Baselworld 2017: Zenith and the legendary El Primero 100th of a second chronograph movement

Watches & Jewelry


Zenith continues to defy time with its new El Primero 21 100th of a second chronograph movement, presented at Baselworld. The Swiss watch manufacture ushers in a new era of performance with the Defy El Primero 21, a chronograph that distills traditional expertise and modern technologies. 

In 1969, the Manufacture Zenith in Switzerland created the first automatic winding chronograph with tenth of a second precision, marking the birth of the El Primero movement, still the world’s most accurate series-made chronograph. In 2017 the watchmaker has drawn on its heritage to conceive the Defy El Primero 21, an even more accurate movement that is precise to 100th of a second. Precision, speed and reliability…With the new El Primero 21 movement – made inhouse and equipped with Zenith’s own patented balance-springs – gravity, temperature and magnetism are completely neutralized.

The new model boasts complex mechanical functions performed by a smaller number of parts to simplify assembly and adjustment. The 44 mm case holds a chronometer certified by the COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres). The two counters reprise the blue and anthracite gray of the legendary 1969 chronograph in a tribute to Zenith’s heritage.

© Zenith

Zenith unveiled several other new creations as well at Baselworld. The Chronomaster El Primero Grande Date Full Open has a high-frequency skeletonized mechanism and a sapphire dial that reveals two transparent counters. The Elite collection welcomes the new Elite Lady Moonphase 33 mm, available in 18k rose gold or stainless steel. A new vintage series, the Heritage 146 chronograph, revisits the historical model, while the Pilot Extra Special Chronograph and Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 40 mm pay tribute to the aviation pioneers that the Manufacture accompanied from the early days of flight.

About Baselworld
Baselworld is the most important marketplace and trendsetting show for the world’s watch and jewelry industry. Baselworld distinguishes itself as the only show that regroups all the key players from watchmakers to jewelers, from diamond, pearl and gemstone dealers to machine manufacturers and related suppliers, as well as retailers, journalists, specialists and the general public.