Introducing The New Zenith El Primero Triple Calendar Chronograph Watches

Zenith introduces the El Primero Triple Calendar once more!


Zenith’s social media accounts have been building up to something recently, something which we’re now able to reveal to you. I’m not going to do a monologue at the beginning of this article like I normally do because, frankly, I’m too darn impressed.

Zenith has been on a roll lately with their releases from tie-ins with DJ superstars to fully-polished sports watches and our favourite watch of 2023, the brand-new Pilot. They’ve also busied themselves with historical remakes which have been a big hit for some people and a bit of a miss for others, most notably people who own the original watches. Zenith made a prototype run of El Primero Triple Calendar Chronograph watches in 1970, but it wasn’t until 1972 that we got the first production run model in the form of the El Primero Espada A7817. 

Eventually, that model would disappear, and the triple calendar function wouldn’t surface again until the mid-90s in the Chronomaster where it would hang around for a long time.

The newest addition to the Zenith range is the Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar. The Chronomaster Original collection is designed to be very reminiscent of older “original” watches, hence the name, and it sits alongside the Chronomaster Sport and Chronomaster Open watches as one of the cornerstones of this collection. 

Accordingly, with its historical influences, this new watch has a relatively small case at 38mm x 13mm (est). The dial is quite clearly vintage-inspired and fits the case well. I like the contrast between the silvery dial and the dark subdials and chronograph ring. Water resistance is 50m.

The dial layout remains faithful to the El Primero Triple Calendar watches of old, too, with the extra functions being sat discreetly above the subdials. The day of the week is on the left and the month is on the right, with the date at the usual 4:30 position. A moonphase has also been integrated into the 6 O’clock subdial.

Those who are paying attention may have noticed something a little odd with the subdials on the new Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar; all of the subdials seem to have a 60 graduation, which wouldn’t make much sense. That is, of course, if you missed the bezel which has been discreetly reconfigured from the original layout. It now shows a 1/10th of a second graduation to go with the new movement inside, and so the subdials have therefore been reconfigured to display 60 seconds, 60 minutes and the running seconds.

All of this change is thanks to the in-house calibre 3610 inside the watch and on display around the back. It has a 60-hour power reserve and a 5Hz beat rate. This rate is higher than most watches and, therefore (supposedly) reduces the risk of deviation, making it more accurate. I’m not sure if this watch has the chronometer certificate to back up that claim, but that shouldn’t stop you from buying one. The triple calendar function is also sometimes called a complete calendar, but unlike the annual or perpetual calendar, it doesn’t adjust itself at the end of each month to compensate for the different lengths of the months.

Overall, the new model looks to have captured the historical appearance of the older models (the prototype models from 1970) particularly well. The cost of one of these on one of the many leather straps available is CHF12,900, rising to CHF13,400 on the stainless steel bracelet. 

If that isn’t enough, there is a special boutique exclusive watch with the reference 03.3400.3610/40.C912 & 03.3400.3610/40.M3200 which pairs a green leather strap 0r steel bracelet with an olive green dial which I think looks the business. It reminds me of the Range Rover edition watches they did a few years back. The pricing is the same, and Zenith hasn’t said if it’s limited in production on their website, just that this one is a boutique-exclusive piece.