Hands-on Zenith Chronomaster Revival A385
Buy Replica Zenith El Primero A3817 Revival Men Watch 03.A384.400.3817.C855
Case: Stainless Steel
Cuts: 37 mm
Movement: Self Winding/Automatic
BUCKLE: Pin Buckle
FUNCTIONS: Hours, Minutes, Small Seconds, Date, Chronograph, Column wheel
WATER RESISTANCE: 100.00m
Hands-on Zenith Chronomaster Revival A385
The most fashionable of the 1969 trilogy.
Even after more than 50 years of faithful service, El Primero is still one of the most fascinating movements. With its column wheel architecture, high frequency and multiple small but necessary upgrades, it has withstood the test of time. In 2019, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this legendary movement, Zenith launched a number of “Revival” versions of the A386 model, which was the most popular watch in the 1969 trilogy. Last year, it was time to re-edit the Panda Watch A384. Now, in 2021, the brand is adding brilliance to the last and third models by launching the new Zenith Chronomaster Revival A385. Today, we take a closer look at this very cool release.
If you are reading vogue4uwatches, you may already have some watch culture. Therefore, if we mention 1969, it should tell you the meaning of the rest of this article. 1969 was a year of innovation for the entire industry and Zenith. This year, the industry introduced a game-changing concept, the automatic chronograph movement. Surprisingly, all chronograph movements were manually wound before not introducing one but three architectures. But in 1969, three manufacturers will reveal their views on automatic chronographs, namely Zenith and El Primero, Seiko and Calibre 6139, and the combination of Heuer-Léonidas SA, Léon Breitling SA, Hamilton-Büren and chronograph. Chronomatic / project 99 alliance. The movement’s professional Dépraz & Co 11.
There is no doubt that 1969 and 1865 (the year the brand was founded) together are the most important years in Zenith’s history. It witnessed the launch of El Primero, the world’s first automatic high-frequency chronograph. The column wheel of the 5Hz movement is still in production, thanks to the fascinating human story (full explanation here), it made its debut in three stainless steel models. Although the A386 comes with a more traditional case and three-color dial, which is the most famous of them, there is also the A384 with a barrel-shaped case and a panda dial-now available from Zenith’s Revival series-and another one, An even more original cheap watch, A385.
El Primero A385 is a very unique watch. The other two watches in the trilogy are more classic in design, while the A385 is bolder. Based on the same case as the A384 (meaning a 37 mm cushion-shaped steel block), its dial stands out with a warm color, which is new in the industry and has a smoky effect. According to Zenith, “Watch industry The first smoked dial in history” (something that needs to be verified…)
Mechanically, there is no difference between the watches of the trilogy, because all watches use the same El Primero movement. Some notes about A385; In 1970, it participated in Zenith’s “Operation Sky”. This extreme test included strapping the watch to the landing gear of an Air France Boeing 707 on a flight from Paris to New York to test its resistance to external attacks, such as severe temperature fluctuations, wind and air pressure changes. After landing, the watch can still operate normally.
It is undeniable that the watches in the 1969 El Primero trilogy are truly beautiful. All of these have their own unique design, which can be called a “collection”-especially the A386, which has gained an undisputed cult status in the auction house. Nevertheless, the A384 and A385 models are equally attractive and may better represent the era of the El Primero movement. In addition to the three-color dial, the A386 is still quite a classic watch, while the other two models and even the A385 are real watches of the late 1960s.
A loan that is due; Zenith is praised for the loyalty of its Revival watches. Of course, one may notice the lack of imagination in the idea of reconstructing past models, but since the trend of retro style watches will not tend to slow down, at least when Zenith does this, it is right. In short, Chronomaster Revival A385 is like Chronomaster Revival A384, almost a one-to-one replica of the original model-except for some small details. Many (countless) brands have begun to use vintage trains, but few claim to produce the same movement as inspiration watches… This changes everything, especially in the case and dial size.
Therefore, we have to point out bluntly: Revival A385 is very loyal to its predecessor in almost every aspect. Starting from the watch case, not only the style but also the proportions are copied. The diameter is small, only 37 mm smaller than the original factory. This is a relatively modern watch with a size of 47 mm from lug to lug. The height of the automatic chronograph is also very moderate, only 12.6 mm-El Primero is quite thin compared to modern similar products equipped with a vertical clutch.
Since Zenith scanned the old model, its shape has been exactly the same, and it retains the sharp corners on the cushion-shaped case of 1969. The top surface is radially polished to participate in the retro look of the watch. The sides are polished horizontally, and the sides are polished bevels, which brings a sense of movement. The main feature of the A384 and A385 case is the inclined surface of the lugs, which is still there and polished like the original model. On the right is the location of the buttons and crown with historical accuracy. The main update is the material used for the crystal. Modern sapphire replaced the plexiglass. In addition, this Chronomaster Revival A385 is basically the same as the unused 1969 model, which could have been stored in a safe, but the execution was more precise. But this is nothing new, because the Revival A384 uses the same case.
The change here is the dial…a stylish, bold, colorful, warm dial with an outdated coolness. Although the A384 is sporty, the classic Panda dial has red accents, while this A385 has a brown smoked dial – with a strong degradation effect, ranging from almost black on the periphery to very light in the middle Brown beige. It uses the ubiquitous tachymeter scale frame, and once again faithfully reproduces the design of the original model, up to the facet and rhodium-plated hour markers and hands, the red central seconds hand or the inscription with historic fonts and logos. The subdials with small seconds, 30-minute and 12-hour counters are white, while the date window at three o’clock is also white-this is visually consistent. The indicator is full of beige Super-LumiNova, which matches well with the other tones of the dial.
Although a light brown leather strap can also be used, it makes sense to match a steel strap on this watch. Because here, Zenith played its visual accuracy and reproduced the styles used in the A384 and A385 models. The so-called trapezoidal steel bracelet with hollow links was once made by Gay Frères. Lightweight and flexible, it looks and feels just right in this case.
Under the screwed sapphire caseback-another significant update compared to historical watches-is a famous movement, in fact, like other Discount watches movements, this movement is almost the case that once powered One-to-one replication. A385; you named it after the El Primero movement. It started to develop in 1962 and was launched in 1965 for the centennial of manufacturing. It finally entered the market in 1969. However, after an estimated 32,000 movements were produced, Zenith Radio Corporation (an American company that has owned the brand since 2011) in 1971 lost confidence in mechanical watches and bet on quartz, decided to stop the production of El Primero, and I want to get rid of this tool… but because the watchmaker Charles Vermot is responsible for manufacturing, tools and manufacturing plans are kept and hidden in the manufacturer’s attic. In the early 1980s, Zenith was able to resume production of its automatic chronographs.
The El Primero 400 movement equipped with the Chronomaster Revival A385 is the movement closest to the original 1969 movement. If some upgrades have been implemented (better timing functions, more reliable parts where needed, better decoration and modern manufacturing technology), it will basically retain the same architecture and have a frequency of 5 Hz This iconic element. It has a star-shaped hollow rotor and a pleasant finish.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS – ZENITH CHRONOMASTER REVIVAL A385 Case: 37mm diameter – 12.6mm height – 19mm lug width – 47mm lug-to-lug – Stainless steel case, radial-brushed, straight-brushed and polished – box sapphire crystal – steel pushers – screwed sapphire caseback – 50m water-resistant
Dial: smoked brown gradient dial – white-coloured counters – hour markers and hands rhodium-plated, faceted and coated with beige Super-LumiNova
Movement: El Primero calibre 400 – in-house – automatic integrated chronograph with column wheel and horizontal clutch – 278 components incl. 31 jewels – 30mm – 36,000 vibrations/hour – 50h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph with 30min and 12h counters, date
Bracelet: ladder steel bracelet with stainless steel folding clasp, inspired by vintage Gay Frères bracelet. Also available on light brown calf leather strap with protective rubber lining and stainless steel pin buckle
References: 03.A384.400/385.M385 ladder bracelet
03.A384.400/385.C855 leather strap