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  • Zenith El Primero

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Zenith Steel 42mm Automatic 03.2110.400/01.C498 new Australia, Melbourne
Zenith El Primero Chronograph - Unworn
AU$ 9,201
Free shipping
Seller
Watches of Mayfair Pty Ltd
6
AU
Zenith Steel 36mm Automatic 01.0040.680 pre-owned Australia, Mont Albert North
Zenith Elite 01.0040.680
AU$ 2,750
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Zenith White gold 17mm Manual winding pre-owned Australia, Chadstone  Vic.
Zenith Vintage Cocktail Lds. 18K White Gold
AU$ 2,450
Seller
The Watch Culture
31
AU
Zenith up to AU$ 4,000
Zenith AU$ 4,000 - AU$ 8,000
Zenith Ceramic 44mm Automatic 49.9000.9004/78.R582 pre-owned Australia, SYDNEY
Zenith - Defy El Primero 21 - Ceramic - 49.9000.9004/78.R582
AU$ 13,900
Seller
Zaeger Pty Ltd
26
AU
Zenith Steel 33mm Automatic Zenith Star 33 mm new Australia, Clinton
Zenith 03.1970.681/01.C733
AU$ 4,243
Seller
CRAIG GIBSON
 
AU
Zenith Rose gold Automatic 18.0550.4021/21 pre-owned
TOP
Zenith Grande Port Royal Open 18K Rosegold
AU$ 23,318
Seller
Timeless Watches & Jewellery AG
590
LI
Zenith White gold 44mm Automatic 65.0520.4026 pre-owned
TOP
Zenith Grande Class Rattrapante, SplitSec ElPrimero, Ltd one...
AU$ 17,256
Seller
Plus Ultra AG
10
CH
Zenith Steel Automatic 03.2410.4010/21.M2410 new Australia, Melbourne
Zenith El Primero Big Date Special
AU$ 7,995
Seller
Toorak Fine Watches
 
AU
Zenith Steel Automatic El Primero pre-owned
Zenith ElPrimero Blue Tachy, 1972
AU$ 6,500
Seller
Uhrgut - Ferry Blaim
21
AT
Best price
Listings from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland
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Zenith Ceramic 42mm Automatic 24.2041.400/21.R576 new Australia, Melbourne
Zenith El Primero 36'000 VPH
AU$ 10,934
Free shipping
Seller
Watches of Mayfair Pty Ltd
6
AU
Zenith Rose gold Manual winding 35.2210.8804/01.C631 new
Zenith Academy Christophe Colomb Tourbillon
AU$ 101,722
Seller
Raffi Boyadjian Watches Inc.
20
US
Zenith Yellow gold 34mm Automatic Captain pre-owned Australia, Chadstone Victoria
Zenith Captain Vintage 18K Gold
AU$ 2,250
Seller
The Watch Culture
31
AU
Zenith 35mm Manual winding Sporto pre-owned
Zenith Sporto Handaufzug vergoldet von ca. 1962
AU$ 1,467
Seller
Watchplanet
104
DE
Zenith Steel 40mm Automatic Zenith Elite Classic 40 mm new Australia, Clinton
Zenith 03.2010.681/21.C493
AU$ 4,346
Seller
CRAIG GIBSON
 
AU
Zenith Steel 40mm Automatic Zenith El Primero 01-0360-400 pre-owned
Zenith El Primero Cronograph Rainbow
AU$ 3,334
Seller
GOLD MONEY
 
IT
Zenith Steel Automatic pre-owned
Zenith Respirator
AU$ 1,833
Seller
Steiner Maastricht
312
NL
Zenith Steel 46mm Automatic 03.0520.4037 new
Zenith El Primero Grande Class Traveller Open Multicity...
AU$ 9,917
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
1072
NL
Zenith Rose gold 37mm Automatic 17.0125.650 pre-owned
Zenith 17.0125.650 Class Elite Automatic 18K Rose Gold 37MM...
AU$ 5,781
Seller
European Watch Company
290
US
Zenith Silver 45mm Automatic 05.2430.679/17.C902 new Australia, Melbourne
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 20 45 mm
AU$ 10,867
Free shipping
Seller
Watches of Mayfair Pty Ltd
6
AU
Zenith Yellow gold 50mm Manual winding zenith chronograph gold 50 mm OF  pocketwatch pre-owned
Zenith chrongraph open face pocket watch
AU$ 3,667
Seller
goedhorloge.nl - goodwatch.eu
37
NL
Zenith Steel 40mm Automatic 03.0510.400 new
Zenith El Primero Sport
AU$ 4,750
Seller
AesseA Orologi e Creazioni srl
 
IT
Zenith Steel 45.5mm Automatic 03.2062.4057 pre-owned
Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th
AU$ 9,167
Free shipping
Seller
JHB & Royal Watchery
55
CZ
Zenith Steel 33mm Automatic Zenith Elite Classic 33 mm new Australia, Clinton
Zenith 03.2310.679/38.C714
AU$ 3,628
Seller
CRAIG GIBSON
 
AU
Zenith Steel 35,5mm Automatic Zenith Cal. 2542PC pre-owned
Zenith Automatic Cal. 2542PC
AU$ 1,667
Seller
GOLD MONEY
 
IT
Zenith Titanium 41mm Automatic 95.9000.670/78.M9000 new
Zenith Defy Classic 41mm – 95.9000.670/78.m9000
AU$ 7,667
Seller
Mall of the Watch
1470
MC
Zenith Titanium 44mm Automatic 95.9000.9004/78.M9000 new
Zenith Defy El Primero
AU$ 14,490
Seller
Shreve, Crump & Low
 
US
Zenith Steel 42mm Automatic 03.2040.4061/69.C496 pre-owned
Zenith エル・プリメロ クロノマスター 1969 オープン 03.2040.4061/69.C496
AU$ 6,287
Free shipping
Seller
Ippuukishi US LLC
 
US
Zenith Steel 39mm Automatic 18.2290.679/18.C498 new Australia, Melbourne
Zenith Classic
AU$ 12,101
Free shipping
Seller
Watches of Mayfair Pty Ltd
6
AU
Zenith Steel 42mm Automatic 03.2040.4061/69.C496 pre-owned
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Open
AU$ 8,917
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
1072
NL
Zenith Steel 40mm Automatic 01.0240.410 new
TOP
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster
AU$ 7,163
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
Zenith Steel 40mm Automatic 01/02.0450.400 pre-owned
Zenith El Primero Port Royal V Automatic
AU$ 4,984
Free shipping
Seller
JHB & Royal Watchery
55
CZ
Zenith Rose gold 42mm Automatic 18.2040.4061/69.C494 pre-owned
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster
AU$ 15,646
Seller
ChronoCity
32
CZ
Zenith Steel 36mm Manual winding Zenith Sporto Cal. 136D pre-owned
Zenith Sporto Vintage Cronograph Rare Cal. 136D Pre A271
AU$ 4,000
Seller
GOLD MONEY
 
IT
Zenith Titanium 41mm Automatic 95.9000.670/78.R584 new
Zenith Defy Classic 41mm – 95.9000.670/78.r584
AU$ 7,501
Seller
Mall of the Watch
1470
MC
Zenith Steel 40mm Automatic 03.2020.670/22.c498 new
Zenith Captain Central Second
AU$ 6,147
Seller
Shreve, Crump & Low
 
US
Zenith Yellow gold Automatic 30.0240.403/99 pre-owned
Zenith Chronomaster squelette
AU$ 19,918
Seller
William Wien Watches
20
NL
Zenith Steel 36mm Automatic 03.2320.692/81.M2320 new Australia, Melbourne
Zenith Elite Lady Moonphase
AU$ 7,651
Free shipping
Seller
Watches of Mayfair Pty Ltd
6
AU
Zenith Steel 45.5mm Automatic 03.2060.405/21.C714 pre-owned
Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback
AU$ 8,084
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
1072
NL
Zenith Steel 42mm Automatic 03.2110.400/22.C493 pre-owned
TOP
Zenith El Primero Chronograph
AU$ 6,984
Seller
Private Seller
 
DE
Zenith Rose gold Automatic 18.2170.4613/01.C713 pre-owned
Zenith El Primero Synopsis 18KT Rose Gold Openwork
AU$ 13,960
Free shipping
Seller
fitzroviawatches.co.uk
195
UK
Zenith Rose gold 42mm Automatic 18.2080.4021/01.c494 new
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Power Resere
AU$ 16,950
Seller
ChronoCity
32
CZ
Zenith Steel 35mm Manual winding Zenith Compur Cal. 146 pre-owned
Zenith Compur Vintage Cronograph Cal. 146
AU$ 2,834
Seller
GOLD MONEY
 
IT
Zenith Steel 38mm Automatic 03.2150.400/21.C706 new
Zenith El Primero 36000 Vph 38mm – 03.2150.400/21.c706
AU$ 7,667
Seller
Mall of the Watch
1470
MC
Zenith Steel 43mm Automatic 03.0516.4000 pre-owned
Zenith Defy Classic Aero Chronograph
AU$ 5,834
Free shipping
Seller
JHB & Royal Watchery
55
CZ
Zenith Titanium 44mm Automatic 95.9001.9004/01.R582 pre-owned
Zenith デファイ エル・プリメロ 21 95.9001.9004/01.R582
AU$ 10,113
Free shipping
Seller
Ippuukishi US LLC
 
US
Zenith Steel 37mm Automatic 03.1925.692/21.C714 new Australia, Melbourne
Zenith Star Moonphase
AU$ 7,217
Free shipping
Seller
Watches of Mayfair Pty Ltd
6
AU
Zenith Steel 40mm Automatic 03.2170.4613/02.c713 pre-owned
Zenith El Primero Synopsis
AU$ 6,584
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
1072
NL
Zenith Steel 40mm Automatic 02.0240.410 pre-owned
TOP
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster black
AU$ 6,000
Seller
Private Seller
 
SE
Zenith Aluminum Automatic 24.2160.4063/28.R515 pre-owned
Zenith CHRONOMASTER 24.2160.4063/28.R515
AU$ 8,373
Free shipping
Seller
fitzroviawatches.co.uk
195
UK
Zenith Rose gold 42mm Automatic 18.2041.400/76.C795 new
Zenith El Primero 36'000 VpH
AU$ 18,442
Seller
Shreve, Crump & Low
 
US
Zenith Yellow gold 35mm Manual winding Zenith Cal 146D pre-owned
Zenith Vintage Cronograph Yellow Gold 18K Cal. 146D
AU$ 3,167
Seller
GOLD MONEY
 
IT
Zenith Ceramic 44mm Automatic 49.9000.9004/78.R782 new
Zenith Defy El Primero 44mm – 49.9000.9004/78.r782
AU$ 12,651
Seller
Mall of the Watch
1470
MC
Zenith Steel Automatic A386 pre-owned
Zenith El Primero
AU$ 22,502
Seller
Luigi Rosso S.r.l.
155
IT
Zenith Steel 45mm Automatic 03.2430.3000/21.C738 pre-owned
Zenith パイロット アエロネフ タイプ20 エクストラ スペシャル 03.2430.3000/21.C738
AU$ 5,057
Free shipping
Seller
Ippuukishi US LLC
 
US
Zenith Bronze 45mm Automatic 29.2430.679/21.C753 new Australia, Melbourne
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 45mm
AU$ 8,467
Free shipping
Seller
Watches of Mayfair Pty Ltd
6
AU
Zenith Steel 39.9mm Automatic 02.0240.410 new
Zenith Chronomaster Chronograph NEW
AU$ 9,167
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
1072
NL
Zenith 38mm Manual winding pre-owned
TOP
Zenith prime
AU$ 2,333
Seller
Private Seller
 
IT
Zenith Steel Automatic 03.2270.4069/26.C493 new
Zenith Elite Chronograph Classic Fume Dial 03.2270.4069/26.C493
AU$ 8,373
Free shipping
Seller
fitzroviawatches.co.uk
195
UK
Zenith Steel 40mm Automatic 01-0360-400 pre-owned
Zenith El Primero Chronograph Rainbow Steel Tachymeter ø 40 mm
AU$ 4,084
Seller
watches24.com
139
DE
Zenith Steel 42mm Automatic 03.2080.4021/21.M2040 pre-owned
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Power Reserve Fullset LC100
AU$ 9,151
Seller
TimeElements
55
DE
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Precision and High Performance since 1865

Luxury watches from Zenith represent precision, quality, and reliability. The El Primero was the first automatic chronograph caliber developed in the world. Its 2017 successor can measure 1/100th of a second.

Highlights

  • Zenith El Primero: first automatic chronograph worldwide
  • El Primero 21 with two escapements, measures 1/100th of a second
  • Top chronographs made of gold and feature a tourbillon
  • Current watches in the Pilot collection have a vintage look

Zenith: Ahead of the Curve

The Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Zenith is inseparable from their famous chronograph caliber, the El Primero. This movement was released as 3019 PHC in 1969 and was the first automatic chronograph movement ever produced. Thanks to a balance frequency of 36,000 A/h, it can measure 1/10th of a second. Most chronographs can only measure 1/8th of a second, as they oscillate at 28,800 A/h.

In 2017, the company presented the ultra-modern Zenith El Primero 21 caliber. The successor to the famous El Primero has two escapements, one for displaying the time and the other for chronograph functions. One oscillation system vibrates at 360,000 A/h, allowing it to measure 1/100th of a second, while the other vibrates at 36,000 A/h.

Haute horlogerie highlights from Zenith include the intricate watches in the Academy Christophe Colomb (French for Christopher Columbus) series. The model Zenith Academy Christophe Colomb Equation of Time is a true example of 21st-century watchmaking art. This timepiece won the Best Complicated Watch Prize at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève in 2011, one of the most prestigious awards in the world of mechanical watches. Zenith even developed a self-regulating mechanism for this ultra-precise watch, the so-called Gravity Control module. It ensures that the escapement and oscillation systems constantly remain in a horizontal position, regardless of the position of the watch on a wrist. This pioneering system guarantees optimal precision.

How much does a Zenith watch cost?

Zenith is a part of the luxury goods concern LVMH Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton SE (LVMH), nestled in between TAG Heuer and Hublot. Zenith watches are meant for the young at heart who have an appreciation for tradition, high-quality in-house work, and innovative technology. Movements developed and produced in-house are even featured in some of the Elite collection's introductory models. These women's and men's watches have predominantly classic designs, making them ideal dress watches. Zenith offers high-quality luxury watches that are comparatively affordable. Jean-Claude Biver, the head of LVMH, was instrumental in this strategy of offering affordable luxury watches.

You can find a number of good deals in the vintage market. There are countless pre-owned Zenith wristwatches and pocket watches which you can purchase for just a few hundred euros. Even chronographs with the famous El Primero movement are available pre-owned starting at 1,700 euros. These are often from the 1990s and are in very good or good condition. You should plan on spending at least 3,300 euros for a new model.

Detailed Price Information

Model Price (approx.) Features
Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane, Ref. 18.2212.8805/36.C713 270,000 euros Gravity Control module, rose gold case, power reserve display, 45 mm
Academy Christophe Colomb Equation of Time, Ref. 65.2220.8808/01.C630 170,000 euros Gravity Control module, white gold case, power reserve display, 45 mm
Chronomaster El Primero Tourbillon GFJ, Ref. 18.2520.4805/98.C713 73,000 euros Tourbillon, fusée-and-chain transmission, rose gold case, 45 mm
Chronomaster El Primero Tourbillon, Ref. 18.2280.4035/01.C713 55,000 euros Tourbillon, rose gold case, chronograph, 45 mm
Elite Classic 39, Ref. 18.2290.679/18.C498 7,400 euros Timeless, elegant dress watch; rose gold case; 39 mm
Defy El Primero 21, Ref. 95.9001.9004/01.R582 7,200 euros El Primero 21 with two escapements, measures to 1/100th of a second, power reserve display, titanium case, 44 mm
Chronomaster El Primero 42, Ref. 24.2041.400/21.R576 6,600 euros Ceramic-coated aluminum case, 42 mm, chronograph
Chronomaster El Primero 38, Ref. 03.2150.400/26.C714 5,100 euros Current version of this chronograph with a case size of 38 mm, just like the original
Chronomaster El Primero 42, Ref. 03.2040.400/69.C494 5,000 euros 42 mm, chronograph
Pilot Type 20 Extra Special, Ref. 29.2430.679/21.C753 5,000 euros Retro pilot's watch with an oversized crown, bronze case, 45 mm
Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Ton-Up, Ref. 11.2430.4069/21.C773 5,500 euros Chronograph, aged stainless steel case, 45 mm

Zenith El Primero: The Chronograph Legend

The El Primero is, without a doubt, one of the most famous and best chronograph movements worldwide. Therefore, it's not a surprise that manufacturers other than Zenith utilize this movement in their timepieces. Even Rolex used a heavily modified El Primero known as the 4030 from 1988 to 2000 in their Daytona watches. TAG Heuer also uses this high-frequency movement in their Carrera Calibre 36, albeit a modified version.

The origins of the classic caliber reach all the way back to 1969 when Zenith, Seiko, and a cooperative alliance between Breitling, Heuer, and Büren raced to be the first to make an automatic chronograph caliber. This race brought the Swiss manufacturer Zenith into the spotlight. Models with an El Primero from 1969 are comparatively rare today and not as expensive as one might think. Depending on its condition, you can purchase such a timepiece for around 5,000 euros. Yellow gold models in very good condition can cost over 10,000 euros, which is still comparatively inexpensive. For comparison, a Rolex Daytona from 1969 can cost over 180,000 euros.

Pre-owned models from the 1980s and 90s are especially affordable. Prices for these El Primero watches start around 2,000 euros. Models from the 1970s only cost a few hundred euros more.

Current Models with the El Primero

The current collection features a 38-mm watch (03.2150.400/26.C714) which closely resembles the original model from 1969. New, the stainless steel model costs around 5,100 euros. If you prefer a 42-mm case, then the Chronomaster El Primero 42 is a good choice. Like the 38-mm model, it's available in stainless steel, rose gold, or bicolor rose gold/stainless steel. Stainless steel versions (03.2040.400/69.C494) cost around 5,000 euros. If you want a 42-mm gold watch to call your own, then you should be prepared to spend around 11,000 euros.

The model with reference number 24.2041.400/21.R576 stands out due to its ceramicized aluminum case. This material is made of aluminum, the surface of which is converted into oxide ceramic via a special oxidation process. After the procedure, the watch case is hard, scratch-resistant, corrosion-resistant, and lightweight. You will need to spend at least 6,600 euros on this timepiece.

Top El Primero Models

Highlights from Zenith include their gold watches with an El Primero tourbillon movement. These luxury watches cost around 55,000 euros new. With a stainless steel case, they cost around 10,000 euros less. In very good condition, a pre-owned rose gold variant with a tourbillion costs around 30,000 euros. Even more exclusive is the Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Tourbillon GFJ, which utilizes a fusée-and-chain transmission. This mechanism is rarely used. Unlike the more common systems, a fusée-and-chain transmission ensures the movement has a constant driving force. A new, gold Chronometer El Primero Tourbillon GFJ (18.2520.4805/98.C713) costs more than 70,000 euros.

Completely skeletonized watches with El Primero movements are also highlights from this company. The Le Locle-based manufacturer uses "Full Open" as an affix to the name in order to emphasize the skeletonizd design. Thanks to the skeletonized dial, you can view the movement from the front side of the watch, too. A sapphire glass case back gives you a clear look at the beating heart of the timepiece. New bicolor variants (51.2081.400/78.C810) cost about 7,000 euros.

The Chronograph of the 21st Century

Zenith presented the Defy El Primero 21 at Baselworld 2017, one of the most important watch trade shows in the world. This wristwatch is powered by a successor to the El Primero chronograph caliber and catapulted the brand into the 21st century. The movement has two separate, independent escapements. The first ticks at 36,000 A/h and ensures the time is displayed. The second oscillates at 360,000 A/h (50 Hz), enabling the watch to measure 1/100th of a second. Currently, the Defy El Primero 21 is available with a ceramic or titanium case. The titanium version is available with a skeletonized dial or in a retro design with a silver dial and black numerals. Prices for this titanium watch start at 7,200 euros. The skeletonzied titanium and ceramic watches cost around 8,500 euros.

Pilot's Watches

Although wristwatches with the El Primero caliber are Zenith's most famous timepieces, the Swiss manufacturer has other beloved series, such as the Pilot collection. It consists of classic pilot's watches, as Zenith has a longstanding relationship with aviation. During the early years of flying, they were supplying pilots and airplanes with their timepieces.

The Type 20 Extra Special is reminiscent of historical models from the 1940s with its retro design. Its large case, hands, numerals, and oversized onion crown (which can be used with gloves on) are all distinctive features. The Pilot Type 20 Skeleton and Pilot Type 20 Hommage à Louis Blériot are especially rare models. Both were limited to five pieces each and cost 205,000 euros.

Watches produced in larger numbers are significantly more affordable. A bronze watch with three hands (29.2430.679/21.C753) costs around 5,000 euros. As a new chronograph, the 45-mm pilot's watch costs around 6,000 euros. If you're not a fan of bronze, there are many stainless steel options. These watches feature artificially aged cases, giving them vintage charm. The variant with three hands costs 5,000 euros, while the chronograph costs 5,500 euros.

Timeless and Elegant Dress Watches

The Zenith Elite series was introduced to the market in 1994, when mechanical watches were gaining in popularity. These elegant wristwatches are powered by ultra-thin automatic movements with long-lasting power reserves. In 1994, the Elite caliber was only 3.3 mm thick and could run for 55 hours uninterrupted. Pre-owned models from the 1990s only cost around 1,000 euros, and newer versions in very good condition cost a bit more at 1,600 euros. The price for new watches starts at around 2,700 euros. Top models made of 18-karat rose gold and featuring a tourbillon cost over 50,000 euros. If you don't necessarily need a tourbillon, you should plan on spending around 16,000 euros for a new gold watch with a matching gold bracelet. With a leather strap, a gold Zenith Elite only costs 9,000 euros.

Watchmaking Tradition since 1865

Zenith has over 150 years of watchmaking experience and history. Watchmaker Georges Favre-Jacot founded his company in 1865 in Le Locle. According to legend, Favre-Jacot named the company "Zenith" after creating a watch of extraordinary quality. A five-pointed star serves as the company's logo; together, the name and logo symbolize the manufacturer's aspiration to create timepieces of the highest quality.

In the early years, Favre-Jacot focused on the production of pocket watches. He brought all of the important players in watchmaking together in his company to achieve independence from third-party suppliers. From the very beginning, the manufacturer was producing incredibly precise timepieces, which later competed in the Neuchâtel Observatory's chronometer competition and won multiple times starting in 1903. Favre-Jacot left the company in 1911 and left it in the hands of his nephew, James Favre. Zenith has belonged to the luxury goods concern LVMH since 2000.

In addition to pocket watches, Zenith also produced countless deck clocks. At the beginning of the 20th century, they introduced one of the first wristwatches with an alarm function. Around this time, easily readable pilot's watches were also being developed and used in the First World War. Chronographs have been a part of this manufacturer's repertoire for about a century. Still today, the El Primero caliber is Zenith's most famous product. It was the first automatic chronograph in the world and has been reliably and precisely keeping time since 1969.

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