Zenith Debuts El Primero Revival for 50th Anniversary of World’s First Automatic Chronograph

This elegant recreation celebrates a truly groundbreaking timepiece.

Zenith El Primero A384 Promo

Zenith is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the famed El Primero—the world’s first automatic chronograph—with a recreation of the groundbreaking watch. 

The Swiss watchmaker unveiled the El Primero Revival A384 in New York City. It’s a reverse-engineered rendition of the original, which could measure time intervals to one tenth of a second, but with a few modern tweaks. 

“We can’t create an exact replica because times have changed and so has technology,” Julien Tornare, CEO of Zenith, told Forbes

“We use a new state-of-the-art movement, and we added sapphire crystals and an open caseback. Otherwise, the design is exact.”

Original Zenith El Primero A384

More specifically, the vintage-style time piece boasts the 278-part El Primero 400 chronograph movement, a sapphire crystal window, and a transparent case back. The 37mm faceted matte-finished steel case and lacquered black-and-white tachymeter, however, are faithful to the original. 

Forbes has further details on other features: 

The El Primero 400 caliber beats at 36,000 vph and features hours, minutes in the center, and small seconds at 9:00. The chronograph can track intervals of time up to 12 hours and 30 minutes, and has a central chronograph hand.

There is also a tachymeter scale on the outer chapter ring of the dial and date indication at 4:00. The dial has SuperLuminova SLN C3 hands and markers. Crafted in stainless steel, it is water resistant to 10 ATM. 


Priced at $7,600, the El Primero Revival A384 will be available with a black alligator leather strap or steel bracelet when it goes on sale this October.