Zenith Launches the Chronomaster Triple Calendar at LVMH Watch Week in Miami

A gorgeous modern interpretation of a 1970’s Zenith prototype, now with the latest generation of the iconic El Primero chronograph calibre.

LVMH Watch Week – Miami, Florida. January 28th – February 1st, 2024.

Zenith – a leading Swiss luxury watch brand – has chosen LVMH Watch Week to launch the Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar. Zenith was founded in 1865 by Georges Favre-Jacot in Le Locle, in the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. Georges Favre-Jacot created the concept of “vertically integrated manufacture” which led to “in house movements.”

In Zenith’s own words:

“A man with a singular vision of watchmaking and the courage to bring innovation and modernity to the heart of tradition, George Favre-Jacot gave rise to the first integrated watch manufacture in Switzerland. When he established his brand in 1865, his objective was to create ‘the perfect watch’: the finest, most precise and most reliable timepiece ever made.”

Since November 1999, Zenith has been part of LVMH. Zenith is headquartered in Le Locle, Switzerland.

LVMH or Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy is a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate, which owns brands in sectors such as wines and spirits, fashion and leather goods, perfumes and cosmetics, watches and jewelry, retail, luxury travel and few others. 

El Primero and the original chronograph triple calendar:

Zenith is famous for the El Primero. Launched in 1969, it is Zenith’s in-house automatic high-frequency chronograph calibre. It is significant because for decades, most Swiss timepiece brands, including those in upper echelons of haute horology, relied on third-party chronograph movements and ebauches. In the past, Zenith has supplied other timepiece brands with its chronograph calibres. Zenith stands tall both as a historical watch brand and a powerhouse in chronograph expertise.

In Zenith’s own words:

“With innovation as its guiding star, ZENITH exclusively features in-house developed and manufactured movements in all its watches. Since the creation of the El Primero in 1969, the world’s first automatic chronograph calibre, ZENITH has gone on to master high-frequency precision and offers time measurements in fractions of a second, including 1/10th of a second in the Chronomaster collection and 1/100th of a second in the DEFY collection.”

The El Primero was originally designed to incorporate the triple calendar functions of day of the week, date, month and a moonphase. In 1970, using the same case of the round A386 model, Zenith created 25 prototypes of the El Primero with triple calendar and moonphase. These were intended to evaluate the concept. Due to the commercial success of the chronograph only version, Zenith decided to wait before launching the version which included triple calendar functions. They did introduce the chronograph with triple calendar and moonphase – in 1972, 1994, and more recently in 2013, few of them sought after collectors’ models. However, these were never 100% true to the 1970’s original prototype design.

Design, Functions and Dial Versions:

Almost 55 years later, the new Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar is the spiritual successor to the 1970’s original prototype. It incorporates the El Primero automatic chronograph calibre with triple calendar functions of day of the week, month, date and moonphase display.

A triple calendar is different from an annual calendar (which accounts for all months except February) and a perpetual calendar (which accounts for all months and February), in that manual adjustment must be made 5 times a year for those months which do not go upto 31.

Functions:

– Central hour and minute hands on the circular dial. They are rose gold plated, faceted, and coated in SuperLuminova SLN C1. The hands are skeletonised near their tip.

– A central 1/10th of a second chronograph hand – rose gold plated – “that makes one turn in 10 seconds”.

– A thin circular scale, graduated for 1/10th of a second measurements, placed between the inner dial and the thin outer dial, the latter which meets the case.

– The inner dial has applied baton markers at each hour, except 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock, due to the presence of the subdials. They are rose gold plated, faceted, and coated with SuperLuminova SLN C1.

– Subdial at 9 o’clock for small seconds. The subdial hand is rose gold plated. Directly above and positioned a bit left is the aperture for day of the week.

– Subdial at 3 o’clock for 60-second function. The subdial hand is rose gold plated. Directly above and positioned a bit right is the aperture for month.

– Subdial at 6 o’clock for 60-minute function. The subdial hand is rose gold plated. Moonphase display is incorporated in the subdial itself and incorporates a “polished rose gold moon set on a metallic blue sunray-patterned disk with five-pointed stars.”  The five-pointed stars is a reference to the five-pointed stars logo of Zenth.

– Date window is positioned at 04.30, just between the baton hour markers at 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock.

Dial Versions:

– Silver opaline dial with black-toned subdials. The 1/10th of a second scale is black, and the thin outer-dial is silver opaline.

– Sunburst slate-grey-toned opaline dial with silver-toned subdials. The 1/10th of a second scale is silver-toned, and the thin outer-dial is slate-grey-toned opaline.

– Sunburst olive green-toned dial with silver-toned subdials. The 1/10th of a second scale is silver-toned, and the thin outer-dial is olive green-toned. This is a Boutique Edition.

On each version, between the centre of the dial and 12 o’clock, the five-pointed star symbol, “ZENITH”, “El Primero”, “36 000 VpH” are displayed. “Swiss Made” is displayed discreetly at the bottom on the 1/10th of a second scale – on the lower left and right side of 50. In each version, the apertures for day of the week, month and date are the same colour as the inner dial.

Calibre:

The Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar is powered by a mechanical high-frequency automatic column-wheel chronograph calibre El Primero 3610. Its functions (as described above) are central hours and minutes, central 1/10th of a second chronograph, small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock, 60-second subdial at 3 o’clock, 60-minute subdial at 6 o’clock incorporated with moonphase display, and calendar functions of day of the week, month and date, each displayed in individual apertures.

El Primero 3610 consists of 366 parts, has 35 jewels, beats at a high frequency of 36,000 VPH or 5 Hz, and has a power reserve of approximately 60 hours. It is visible via a sapphire caseback.

In Zenith’s own words:

“A new variant of the latest generation El Primero automatic high-frequency chronograph calibre, the Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar’s El Primero 3610 operates at a rate of 5 Hz (36,000 VpH) to deliver a true 1/10th of a second chronograph function. Even with the addition of the complete calendar, its efficient transmission allows for a power reserve of approximately 60 hours. The sapphire display back provides an unobstructed view of the movement’s contemporary architecture, with a sleek and open design revealing the blue column wheel and open rotor marked with the five-pointed ZENITH star.”

Case and Bracelets:

The Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar’s case is crafted in stainless steel. It has a case diameter of 38 mm, case thickness of 12.6 mm and lug-to-lug distance of 46 mm. The case has alternating brushed and polished finishes. It has a domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both the dial and caseback side. The crown is at 3 o’clock, and the two chronograph pushers are at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock. The case has a water resistance of 5 ATM or 50 metres.

In Zenith’s own words:

“The Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar’s compact 38mm case in steel isn’t just vintage inspired, but in fact based on the exact blueprint and proportions of the A386 from 1969. With its bezel-less construction and featuring a raised and domed sapphire crystal, the incorporation of a complete calendar with moonphase mechanism to the automatic high-frequency 1/10th of a second chronograph calibre without altering the case’s proportions are a true feat of ingenious design.”

This timepiece is available with a three-link steel bracelet, which has alternating brushed and polished finishes – same as that on the case, and a folding clasp.

Alternatively, they are available with a calfskin leather strap with a folding clasp.

– The Silver opaline dial version comes with a black calfskin leather strap.

– The Sunburst slate-grey-toned opaline dial version comes with a blue calfskin leather strap.

– The Sunburst olive green-toned dial version comes with a green calfskin leather strap.

Concluding Thoughts:

Rarely does a timepiece come along that ticks all boxes. The Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar does just this. It is a gorgeous modern interpretation of a vintage design, in terms of functions, dial aesthetics, El Primero calibre, case design and proportions. The attention to detail is amazing. None of the subdials and apertures seem awkward or out of place. The colour of the calendar functions is the same as that of the dial. The case size of 38 mm ensures it is more gender neutral. When one considers that the El Primero calibre is an updated version of one of the greatest chronograph calibres of all time, and the relative affordability of this timepiece, there is nothing left to criticize. Zenith has a winner on its hands. 

Availability and Pricing:

Name: Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar

Versions with calfskin leather strap:

Reference: 03.3400.3610/38.C911 (Silver opaline dial)

Reference: 03.3400.3610/39.C910 (Sunburst slate-grey-toned opaline dial)

Reference: 03.3400.3610/40.C912 (Sunburst olive green-toned dial)

Price: Swiss Franc (CHF): 12,900.00


Versions with three-link steel bracelet:

Reference: 03.3400.3610/38.M3200 (Silver opaline dial)

Reference: 03.3400.3610/39.M3200 (Sunburst slate-grey-toned opaline dial)

Reference: 03.3400.3610/40.M3200 (Sunburst olive green-toned dial)

Price: Swiss Franc (CHF): 13,400.00


These prices are provided by Zenith at the time of authoring this article.

The 6 references of the Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar are available at Zenith’s Boutiques and Authorised Retailers worldwide. They are available online via Zenith’s website. Zenith has a boutique at Dubai Mall, UAE.

References 03.3400.3610/40.C912 and 03.3400.3610/40.M3200 (Sunburst olive green-toned dial) are Boutique Editions and only available at Zenith physical and online boutiques worldwide.

Purchases made via Zenith’s website are eligible for 3 years additional warranty and a complimentary first service.

Website: www.zenith-watches.com/int

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