Zenith El Primero watches

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Zenith's high-beat El Primero movement was used in a number of watches. Since many of these feature the name, 'El Primero' on the dial, the series has come to be known by this name.

First Series, 1969-1971

The 'El Primero' introduction was accompanied by the launch of three watch models, all with 38 mm cases. Each features the Zenith name, "Chronograph Automatic", and italicized "El Primero" on the dial. All used Zenith's Cal. 3019PHC.

  • A384 (2600 made) - Silver dial, black subdials, black tachymeter, angular tonneau case, Gay Frères bracelet
  • A385 (2400 made) - Dark khaki dial, silver or white subdials, black tachymeter, angular tonneau case
  • A386 (2500 made) - White dial, overlapping tricolor subdials, white decimal tachymeter, rounded case

Second Series, 1971-1972

Zenith expanded the range in 1971 to include ten models. Each features the Zenith name and "Chronograph Automatic" on the dial. The "Espada" model does not include "El Primero" on the dial, while all others do. It is also the only to use Zenith's Cal. 3019PHF; all others use Cal. 3019PHC.

  • Zenith El Primero “Defy” models with hidden-lug 38 mm water-resistant tonneau case
    • A781 (1000 made) - Dark red dial, overlapping silver subdials, blue central seconds hand
    • A782 (1500 made) - Turquoise dial, overlapping silver subdials
    • A783 (1500 made) - Silver dial, overlapping dark blue subdials, tachymeter ring
  • Zenith Espada with "Defy"-style hidden-lug 38 mm water-resistant tonneau case
    • A7817 (300 made) - Silver dail, blue and silver subdials, full calendar and moon phase
  • Zenith El Primero "Sports" models with different hidden-lug case, snap-on back
    • A787 (1500 made) - Silver dial and overlapping subdials, no tachymeter
    • A788 (1400 made) - Blue dial, overlapping silver subdials, tachymeter/pulsometer
  • Zenith El Primero tonneau case
    • A3817 (1000 made) - White dial, overlapping tricolor subdials, tachymeter
    • A3818 (1000 made) - Metallic blue dial and subdials, tachymeter/pulsometer
  • Zenith El Primero "Pilot" or "Diver" with 44 mm diving case and mineral crystal (1972)
    • A3822 (800 made) - Black dial and subdials, tachymeter, rotating dive bezel
  • Zenith El Primero Tachymeter in "Defy" style case with fixed tachymeter ring (1972)
    • 01.0140.415 (500 made) - Blue dial and subdials, blue tachymeter ring

Third Series, 1973-1975

Zenith introduced a new logo in 1972 and a new model naming system. They also released many other El Primero models. Each features the Zenith name, but many skip the words, "chronograph" and "El Primero" as noted. Once again, the Espada uses Zenith's Cal. 3019PHF; all others use Cal. 3019PHC.

  • Zenith Espada with "Defy"-style hidden-lug 38 mm water-resistant tonneau case (continued model) dial reads "Zenith Espada Chronograph Automatic"
    • 01.0040.418 (500 made) - Silver dail, blue and silver subdials, full calendar and moon phase
  • Zenith El Primero "Pilot" or "Diver" with 44 mm diving case and mineral crystal (continued model); dial reads "Zenith Chronograph Automatic El Primero"
    • 01.0180.415 (2400 made) - Black dial and subdials, tachymeter, rotating dive bezel
      • 01.0150.415 grey dial (500 made)
      • 01.0180.415 black dial (100 made)
      • 01.0190.415 black dial, lunette (800 made)
      • 01.0200.415 grey dial, transparent back (50 made)
      • 01.0230.415 black dial (50 made)
      • 01.0230.415 (900 made)
  • Zenith El Primero 40 mm "TV" style case with integrated bracelet; dial reads "Zenith Automatic El Primero"
    • 01.0200.415 (4950 made) - Blue dial, white-outlined blue subdials, tachymeter
    • 01.0201.415 (50 made) - Black dial, white-outlined black subdials, tachymeter (final 1970's El Primero models)
  • Zenith El Primero with rounded "C"-shaped tonneau case and mineral crystal; dial reads "Zenith Automatic El Primero"
    • 01.0210.415 (4000 made) - Steel case, silver dial and subdials
    • 20.0210.415 (1000 made) - Gold plated case, gold dial and subdials
    • 20.0220.416 (1000 made) - Gold plated case, gold dial and subdials, 17 jewel movement for US market
  • Movado "Zenith automatic" with rounded case and hidden lugs; dial reads "Movado Zenith Automatic"
    • 01.0180.434 (about 100 made) - Silver dial, white subdials

See Also