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Zenith Elite

Elite is the name of an automatic watch movement from Zenith produced since 1994. The name was also frequently used on watches containing this movement.

Overview

In 1990, Zenith set a corporate direction to become a manufacture, with its own mainstream automatic movement to go along with the re-born El Primero automatic chronograph. The goal was to create a thin 11.5 ligne automatic movement with modern features like hacking seconds, bi-directional ball bearing winding, and a long power reserve. The resulting design, developed with assistance from Conseilray, is similar to the contemporary ETA 2892-2.

The Elite movement was launched in 1994 to great acclaim, named “Best Movement” at the Basel Fair that year. The initial models included the conventional Cal. 670 with date, Cal. 680 with small seconds and date, and Cal. 670 with date, and slim Cal. 661. Cals. 670 and 680 would remain in production for over 25 years, and are the basis for the rest of the movements in the series.

The first complicated versions appeared in 1996. Calibres 672 and 682 added a 24 hour hand adjustable using a push button at 10 00 on the outside of the case. This complication would appear on a number of other Elite movements in the next two decades.

A pair of hand-winding movements were released in 1997 at Basel World. Cal. 650 is a simple small seconds movement, but Cal 655 adds another signature complication A power reserve indicator between 1 00 and 2 00 on the dial. These would be the only hand-winding versions.

zenith_elite.txt · Last modified: 06.10.2021 12:22 (external edit)

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