In 2021, the new Zenith focuses on the iconic Chronomaster, which receives two new versions. The DEFY and Pilot Type 20 lines are also revisited with new models.
Zenith’s Chronomaster line is one of the most emblematic chronograph collections of the 21st century. This year, the new Chronomaster Sport presents a completely redesigned aesthetic, accompanied by an evolution of the coveted El Primero caliber. Built for those who are always on the move and for whom every moment counts in the pursuit of their dreams, the Chronomaster Sport is capable of accurately measuring and intuitively displaying 1/10 of a second. The legendary El Primero A386 movement forms the basis of the heart of the Chonomaster Sport, while as far as design is concerned, this model draws inspiration from other notable Zenith chronographs and reinterprets them, including the pre-El Primero A277 with its black bezel and point markers, El Primero Rainbow with its polished bezel engraved with tachymeter scale, or the polished and satin bracelet of El Primero De Luca. In the Chronomaster Sport, some of the immediately noticeable evolutions are the most refined and readable tricolor dial, a steel bracelet with optimized comfort, improved finishing details, an ever greater search for proportions and an extremely accurate 1/10 second reading. On the other hand, the polished black ceramic bezel, built on the 41 mm steel case, differentiates the new Chronomaster Sport from its predecessors. Result of more than 50 years of work and improvement of El Primero, the Chronomaster Sport line is equipped with the latest version of the legendary caliber, the El Primero 3600. With a high frequency of 5 Hz (36,000 vph), the movement it is able to offer accurately readable 1/10 second measurements, displayed directly on the bezel as well as on the dial. The power reserve of the El Primero 3600 has also been extended to 60 hours. Visible through the sapphire caseback, the new movement architecture receives a blue column wheel and an open rotor marked with the Zenith five-pointed star.
Chronomaster Revival A385
In 2021, Zenith revisits the first 1969 El Primero watch with a gradient dial, through the new Chronomaster Revival A385. One of the most significant pieces in the history of El Primero, the A385 was one of three original steel chronographs that housed the world’s first high-frequency automatic chronograph movement. Framed by its tonneau steel case was a brown gradient dial, possibly the first smoked dial in the watch industry and certainly Zenith’s first. The Chronomaster Revival collection has witnessed the return of several iconic Zenith chronographs. More than vintage-inspired watches, this collection translates into faithful reproductions of historical references, using the original 1969 production plans, which preserve the original proportions and the finishings of the 37 mm steel case with pump-type pushers.
The original A385 became known in 1970, when it participated in Zenith’s “Operation Sky”. To prove that a mechanical movement was superior to the quartz movements of the time, an A385 was tied to the landing gear of an Air France Boeing 707 on a flight from Paris to New York, to test its resistance to external aggressions, such as fluctuations drastic changes in temperature, wind force and changes in air pressure. When it landed, the watch still worked perfectly. At the time of the A385’s launch in 1969, the gradient-effect dial was an intriguing choice that had never happened on a watch. Adding contrast and depth to the dial, it is a design feature that has recently grown in popularity. The Revival of this model manages to bring the same warm metallic tones as the original. Keeping the retro theme, the Chronomaster Revival A385 is available in two options that could have come directly from 1969: the first is the steel “ladder” bracelet, a modern remake of the Gay Frères bracelets that became emblematic of the first El Primero watches. The second option is a strap in light brown calfskin, which will develop a unique patina with use and over time.
DEFY 21 Urban Jungle
Through the DEFY collection, Zenith continues to set new standards in precision and cutting edge design, using innovative and high-performance materials combined with innovative movements. An exceptional 1/100 second chronograph with a futuristic design language, the new DEFY 21 Urban Jungle stands out for its bold and vibrant new khaki green color. This special version of DEFY 21 is dedicated to everyone who sees the sprawling metropolis as their playground; where an elevated horizon of concrete, steel and glass gives life to a world where every day is an adventure full of dreams and infinite possibilities. In a debut for Zenith, the manufacturer covered its 1/100 second chronograph with green ceramic armor. Highly scratch resistant and intensely colored, Urban Jungle’s khaki green ceramic case is completely finished with a matte surface. Visible through the open dial with silver and black counters, the incomparable high-frequency chronograph with two regulating organs is decorated with a khaki green main plate and an oscillating star-shaped mass. Completing the look is a gray rubber bracelet with a green cordura rubber insert.
Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Silver
Revisiting Pilot’s iconic and historic aesthetic, while taking inspiration from vintage aircraft design, Zenith unveils the Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Silver, an “aviator” chronograph that now appears, for the first time, in silver. A limited edition of 250 pieces, the Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Silver recalls Zenith’s unique pedigree in the world of aviator watches over a century, having accompanied flight pioneers in the early 20th century, especially Louis Bleriot and its history trip through the English Channel in 1909. With a more direct visual inspiration in historic aircraft, the 45 mm case is produced in sterling silver. Like the fuselage of an aircraft, the silver dial features riveted details that resemble metal panels. To obtain maximum legibility at all times, the large Arabic numerals for hours and the “cathedral” hands have a white luminescent coating. Completing the aviator look is the brown calfskin bracelet with a rivet and a steel buckle clasp with a distinct flap, reminiscent of vintage pilot helmets.