Zenith celebrates 50th anniversary of El Primero, the world’s first high-frequency automatic chronograph

Watches & Jewelry


In 1969, Zenith revolutionized the world of watchmaking with the public launch of El Primero, the world’s first and unique high-frequency automatic chronograph. In homage to this legendary complication, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Zenith has issued an exclusive box set containing three limited editions of its El Primero models, retracing the technical and aesthetic evolution of the movement.

On January 10, 1969, Zenith publicly launched its legendary El Primero chronograph, shining brightly ever since in the firmament of high-frequency. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its iconic movement, the Swiss watchmaker has unveiled an exclusive box set that traces the evolution of El Primero over time.

While El Primero has never ceased to evolve since its invention, Zenith has never before proposed a reissue faithful to the original model. Now the 50th anniversary box set offers a perfect re-edition of the 1969 chronograph.

Equipped with a latest generation El Primero engine and black ceramic bezel, the new Chronomaster 2.0 is a modern incarnation of the calibre, the second emblematic model in this exclusive set, bringing together watchmaking tradition with innovation in performance and precision..

The third watch in this trilogy is the Defy El Primero 21. Inside the imposing 44 mm titanium case beats a revolutionary mechanical movement that oscillates at a frequency of 360,000 vibrations per hour, ushering watchmaking into the world of 1/100th of a second timing.

At the same time, Zenith continues to write new chapters in its future and the future of watchmaking. A fourth cushion in the case has been deliberately left empty to welcome Zenith’s next exploit in the world of high-frequency timekeeping…

In conjunction with the release of this anniversary box set Zenith is celebrating “El Primero Day” on social networks, inviting fans of the movement to share photos of their El Primero timepiece on the first day of each month using the hashtag #ElPrimeroDay. The photos are posted on the Zenith Instagram page, timeless testimony to the impact of a watchmaking legend.