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Zenith

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Luxury watches from Zenith represent precision, quality, and reliability. The El Primero was the first automatic chronograph caliber developed in the world. Its 2017 successor can measure 1/100th of a second. More

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Zenith Automatic new El Primero Chronomaster
TOP
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Full Open Grey Steel-18k Rose...
$7,409
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
684
US
Zenith Automatic new Pilot Type 20 (Submodel)
TOP
Zenith Pilot Cronometro Tipo CP-2 Flyback Bronze Steel/Leather...
$4,949
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
684
US
Zenith Automatic new Elite (Submodel)
TOP
Zenith ELITE Classic Silver Steel/Leather 39mm - 03.2290.679/1...
$3,839
Free shipping
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WatchShopping.com Inc.
684
US
Zenith up to $4,000
Zenith $4,000 - $8,000
Zenith Manual winding new Academy
Zenith Academy Christophe Colomb Tourbillon
$69,500
Seller
Raffi Boyadjian Watches Inc.
20
US
Zenith 45mm Automatic pre-owned Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Black
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Stainless Steel
$3,895
Seller
Ticking Way
 
US
Zenith Chronograph 45mm Automatic pre-owned El Primero Chronomaster Black
TOP
Zenith Chronomaster XXT Open Chronograph Men's 45mm Watch...
$3,675
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The Watch Outlet
170
US
Zenith Chronograph 46mm Automatic 2016 pre-owned El Primero Stratos Flyback Black
TOP
Zenith : El Primero Stratos Flyback : 03.2060.405/21.R515 : ...
$4,840
Seller
Bernard Watch Co.
332
US
Zenith Chronograph 43mm Automatic 2018 pre-owned Pilot Type 20 (Submodel) Black
TOP
Zenith Pilot Cronometro Tipo CP-2 Chronograph
$4,395
Free shipping
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Watch Noble
22
US
Zenith Automatic new Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
TOP
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Grey Steel/Leather 40mm - 11.1940.679/91....
$4,269
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
684
US
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Zenith Chronograph 40mm Automatic 2000 pre-owned El Primero Chronomaster Silver
TOP
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster
$3,799
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
Zenith Chronograph 40mm Automatic pre-owned El Primero New Vintage 1969 Black
Zenith stainless steel New Vintage 1969 The Originals
$5,200
Seller
Paul Duggan Co., Inc
92
US
Zenith Chronograph 40mm Automatic pre-owned El Primero Chronomaster Silver
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Open T 18.0240.4021/01.C495
$10,950
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
420
US
Zenith 41mm Automatic 1970 pre-owned El Primero (Submodel)
Zenith El Primero Triple Date Moon Phase Chrono, All 18K Gold,...
$13,950
Seller
G-Link
35
US
Zenith Chronograph 42mm Automatic pre-owned El Primero Chronomaster Black
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 36,000 VPH
$6,495
Seller
Ticking Way
 
US
Zenith Chronograph 44mm Automatic new El Primero (Submodel) Black
TOP
Zenith El Primero Rattrapante Chronograph Mens 44mm Watch...
$6,795
Free shipping
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The Watch Outlet
170
US
Zenith 43mm Automatic pre-owned El Primero (Submodel) White
Zenith Class XXT Moonphase El Primero, 18kt Rose Gold, w/ Box
$10,000
Free shipping
Seller
Tysons Watch and Jewelry Exchange
 
US
Zenith 36mm Automatic pre-owned Port Royal Black
Zenith Port Royal V Stainless Steel Chronograph 36X51mm Black...
$4,495
Seller
Atlantis Watches, Inc.
 
US
Zenith Automatic new Pilot Type 20 (Submodel)
TOP
Zenith Pilot Cronometro Tipo CP-2 Black Steel/Leather 43mm -...
$5,379
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
684
US
Zenith Automatic new Elite Ultra Thin
TOP
Zenith Elite Ultra Thin 18k Rose Gold
$7,000
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
Zenith Chronograph 51mm Automatic 2010 pre-owned Port Royal Silver
Zenith stainless steel Grande Port Royal Chronograph Maker:...
$3,000
Seller
Paul Duggan Co., Inc
92
US
Zenith Chronograph 44mm Automatic pre-owned Defy El Primero
Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Chronograph 95.9000.9004/78.R582
$9,450
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
420
US
Zenith Automatic 2013 pre-owned El Primero Chronomaster
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Bullitt
$6,500
Seller
Chad Warrick
20
US
Zenith Manual winding pre-owned El Primero (Submodel)
TOP
Zenith El Primero
$5,350
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
Zenith Chronograph 36mm Automatic pre-owned Port Royal Black
TOP
Zenith Grande Port Royal El Primero Chrono Men's 18K Rose Gold...
$9,995
Free shipping
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The Watch Outlet
170
US
Zenith 32mm Automatic 2000 new Baby Star Black
Zenith Elite Baby Star Black Lizard 100% NOS ref. 03.1220.67...
$1,999
Seller
LTW (Luxury Time Watches)
 
US
Zenith Chronograph 40mm Automatic 2002 pre-owned Silver
TOP
Zenith Chronomaster 17.0240.410/01
$9,000
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
Zenith Chronograph 45mm Automatic 2018 pre-owned Pilot Type 20 (Submodel) Grey
Zenith Pilot Type 20 (11.2430.4069/21.C773)
$5,099
Free shipping
Seller
The Watch Movement
29
US
Zenith Automatic new Defy El Primero
Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Blue Rubber Men's Watch - 95.9002.
$8,499
Free shipping
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WatchShopping.com Inc.
684
US
Zenith 42mm Automatic new Captain Chronograph
TOP
Zenith Captain Chronograph 18.2111.400
$8,500
Seller
Trade Watches
71
US
Zenith Chronograph 44mm Automatic pre-owned El Primero Tourbillon Silver
Zenith El Primero Tourbillon Chronograph 03.2050.4035/01.C713
$26,950
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
420
US
Zenith pre-owned Port Royal
Zenith Port Royal
$5,650
Seller
Chad Warrick
20
US
Zenith Chronograph 43mm Manual winding 1960 pre-owned Black
Zenith CP-2 Vintage A. Cairelli A.M.I Chronograph Stainless Steel
Price on request
Seller
Twain Time
 
US
Zenith 37mm Automatic new Star Blue
Zenith Star 33mm Women's Watch
$19,660
Free shipping
Seller
The Watch Outlet
170
US
Zenith 48mm Automatic 2000 pre-owned Pilot Type 20 GMT Black
Zenith Pilot GMT Montre D'Aéronef Type 20 95% LNIB First...
$4,399
Seller
LTW (Luxury Time Watches)
 
US
Zenith Chronograph Automatic pre-owned Defy El Primero Black
TOP
Zenith Defy El Primero
$5,500
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
Zenith 45mm Automatic pre-owned Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Black
Zenith Heritage Pilot Type 20 Extra Special in Bronze 45mm -...
$4,799
Seller
Timeless Luxury Watches
33
US
Zenith Automatic new Defy
Zenith Defy Classic Mens Watch Blue/Steel 41mm - 95.9000.670
$5,159
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
684
US
Zenith 45.5mm Automatic pre-owned El Primero Stratos Flyback Black
Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Limited Edition
$4,100
Free shipping
Seller
Ferlazzo LLC
80
US
Zenith Chronograph 45mm Automatic pre-owned El Primero Sport Grey
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Sport Land Rover Bar Team...
$4,700
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
420
US
Zenith pre-owned
Zenith 03-2050-4026-91-C714
$7,800
Seller
Chad Warrick
20
US
Zenith Chronograph 46.5mm Automatic pre-owned Defy El Primero
Zenith El Primero Defy Xtreme Open Stealth 95.0527.4021/01.M530
$6,700
Seller
LuxWatch.Com
44
US
Zenith 42mm Automatic pre-owned Captain Chronograph Black
TOP
Zenith Pilot Chronograph Men's 42mm Automatic Watch 03.2117.40...
$3,675
Free shipping
Seller
The Watch Outlet
170
US
Zenith 32mm Automatic 2000 new Baby Star Silver
Zenith Baby Star Elite NOS 99%LNIB Bracelet Great Value Store...
$2,299
Seller
LTW (Luxury Time Watches)
 
US
Zenith 40mm Automatic new Elite Ultra Thin
TOP
Zenith Elite Ultra Thin
$6,400
Seller
Trade Watches
71
US
Zenith 45mm Automatic pre-owned El Primero Chronomaster Black
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Night Vision 24.2160.4068/21.R5...
$5,499
Seller
Timeless Luxury Watches
33
US
Zenith Automatic new Defy
Zenith Defy Classic Mens Watch 41mm - 95.9000.670/78.M9000
$5,889
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
684
US
Zenith 38mm Automatic 2010 pre-owned El Primero Original 1969 Silver
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 03.2150.400/69.C713 Watch with...
$5,000
Free shipping
Seller
Crown & Caliber
225
US
Zenith Chronograph 45mm Automatic pre-owned El Primero Lightweight
Zenith El Primero Lightweight Limited Edition 10.2260.400/69.R573
$9,950
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
420
US
Zenith Manual winding pre-owned Elite Tourbillon
Zenith Elite Tourbillon
$31,100
Seller
Chad Warrick
20
US
Zenith Chronograph 44mm Automatic 2018 new Defy El Primero Transparent
Zenith Defy El Primero
$9,600
Seller
BlackTagWatches
145
US
Zenith Chronograph 45mm Automatic pre-owned El Primero Chronomaster White
TOP
Zenith Chronomaster XXT Open Mens 45mm Stainless Steel...
$3,675
Free shipping
Seller
The Watch Outlet
170
US
Zenith Chronograph 42mm Automatic 1969 new El Primero (Submodel) Silver
Zenith Strinking 10th El Primero
$7,920
Seller
HEI
12
US
Zenith Chronograph Automatic 2010 pre-owned Blue
Zenith El Primero Automatic Self Wind Chronoscaph with Date...
$4,750
Free shipping
Seller
Interwatches
239
US
Zenith 42mm Automatic pre-owned Elite 6150 Blue
Zenith Elite 6150 Blue 42mm S/S - 100% complete w/ warranty
$3,500
Seller
Timeless Luxury Watches
33
US
Zenith Automatic new Defy El Primero
Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Black Ceramic/Skeleton/Rubber 44mm
$9,479
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
684
US
Zenith Chronograph 37.5mm Manual winding 1960 pre-owned Silver
Zenith Vintage 18K Solid Rose Gold 1960s Swiss Watch Chrono on...
$4,792
Free shipping
Seller
GMTSKY
442
US
Zenith 40mm Automatic pre-owned Captain Power Reserve Silver
Zenith Captain Power Reserve 18.2120.685/02.C498
$7,950
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
420
US
Zenith 33mm Automatic pre-owned Elite Ultra Thin Grey
Zenith : Elite Ultra Thin 'Hennessy' 33MM : 03.2311.679/27.C7...
$1,895
Seller
Bernard Watch Co.
332
US
Zenith Chronograph 42mm Automatic 2018 new El Primero Chronomaster
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster
$7,500
Seller
BlackTagWatches
145
US
Zenith Chronograph 38mm Automatic pre-owned El Primero Chronograph Silver
TOP
Zenith Movado El Primero Chronograph Rare Bracelet Caliber...
$4,336
Free shipping
Seller
Pawndeluxe
309
NL
Zenith 38mm Automatic 2000 pre-owned Elite (Submodel) White
Zenith Elite Ref 53 0030 682 18k Yellow Gold & Stainless Steel...
$2,195
Free shipping
Seller
Quality Diamonds
48
US
Zenith 37mm Automatic new Star Silver
Zenith Star 33mm Women's Watch
$22,990
Free shipping
Seller
The Watch Outlet
170
US
Zenith 42mm Automatic pre-owned El Primero 36'000 VpH
Zenith El Primero Tri-Color 42mm Ref. 03.2040.400/69.C494 -...
$4,899
Seller
Timeless Luxury Watches
33
US
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Precision and High Performance since 1865

Luxury watches from Zenith represent precision, quality, and reliability. The El Primero was the first automatic chronograph caliber developed in the world. Its 2017 successor can measure 1/100th of a second.

Highlights

  • Zenith El Primero: first automatic chronograph worldwide
  • El Primero 21 with two escapements, measures 1/100th of a second
  • Top chronographs made of gold and feature a tourbillon
  • Current watches in the Pilot collection have a vintage look

Zenith: Ahead of the Curve

The Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Zenith is inseparable from their famous chronograph caliber, the El Primero. This movement was released as 3019 PHC in 1969 and was the first automatic chronograph movement ever produced. Thanks to a balance frequency of 36,000 A/h, it can measure 1/10th of a second. Most chronographs can only measure 1/8th of a second, as they oscillate at 28,800 A/h.

In 2017, the company presented the ultra-modern Zenith El Primero 21 caliber. The successor to the famous El Primero has two escapements, one for displaying the time and the other for chronograph functions. One oscillation system vibrates at 360,000 A/h, allowing it to measure 1/100th of a second, while the other vibrates at 36,000 A/h.

Haute horlogerie highlights from Zenith include the intricate watches in the Academy Christophe Colomb (French for Christopher Columbus) series. The model Zenith Academy Christophe Colomb Equation of Time is a true example of 21st-century watchmaking art. This timepiece won the Best Complicated Watch Prize at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève in 2011, one of the most prestigious awards in the world of mechanical watches. Zenith even developed a self-regulating mechanism for this ultra-precise watch, the so-called Gravity Control module. It ensures that the escapement and oscillation systems constantly remain in a horizontal position, regardless of the position of the watch on a wrist. This pioneering system guarantees optimal precision.

How much does a Zenith watch cost?

Zenith is a part of the luxury goods concern LVMH Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton SE (LVMH), nestled in between TAG Heuer and Hublot. Zenith watches are meant for the young at heart who have an appreciation for tradition, high-quality in-house work, and innovative technology. Movements developed and produced in-house are even featured in some of the Elite collection's introductory models. These women's and men's watches have predominantly classic designs, making them ideal dress watches. Zenith offers high-quality luxury watches that are comparatively affordable. Jean-Claude Biver, the head of LVMH, was instrumental in this strategy of offering affordable luxury watches.

You can find a number of good deals in the vintage market. There are countless pre-owned Zenith wristwatches and pocket watches which you can purchase for just a few hundred euros. Even chronographs with the famous El Primero movement are available pre-owned starting at 1,700 euros. These are often from the 1990s and are in very good or good condition. You should plan on spending at least 3,300 euros for a new model.

Detailed Price Information

Model Price (approx.) Features
Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane, Ref. 18.2212.8805/36.C713 270,000 euros Gravity Control module, rose gold case, power reserve display, 45 mm
Academy Christophe Colomb Equation of Time, Ref. 65.2220.8808/01.C630 170,000 euros Gravity Control module, white gold case, power reserve display, 45 mm
Chronomaster El Primero Tourbillon GFJ, Ref. 18.2520.4805/98.C713 73,000 euros Tourbillon, fusée-and-chain transmission, rose gold case, 45 mm
Chronomaster El Primero Tourbillon, Ref. 18.2280.4035/01.C713 55,000 euros Tourbillon, rose gold case, chronograph, 45 mm
Elite Classic 39, Ref. 18.2290.679/18.C498 7,400 euros Timeless, elegant dress watch; rose gold case; 39 mm
Defy El Primero 21, Ref. 95.9001.9004/01.R582 7,200 euros El Primero 21 with two escapements, measures to 1/100th of a second, power reserve display, titanium case, 44 mm
Chronomaster El Primero 42, Ref. 24.2041.400/21.R576 6,600 euros Ceramic-coated aluminum case, 42 mm, chronograph
Chronomaster El Primero 38, Ref. 03.2150.400/26.C714 5,100 euros Current version of this chronograph with a case size of 38 mm, just like the original
Chronomaster El Primero 42, Ref. 03.2040.400/69.C494 5,000 euros 42 mm, chronograph
Pilot Type 20 Extra Special, Ref. 29.2430.679/21.C753 5,000 euros Retro pilot's watch with an oversized crown, bronze case, 45 mm
Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Ton-Up, Ref. 11.2430.4069/21.C773 5,500 euros Chronograph, aged stainless steel case, 45 mm

Zenith El Primero: The Chronograph Legend

The El Primero is, without a doubt, one of the most famous and best chronograph movements worldwide. Therefore, it's not a surprise that manufacturers other than Zenith utilize this movement in their timepieces. Even Rolex used a heavily modified El Primero known as the 4030 from 1988 to 2000 in their Daytona watches. TAG Heuer also uses this high-frequency movement in their Carrera Calibre 36, albeit a modified version.

The origins of the classic caliber reach all the way back to 1969 when Zenith, Seiko, and a cooperative alliance between Breitling, Heuer, and Büren raced to be the first to make an automatic chronograph caliber. This race brought the Swiss manufacturer Zenith into the spotlight. Models with an El Primero from 1969 are comparatively rare today and not as expensive as one might think. Depending on its condition, you can purchase such a timepiece for around 5,000 euros. Yellow gold models in very good condition can cost over 10,000 euros, which is still comparatively inexpensive. For comparison, a Rolex Daytona from 1969 can cost over 180,000 euros.

Pre-owned models from the 1980s and 90s are especially affordable. Prices for these El Primero watches start around 2,000 euros. Models from the 1970s only cost a few hundred euros more.

Current Models with the El Primero

The current collection features a 38-mm watch (03.2150.400/26.C714) which closely resembles the original model from 1969. New, the stainless steel model costs around 5,100 euros. If you prefer a 42-mm case, then the Chronomaster El Primero 42 is a good choice. Like the 38-mm model, it's available in stainless steel, rose gold, or bicolor rose gold/stainless steel. Stainless steel versions (03.2040.400/69.C494) cost around 5,000 euros. If you want a 42-mm gold watch to call your own, then you should be prepared to spend around 11,000 euros.

The model with reference number 24.2041.400/21.R576 stands out due to its ceramicized aluminum case. This material is made of aluminum, the surface of which is converted into oxide ceramic via a special oxidation process. After the procedure, the watch case is hard, scratch-resistant, corrosion-resistant, and lightweight. You will need to spend at least 6,600 euros on this timepiece.

Top El Primero Models

Highlights from Zenith include their gold watches with an El Primero tourbillon movement. These luxury watches cost around 55,000 euros new. With a stainless steel case, they cost around 10,000 euros less. In very good condition, a pre-owned rose gold variant with a tourbillion costs around 30,000 euros. Even more exclusive is the Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Tourbillon GFJ, which utilizes a fusée-and-chain transmission. This mechanism is rarely used. Unlike the more common systems, a fusée-and-chain transmission ensures the movement has a constant driving force. A new, gold Chronometer El Primero Tourbillon GFJ (18.2520.4805/98.C713) costs more than 70,000 euros.

Completely skeletonized watches with El Primero movements are also highlights from this company. The Le Locle-based manufacturer uses "Full Open" as an affix to the name in order to emphasize the skeletonizd design. Thanks to the skeletonized dial, you can view the movement from the front side of the watch, too. A sapphire glass case back gives you a clear look at the beating heart of the timepiece. New bicolor variants (51.2081.400/78.C810) cost about 7,000 euros.

The Chronograph of the 21st Century

Zenith presented the Defy El Primero 21 at Baselworld 2017, one of the most important watch trade shows in the world. This wristwatch is powered by a successor to the El Primero chronograph caliber and catapulted the brand into the 21st century. The movement has two separate, independent escapements. The first ticks at 36,000 A/h and ensures the time is displayed. The second oscillates at 360,000 A/h (50 Hz), enabling the watch to measure 1/100th of a second. Currently, the Defy El Primero 21 is available with a ceramic or titanium case. The titanium version is available with a skeletonized dial or in a retro design with a silver dial and black numerals. Prices for this titanium watch start at 7,200 euros. The skeletonzied titanium and ceramic watches cost around 8,500 euros.

Pilot's Watches

Although wristwatches with the El Primero caliber are Zenith's most famous timepieces, the Swiss manufacturer has other beloved series, such as the Pilot collection. It consists of classic pilot's watches, as Zenith has a longstanding relationship with aviation. During the early years of flying, they were supplying pilots and airplanes with their timepieces.

The Type 20 Extra Special is reminiscent of historical models from the 1940s with its retro design. Its large case, hands, numerals, and oversized onion crown (which can be used with gloves on) are all distinctive features. The Pilot Type 20 Skeleton and Pilot Type 20 Hommage à Louis Blériot are especially rare models. Both were limited to five pieces each and cost 205,000 euros.

Watches produced in larger numbers are significantly more affordable. A bronze watch with three hands (29.2430.679/21.C753) costs around 5,000 euros. As a new chronograph, the 45-mm pilot's watch costs around 6,000 euros. If you're not a fan of bronze, there are many stainless steel options. These watches feature artificially aged cases, giving them vintage charm. The variant with three hands costs 5,000 euros, while the chronograph costs 5,500 euros.

Timeless and Elegant Dress Watches

The Zenith Elite series was introduced to the market in 1994, when mechanical watches were gaining in popularity. These elegant wristwatches are powered by ultra-thin automatic movements with long-lasting power reserves. In 1994, the Elite caliber was only 3.3 mm thick and could run for 55 hours uninterrupted. Pre-owned models from the 1990s only cost around 1,000 euros, and newer versions in very good condition cost a bit more at 1,600 euros. The price for new watches starts at around 2,700 euros. Top models made of 18-karat rose gold and featuring a tourbillon cost over 50,000 euros. If you don't necessarily need a tourbillon, you should plan on spending around 16,000 euros for a new gold watch with a matching gold bracelet. With a leather strap, a gold Zenith Elite only costs 9,000 euros.

Watchmaking Tradition since 1865

Zenith has over 150 years of watchmaking experience and history. Watchmaker Georges Favre-Jacot founded his company in 1865 in Le Locle. According to legend, Favre-Jacot named the company "Zenith" after creating a watch of extraordinary quality. A five-pointed star serves as the company's logo; together, the name and logo symbolize the manufacturer's aspiration to create timepieces of the highest quality.

In the early years, Favre-Jacot focused on the production of pocket watches. He brought all of the important players in watchmaking together in his company to achieve independence from third-party suppliers. From the very beginning, the manufacturer was producing incredibly precise timepieces, which later competed in the Neuchâtel Observatory's chronometer competition and won multiple times starting in 1903. Favre-Jacot left the company in 1911 and left it in the hands of his nephew, James Favre. Zenith has belonged to the luxury goods concern LVMH since 2000.

In addition to pocket watches, Zenith also produced countless deck clocks. At the beginning of the 20th century, they introduced one of the first wristwatches with an alarm function. Around this time, easily readable pilot's watches were also being developed and used in the First World War. Chronographs have been a part of this manufacturer's repertoire for about a century. Still today, the El Primero caliber is Zenith's most famous product. It was the first automatic chronograph in the world and has been reliably and precisely keeping time since 1969.

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