Zenith Chronomaster El Primero
Zenith Chronomaster Sport, equipped with El Primero 3600 movement
The new Chronomaster Sport chronograph brings a series of technical updates to the El Primero movement.
The El Primero 400 movement is out of fashion, but wonderful. In 1969, Seiko introduced the first self-winding chronograph movement (used with Seiko 6309 and Breitling/Breitling/Bourne Caliber 01), and it continues to this day. However, the design of the movement is also a relic of its era-for example, there are many screws of different sizes, more than the movement you design today, which makes manufacturing time, labor and cost higher. The Chronomaster Sport launched by Zenith today uses a new movement: caliber 3600, designed to reduce the number of parts, use modern materials and manufacturing processes and provide improved functions.
At first glance, the fake watch also has striking similarities with Rolex Daytona-how close the similarity is and whether there is a problem with the closeness, we will explain later.
The new Chronomaster Sport draws on mature design vocabulary. The overlapping sub-dial and color scheme can be traced back to the El Primero A386 in 1969. Zenith said that the general configuration of the case was inspired by the so-called “De Luca” model. These were produced in the late 1980s and were the first Zenith watches to use the El Primero 400 movement after the resurrection of the Daytona ref by Rolex (although with a highly modified configuration). 16520 (this is the 4030 movement, which is the first automatic chronograph movement used by Daytona).
De Luca did not break new ground in chronograph design with its round case and pump pusher, but it surprised me because of its history in Zenith and the history of El Primero movements. -A fascinating design, even if not a revolutionary design. Today, the Chronomaster case has become an important part of Zenith’s existing product catalog, and the new Chronomaster Sport also does not establish a new paradigm in chronograph design, but this is the modernity of vintage watches. The model has been a long time now.
The 41mm stainless steel bracelet is a solid addition to Zenith’s product lineup, and the appeal of the company’s El Primero chronograph products, if not immediately noticeable. However, if you take a closer look at the frame, you will find that there is more happening under the hood than the first time you see the eye.
The bezel of the Chronomaster Sport is marked with a 1/10 second scale, and the central chronograph hand rotates once every ten seconds. Each smaller tick mark represents a tenth of a second.
El Primero 3600 is Zenith’s new movement and the latest version of the original El Primero movement-Zenith used it in a few limited editions (including 50th Anniversary LE), but the new Chronomaster Sport is Zenith’s first regular production use it. At first glance, it looks almost the same as the El Primero 400, but has undergone some major technological upgrades.
In the picture above, the chronograph drive mechanism of El Primero 400 is on the left, and the chronograph drive mechanism of 3600 is on the right. 400 is the traditional setting. The fourth wheel of the movement (the yellow lower gear) drives the driving wheel and the coupling wheel (the upper two yellow gears). After starting the chronograph, the coupling wheel contacts the central chronograph wheel, the chronograph starts to run, and the central chronograph pointer rotates around the dial once every minute. In the caliber 400, the hand advances every tenth of a second. If you like chronographs, you will find that this is a classic horizontal clutch, a timing device controlled by a column wheel.
The setting of the caliber 3600 looks the same on the surface, but if you look closely, you will find that the drive wheel and coupling wheel of the chronograph are not driven by the fourth wheel. Instead, they are driven by a pinion on the escape wheel (the wheel with star-shaped spokes on the left). Removing the chronograph from the escape wheel allows the 3600 movement to measure 1/10 second increments-as far as I know, this is one of the few 1/10 second chronographs, it A single vibration system is used for timing. Chronograph and main train. https://www.vogue4uwatches.com
The reason you usually don’t see a chronograph driven by an escape wheel is that it is usually a bad idea to try this idea. Driving the chronograph from the fourth round is already a push. It is the last traditional wheel on the move, and stealing energy from the gear means that less energy can be used to achieve balance. When the chronograph is turned on, the balance range may decrease significantly; if the watch is not in the best condition, keeping the chronograph long enough will affect accuracy. If you try to remove the chronograph from the escape wheel, the problem becomes more serious. The available energy is even less than that of the fourth round, and increasing the driving force of the chronograph may cause greater problems. Zenith partially solved this problem by using low-inertia silicon as the escape wheel, but a lot of relief comes from the customization of the driving wheel and the coupling wheel, each of which has a unique profile. .
When I saw the new Chronomaster Sport, the first thing I thought of was that it looked a lot like a modern Rolex Daytona. However, upon closer inspection, this similarity does not seem obvious. The Chronomaster Sport phone is similar to the Daytona, but it has also been used in many other existing watches in the Chronomaster series. The indexes are somewhat similar, but certainly not the same. The shape of the case, the configuration of the pushers, the design of the dial, and almost all other details are different from Daytona.
I think what makes the look so powerful at first glance is the ceramic bezel. Zenith previously used ceramic bezels in the Chronomaster series, but as far as I can determine, only on two 50th anniversary limited edition models (these two models are also launch platforms for the 3600 movement). The color and the way the ceramic reflects light on the Chronomaster Sport is always reminiscent of the Daytona bezel, but the fonts and functions are quite different-Daytona has a tachymeter scale, while the Chronomaster Sport is one-tenth of the scale. One second. Regardless of whether you like similar bugs or not-I suspect that some people will dislike it, although considering that Rolex used the modified El Primero movement on the first self-winding Daytonas, I would suggest Zenith is, to some extent, If there is nothing else that can be connected little by little, it is named by history. Of course, from an engineering point of view, the movements used in these two watches are obviously different, although they have in common that both Zenith 3600 and Rolex 4130 are part of modern high-tech mechanical timepieces.