Zenith has been on a roll this year. With the 50th anniversary of the El Primero movement drawing to a close it was time for them to do something a little different, the result of this effort is the Chronomaster 2, a special edition watch that follows the style of the Chronomaster line while also paying tribute to the El Primero calibre.
To do this, Zenith redesigned the entire calibre from the ground up, the main reason for this is supposedly to improve the modularity of the movement. Essentially, this means that they can make it easier to insert a new complication module, this, in turn, helps to improve productivity and reduce the cost and time spent assembling the watches while still getting the same high quality we expect of a Zenith watch.
The new calibre El Primero 3600 has a 60-hour power reserve and new ceramic ball bearings for the automatic winding rotor. It has a new stop-seconds function, to allow the owner to set the time more accurately, and a unique lateral clutch for the chronograph while still keeping the traditional column wheel too. It seems, to me at least, that Zenith is equipping itself for the future with this calibre El Primero 3600, but, to give it the best chance of survival, they have also given it a new case.
The two cases are both made from titanium and feature either a black or blue graduated ceramic bezel. Both versions receive a skeleton dial which does not have a cut-out to allow a view to the balance wheel the way other Chronomaster watches have. The signature Zenith colours appear on the subdials for the chronograph, giving it a familiar feel to offset the new date ring which is visible around the outside of the dial. The new El Primero 3600 calibre allows the Chronomaster 2 to time in 1/10ths of a second, though it remains legible on the wrist.
The watch is a healthy 42mm in diameter as well and comes on either a black or blue leather strap. Prices for the Chronomaster 2 from Zenith are set at €9,600, and both are limited to 250 examples each.