Baselworld 2019: Zenith El Primero A386 Revival Watch


The year 1969 bears an important significance in Zenith’s horological history, as it was in this year that the brand introduced its revolutionary high beat (5Hz) automatic chronograph movement, the El Primero. The iconic movement first made its way onto people’s wrist fitted inside the reference A386 and as the year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the El Primero, Zenith is celebrating in style by launching a trio of A386 revival watches. Powered by a classic El Primero (5Hz) movement these new watches would be presented with cases made out of 3 different colored precious metals and would be limited to a production run of 50 pieces each.

The original A386 was instantly recognizable through its multicolored tricompax layout and the new revival A386 keeps the famous tri-colored configuration intact with a blue 30-minute register at 3, a dark grey 12-hour register at 6 and finally, a running seconds register at 9. The rest of the dial akin to the subdials looks strikingly familiar with a silver/white base dial, applied hour markers, a black minute track, a tachymeter scale, blocky minute/hour hands, a vibrant red chronograph seconds hand and a neatly tucked date window between 4 and 5. In all, you can hardly find any differences between the new and the old dials.

The case on the A386 revival watches is modestly sized at 38mm. While the case on the original watch was made out of stainless steel, these new watches are being offered in white, rose and yellow gold only. The case is water resistant to 100 meters and features a slightly domed sapphire crystal on top and also a sapphire exhibition glass at the back. Powering the A386 revival watches is Zenith’s El Primero 499 caliber. The movement operates at a frequency of 36000 vph making the seconds hand sweep in a super smooth manner and offers a power reserve of 50 hours. It has also been beautifully decorated and can be viewed in all its glory through the display case back.

In the end, all I would like to say is that it does not get any better than the A386 revival watches, as they are an almost identical copy of the watch that started it all in 1969. The red and yellow gold versions would come attached to a brown alligator strap whereas the white gold version would come equipped with a black strap. All watches would retail at a price of CHF 19,900.

Visit Zenith here.