Zenith first brought the El Primero 410 back to life in 2014. In 2015 they added some color and I was sold. Based largely on a popular model from the 1970’s, the El Primero first made its appearance as a limited edition of 500 pieces in steel with a sexy but subdued silver dial. I was quite smitten with the watch at the time but I must admit I found the monochromatic styling a little boring.
The Zenith El Primero 410
Fast-forward a year and it seems the folks at Zenith had either read my mind or were simply feeling the need for some color in their lives too. So in 2015 the brand introduced a limited edition (1,975 pieces this time) blue dial version of the El Primero 410 with matching blue leather strap at Baselworld , which – as you may have guessed – is the watch you see before you today.
There is a lot to like about this watch, starting with the perfectly sized 42mm case in steel. Not only does it sit nicely on the wrist, it also allows Zenith enough room to display quite a bit of information without making the dial of the El Primero 410 seemed cramped. This is important for me as aesthetically speaking there is nothing worse than a watch with poor dial design, especially because you are reminded of that fact every time you check the time. Not to mention legibility is kind of important.
What the El Primero 410 really gets right for me though is achieving that balance between modern design whilst still retaining that vintage flavour. The dial layout remaining true to the original models of the 1970s although I have to say for me the blue dial version does not necessarily have as retro a vibe as say the silver dial version, not that I’m complaining mind you. After all, on offer is the performance of the world’s most accurate automatic chronograph combined with a triple calendar and moonphase indications, all combined into one easy-to-read package.
Inside is the legendary El Primero 410, an automatic column-wheel chronograph that was retired by the brand in 2000. Brought back to life for this new series, the movement is comprised of some 390 components, with the inner workings visible through the sapphire exhibition caseback.
On the wrist the El Primero 410 feels great. It has a good weight to it but the relatively small case size and leather strap mean it is one of those watches that you can just wear day in day out without any complaints. Admittedly the blue might clash a bit in more conservative office environments and as such is arguably not as versatile as its more subdued siblings. That being said, having had the opportunity to see all three models in the new El Primero 410 line-up I have to say that the blue dial version is still definitely my preference.
Price is around US$11,000.
Check out the Zenith Watches’ website for more information.