timepiece that plays with materials and tones to achieve a unique aesthetic as sleek and powerful as the vehicles of Zenith’s partner. On a brushed-gray dial, the El Primero – Range Rover achieves a harmonious monochromatic choreography thanks to its seamless integration of three counters using subtly shaded accents that ensure optimal legibility without rupturing the dark serenity of the design. Housed in a 42mm case in ceramised aluminum, the 326-component El Primero 400B caliber drives the hours, minutes, small seconds, date, and a column-wheel chronograph complete with central seconds, 30-minute and 12-hour totalizers. The rhodium-plated hands and hour markers provide essential daytime contrast thanks to their white accents and nighttime visibility by way of their generous luminous enhancements. Worn on a black rubber strap coated with ivory-toned or blue perforated calfskin, the El Primero – Range Rover boasts a transparent caseback that reveals the movement’s special oscillating weight, which is adorned with Zenith and Range Rover logos.

Zenith El Primero Range Rover

 El Primero - Range Rover