By Osheen Arakelian
Zenith presents the Elite 6150 model equipped with a new Manufacture movement: the Elite 6150 calibre. This new mechanical automatic movement is the contemporary version of the famous Elite base movement developed in the early 1990s – an ultra-thin calibre that earned the title “Best Movement of the Year” when presented at the Basel Fair in 1994.
The Elite 6150 introduced at Baselworld returns Zenith to its roots of traditional expertise: that of creating an authentic Manufacture calibre movement that is both precise and reliable in terms of classical and slim design. The new Elite 6150 as you might have guessed it, comes with a new manufacture calibre that is based off the original introduced at Baselworld in 1994, but more on that later. The first of a new series that will be introduced by Zenith using the new Elite calibre features an entirely redesigned ultra-thin case measuring 42mm in diameter (A first for Zenith if you can believe it). Finished in a pebble style slimline case, it really is a beautiful looking piece in the metal and looks ultra-sharp with slightly sloped lugs. The new manufacture calibre is visible through a display caseback, which is a bold choice for Zenith and one that will either draw lots of negative or positive attention.
Although the case is a thing of absolute beauty, the real talking point is the new Elite Manufacture movement so let’s get to it. The Elite 6150 movement will be the basis for a number of future variations with the aim of increasing its standing in the watch world to that of the El Primero chronograph movement. The first thing that has been done with the Elite 6150 is to double its power reserve (previously 55 hours) by adding a second barrel. With the addition of a second barrel, the new Elite 6150 has more than a 4-day power reserve. The size of the movement has also been an issue that needed to be addressed with Zenith challenging itself to slim down the 195-component part movement while maintaining its functionality and reliability. Zenith met the challenge and the new calibre measures an incredibly thin 3.92mm. Another notable modification is that the seconds, formerly displayed in a subdial at 9 o’clock, are now displayed by a central direct-drive seconds hand, thereby ensuring improved amplitude, precision and reliability. Thus powering central hour, minute and seconds hands, the Elite 6150 calibre beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour.
A great new addition to Zenith with a real nostalgia feel to it. Although I still find it an odd choice to use a display caseback to show off the new Manufacture movement, time will tell if it was the right choice. Regardless, a beautiful looking timepiece that’s as sharp as it gets and definitely looks the part. Price: $8,300. For more info, please visit zenith-watches.com
Zenith Elite 6150 Specifications
Automatic Elite 6150 calibre
Frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz)
100-hour minimum power reserve
Hours and minutes
Case, Dial, Hands
Stainless steel, 42mm in diameter
Domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides
Water resistant to 3 ATM
Hollowed hour-markers form delicate grooves
Strap and Clasp
Black alligator leather with protective rubber lining
Steel triple-blade folding clasp
Osheen Arakelian – Contributing Editor
Drawing on a lifelong love of horology and a more recent introduction to appreciation of fine whisky, Osheen brought the two together with watch & whisky. He is proprietor of the site, which covers everything related to watches and whisky. In between completing a degree in commercial law and supporting a rich social life, he is out and about attending all the latest watch and whisky events Sydney has to offer. His passion has also taken him around Australia attending a number of events and he hopes to continue his career in the watch industry on a more serious level after he graduates. Read his articles here.