Presented in 1969, the Zenith A386 was one of the first steel watches equipped with the revolutionary El Primero calibre, the world's first integrated high-frequency automatic chronograph movement. Over fifty years later, the El Primero calibre set a new standard of precision among automatic chronograph movements, giving way to new versions in a constant evolution of technique and performance. Over the years, the House of Le Locle has paid tribute to many of its historic models, including the gold versions of the A386 featured in the Chronomaster Revival collection launched on the occasion of El Primero's 50th anniversary. Many collectors and enthusiasts were therefore eagerly awaiting a steel re-edition. With the Chronomaster Original, Zenith not only offers a modern reinterpretation of a chronograph that is now a watchmaking classic, but also takes it a step further: it retains the emblematic design of the A386, combining it with the performance of a 21st century El Primero calibre, with 1/10th of a second precision and time measurement. Specifically, it is the El Primero calibre 3600 (36,000 vibrations per hour, approximately 60-hour power reserve), a self-winding mechanical movement with a column wheel and a skeletonised, personalised rotor. The movement is visible from the back side, thanks to the adoption of a sapphire window. At first glance, the Chronomaster Original and the A386 from which it is inspired appear almost identical. The 38 mm steel case with no bezel and a raised domed crystal, the pump pushers, the facetted lugs and the mix of radial surfaces with brushed and polished finishes seem almost indistinguishable when comparing the old and new models. The steel bracelet has been revisited, replacing the open, ladder-effect design of the 1960s with solid, bevelled links decorated like the case. The emblematic supplementary counters coloured in shades of grey and blue, the date window with a trapezoidal window between 4 and 5 o'clock and the red seconds hand are all traditional Zenith aesthetic motifs. The Chronomaster Original inherits all these components with a few adjustments aimed at improving performance. On the outer circumference of the dial, a chronograph scale with 1/10th of a second reading accuracy takes the place of the tachymeter scale. In addition to the steel model with supplementary dials in three colours, the Chronomaster Original is available in two other versions: one with a steel case, black "reverse panda" dial and silver chronograph counters, and the other in 18-carat rose gold with supplementary dials in three colours. For the steel models, there is a choice between a steel bracelet and a calfskin strap. Finally, water resistance is guaranteed up to a pressure of 10 atmospheres.
Prices: 8,300 euros (with steel case and calfskin strap); 8,800 euros (with steel case and bracelet); 18,600 euros (18-carat rose gold case and calfskin strap).