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Zenith El Primero

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Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Steel 42mm Silver No numerals Malaysia, Petaling Jaya
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster
RM24,000
Private Seller
MY
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Steel 40mm Black Roman numerals
TOP
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Moonphases Triple Calendar -...
RM20,595
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
754
NL
Zenith El Primero Steel 38mm White No numerals
TOP
Zenith El Primero A384 very Tropical dial caliber 3019Phc just...
Price on request
Verified Dealer
649
IT
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Steel 37mm White No numerals
Zenith Chronomaster Revival El Primero 37mm
RM26,054
Verified Dealer
342
EE
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Ceramic 42mm Black No numerals
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 36,000 VPH
RM27,530
Verified Dealer
11
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Steel 45mm Black
TOP
Zenith エル・プリメロ クロノマスター オープン ムーン&サンフェイズ 03.2160.4047/21.M...
RM27,267
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1849
JP
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Steel 40mm Silver Roman numerals
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster
RM63,158
Verified Dealer
119
CH
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Steel 42mm Silver No numerals
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969
RM34,143
Verified Dealer
13
IT
Zenith El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar Steel 42mm Grey Arabic numerals
TOP
Zenith Captain Winsor Annual Calendar 03.2072.4054/18.C711
RM32,444
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
29
RU
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Steel 40mm Silver
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Ref. 01.240.400/01,Edelstahl...
RM17,684
Verified Dealer
18
CH
Zenith El Primero Chronograph Steel 38mm Black Arabic numerals
TOP
Zenith El Primero 400 First Model Column wheel Chronograph -...
RM16,625
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
754
NL
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Steel Silver
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Open 175pcs LE
RM18,114
Verified Dealer
26
AU
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Steel 42mm Silver No numerals
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969
RM28,411
Verified Dealer
342
EE
Zenith El Primero 36'000 VpH Steel 42mm Silver No numerals
Zenith El Primero 36'000 VpH - 03.2040.400/69.C494 - Top 2020
RM29,165
Verified Dealer
271
DE
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Steel 45mm Brown
TOP
Zenith エル・プリメロ クロノマスター グランドデイト オープン 51.2161.4047/75.C713
RM37,092
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1849
JP
Zenith El Primero Chronograph Steel 36mm White
Zenith El Primero Chronograph Like New Gold Plated
RM9,925
Verified Dealer
117
IT
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Rose gold 40mm Silver Roman numerals
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 18K Rose Gold BOX & PAPERS
RM49,621
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
434
PL
Zenith El Primero Steel 38mm Grey No numerals
Zenith El Primero A 385 Automatic 3019 PHC 1970’s
RM34,450
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
17
CH
Zenith El Primero Chronograph Steel 38mm White No numerals
Zenith El Primero Chronograph
RM10,149
Verified Dealer
58
PT
Zenith El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar Steel 42mm Silver No numerals
Zenith Heritage Captain Winsor Annual Calendar Box Paper...
RM33,741
Verified Dealer
43
DE
Zenith El Primero Steel 38mm Black No numerals
Zenith El Primero
RM14,392
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
120
IT
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Steel 45mm Transparent No numerals
Zenith Primero Grande Date Full Open Chronomaster El
RM35,359
Verified Dealer
342
EE
Zenith El Primero Steel 42mm Silver
Zenith El Primero
RM22,780
Verified Dealer
 
JP
Zenith El Primero 36'000 VpH
Zenith ゼニス ZENITH エルプリメロ クロノマスター 36000VPH 03.2520.400 メンズ 腕時計自動巻き
RM18,967
Verified Dealer
81
JP
Zenith El Primero Titanium 37mm Blue No numerals
TOP
Zenith El Primero A384 "Edge of Space" Bamford Limited Edition...
RM43,022
Private Seller
 
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Steel 43mm Silver Roman numerals
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster XT FLY-BACK Moonphase B&P
RM42,678
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
434
PL
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Gold/Steel 42mm Silver
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Open - 51.2080.4061/69.C494 - Top
RM39,200
Verified Dealer
271
DE
Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Steel 45.5mm Black No numerals
Zenith El Primero Stratos
RM23,885
Verified Dealer
19
CH
Zenith El Primero Gold/Steel 44mm Silver
Zenith El Primero Rattrapante
RM42,175
Verified Dealer
107
US
Zenith El Primero 36'000 VpH Steel 42mm Silver No numerals
Zenith El Primero - Chronomaster - 42mm - 36'000 VpH -...
RM24,054
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
451
US
Zenith El Primero Yellow gold 40mm Black
Zenith El Primero 30.0360.400 Rainbow black/white dial gold...
RM31,513
Verified Dealer
300
IT
Zenith El Primero Rose gold 42mm Brown
Zenith El Primero 36'000 VpH
RM53,407
Verified Dealer
US
Zenith El Primero Ceramic 45mm Grey
Zenith El Primero The Rolling Stones Edition
RM39,602
Verified Dealer
262
DE
Zenith El Primero Rose gold 38mmmm
TOP
Zenith El Primero A386 Revival 50th Anniversary
RM97,489
Private Seller
 
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Rose gold 40mm Silver
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Open T 18K Rose Gold
RM48,634
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
434
PL
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Titanium 42mm Transparent No numerals
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 2 - Hammer - Neu
RM42,177
Verified Dealer
271
DE
Zenith El Primero Titanium 37mm Blue
Zenith El Primero Bamford x Mr Porter Edge of Space ltd full set
RM46,207
Verified Dealer
94
UK
Zenith El Primero Black
Zenith ゼニス ZENITH クラス エルプリメロ 02.0500.420/24 メンズ 腕時計手巻き ブラック
RM10,145
Verified Dealer
81
JP
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Steel 37mm White No numerals
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster - Revival A384
RM27,869
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
451
US
Zenith El Primero Steel Silver
TOP
Zenith El Primero
RM34,969
Private Seller
 
US
Zenith El Primero Steel 37mm Mother of pearl Arabic numerals
Zenith Star Open El Primero
RM17,369
Verified Dealer
58
PT
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Gold/Steel 42mm Silver
Zenith stainless steel and 18k rose gold Chronomaster El Primero
RM25,432
Verified Dealer
157
US
Zenith El Primero Chronograph Steel 40mm Black No numerals
Zenith Chronograph El Primero 02.0310.400 De Luca 1990
RM26,550
Verified Dealer
300
IT
Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Steel 46mm Black
Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Chrono Unworn B&P
RM28,287
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
434
PL
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Steel 42mm Blue
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Open - 03.20416.4061/51.M2040
RM34,733
Verified Dealer
271
DE
Zenith El Primero Original 1969 Steel 38mm Silver No numerals
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero 03.2150.400/69.C713
RM23,101
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1161
US
Zenith El Primero Black
Zenith ゼニス ZENITH グランドクラス クロノグラフ 03.0520.4002 メンズ 腕時計自動巻き ブラック
RM10,145
Verified Dealer
81
JP
Zenith El Primero Original 1969 Steel 38mm Silver No numerals
Zenith El Primero - Original 1969 - Chronomaster - 38mm -...
RM28,611
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
451
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Titanium 45mm Black
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Rolling Stones
RM30,073
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
105
US
Zenith El Primero Steel 44mm Black Arabic numerals
Zenith El Primero
RM18,014
Verified Dealer
9
US
Zenith El Primero Original 1969 Steel 38mm Silver No numerals
Zenith El Primero Original CHRONOMASTER NEW
RM29,306
Verified Dealer
197
JP
Zenith El Primero Espada Steel 40mm Black No numerals
Zenith El Primero Espada Automatic black Dial Steel Bracelet...
RM19,845
Verified Dealer
708
DE
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Lady Steel 38mm Mother of pearl No numerals
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Open Lady Unworn B&P
RM34,689
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
434
PL
Zenith El Primero Chronograph Steel 38mm Silver
Zenith Prime Chronograph
RM11,414
Verified Dealer
217
DE
Zenith El Primero Chronograph Yellow gold White
Zenith El Primero Chronograph
RM30,555
Verified Dealer
15
RO
Zenith El Primero New Vintage 1969 Rose gold 40mm
Zenith ゼニス ZENITH ニューヴィンテージ1969 プリメロ 18.1969.469 71.C504 自動巻...
RM38,621
Verified Dealer
81
JP
Zenith El Primero 36'000 VpH Steel 42mm Silver No numerals
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero - 42mm - Bracelet - Chronograph...
RM28,611
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
451
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Steel 42mm Silver No numerals
TOP
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster
RM29,344
Private Seller
 
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Steel 42mm
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Chronograph Skeleton Dial
RM34,887
Verified Dealer
568
DE
Zenith El Primero Chronograph Yellow gold escluso corona 37mm White
Zenith Chronograph El Primero Full Calendar Moonphase yellow gold
RM29,528
Verified Dealer
300
IT

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.