Hands-on debut: Zenith Chronomaster Sport and the new El Primero 3600 movement, measuring 1/10 second
Zenith just released the new Chronomaster Sport, released in the form of a dual ceramic bezel chronograph, equipped with the latest updated El Primero 3600 movement. Zenith’s Chronomaster Sport has a luxurious chronograph with an eye-catching mainstream design, but even the most tired or experienced watch enthusiasts, its movement will leave a deep impression. The Chronomaster Sport is equipped with a modern version of the “Striking 10th” movement, which enables users to measure as little as 1/10 of a second, which makes the special sound of El Beatro so unique.
Until recently, Zenith El Primero has been lacking a choice between the retro-style Chronomaster Revival work and the highly modern, stylized Defy El Primero series. When you carefully observe and appreciate the watchmaking skills behind it, these two Chronomaster Sport watches for the first time are similar to a cousin of Rolex Daytona, they are both Zenith. Although it draws inspiration from the classic El Primeros and the underrated Zenith De Luca, fortunately, Chronomaster Sport and the retro theme are not excessive. Instead, we got the El Primero twist on the panda and reverse panda dial chronograph, with a new ceramic bezel and a fully modern movement, starting at around $9,500.
El Primero 3600 and Strike 10
The El Primero 3600 movement is not entirely 100% brand new, as a version of it was released in the 2019 limited edition Chronomaster 2 El Primero strike 10th (El Primero 50th Anniversary) (called soft start). (If you forget), but after some improvements, it is now launched as a standard production caliber.
First of all, there is a little background knowledge in case you are not familiar with the term “Sriking Tenth” AKA foudroyante, which dates back to 2010 (although Zenith first applied for a patent in 2002) and introduced the 4052 caliber. In theory, the 36,000 vph El Primero can always measure up to 1/10 second, but the question is always how to actually measure such a small time increment on the watch. For the 4052, Zenith uses a 100-tooth silicon wheel, which will make the chronograph hands rotate in 10 seconds instead of 60 seconds. By doing this, the one-second mark is the position of the ten-second mark in the normal position. Chronograph. If you remember from 2012, Felix Baumgartner wore a Zenith Stratos Flyback Striking 10th (equipped with 4052) and jumped 38,969.4 meters, breaking the sound barrier of free fall.
The operating frequency of the El Primero 3600 movement is 36,000 vph (5 Hz) and has been upgraded and modified from the commonly used El Primero 400 movement. In fact, there are fewer parts at 314 than at 326. This is due to technological development and the fact that Zenith optimized and simplified its manufacturing process to reduce jewelry, screws and other assembled parts. Some of the main features worth mentioning are: the addition of a spike function, a quick date setting function, and a longer 60-hour power reserve (increased from 50 hours to 60 hours). swiss watches brands
The side clutch and enlarged steering column wheel were updated from the El Primero 400, and Zenith did a magnificent job to make these parts engage with each other, forming a clear view. The lateral clutch has a patented system that has two intermediate wheels instead of just one, and the escape wheel powers the chronograph. In addition, all wheels have been individually improved and optimized until the required number of teeth is reached to ensure proper torque. The El Primero 3600 movement has blue screws and blue completely exposed cylindrical gears, and is also equipped with a new satin star-shaped rotor. As the watch idol of the movement, the new refined craftsmanship and finishing make it really worthy of the exhibition back cover (this is highly praised by me).
Chronographer sports watch case and design
According to my calipers, the stainless steel case of the new Chronomaster Sport is 41 mm wide and 13.6 mm thick, and the lug height is only 46.2 mm. For comparison purposes, the Rolex Daytona is 40 mm wide and 12.5 mm thick, and the lug height is 46.6 mm. The new Omega Speedmaster Professional is 42 mm wide, 13.2 mm thick and the lug height is 47 mm. -Leg height. Chronomaster sports watch is available in black lacquer or white frosted dial, with 100M water resistance
The delicate finish of the case has beveled edges that extend beyond the lugs and extend down the brushed end chain of the bracelet. The new ceramic bezel is indeed the focus of attention and is comparable to its counterparts and some more expensive alternatives. According to Zenith, this is the first time that a 1/10 second display has been etched onto a ceramic frame, and I can say with certainty that this is correct.
Zenith correctly took the action of the high-frequency El Primero movement. I dare say that the reason most people buy luxury chronographs has nothing to do with the complications in measuring time increments of more than one hour, so why not show off in a way that no one else can show off? You can really see the chronograph hands rotating around the dial in 10 seconds, and once we can communicate face to face again, I feel that this will be a clever party technique for the next Redbar party. (I did record it for the purpose of creating a gif, but unfortunately technical problems bothered me. Sorry!)
Each of the three counters is decorated with a guilloche-shaped outer ring, and is placed in the middle with a long and powerful pointer. In the past, I found that the overlapping parts of the counters on El Primeros were very similar to Venn diagrams, and thankfully, they hardly graze each other here. The El Primero color scheme changes the typical panda/reverse panda dial with 6 seconds running seconds in gray, 60 minutes counter with 6 clocks on dark front panel and 3 o’clock with 60 seconds counter in blue. Please note that the hands of both chronographs are red.
The few limited edition replica watches using the early El Primero 3600 movement had a date indicator at 6 o’clock, which has now been moved to 4:30. The date window matches the color of the respective dials. Although the same parts are used, Zenith has redesigned and optimized the date dial to make changes and customizations easier. The timing button pusher is very sturdy, which is familiar to anyone who operates El Primero. The unique and weird mechanism makes the nerd charm of El Primero truly manifest. In the sea of luxury chronographs, it is not easy to stand out, but seeing the central chronograph hands fully rotate around the dial within 10 seconds will be a surprise and childlike joy.
Although I really hope that fine-tuning will become a standard feature of the watch at this price point, the bracelet is still very good. This is an integrated bracelet that takes some inspiration from the Gay Fréres bracelet, but makes the polished central link more closely connected. I don’t think it makes any sense to go all out, because the works of the revival period are even more so. The brushed end link has a polished bevel, which is a nice feel. Finally, the Zenith star is decorated with a folding clasp.
Although I have only dealt with the bracelet model, there is also a Cordura-effect rubber strap with an optional steel unfolding buckle.
As for Speedy, I look at it this way: For any watch buyer who loves space travel, Omega Speedmaster itself is a category. Unfortunately, this is still the case for people whose passion for space travel is “very cool” but has fallen into “hateful”. (I don’t know, maybe the astronauts let you down. This is a crazy world.) It can be said: For anyone with basic knowledge of watches, or buying Speedmaster’s regular watch blog reader, you also buy space souvenirs . For people like me, this feels very unreal. Yes, I know that Speedy is an excellent watch and has nothing to do with the moon, but for my taste, the identity is too closely connected.
I think Zenith luxury has truly demonstrated the function of this high-precision movement by matching the classic-looking and exquisite watch with the weird new features of El Primero.