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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 2016 Zenith El Primero Chronograph Silver 38mm 36000...
Zenith 2016 Zenith El Primero Chronograph Silver 38mm 36000...
$4,594
Seller
Collectors Coins & Jewelry
 
US
Zenith Grande Class El Primero Chrono
Zenith Grande Class El Primero Chrono
$6,850
Seller
WatchUKnow.com
6
US
Zenith El Primero Original 1969
Zenith El Primero Original 1969
$4,300
Seller
HJ jewelers
 
US
Zenith up to $4,000
Zenith $4,000 - $10,000
Zenith Pilot Type 20 (11.2430.4069/21.C773)
Zenith Pilot Type 20 (11.2430.4069/21.C773)
$5,999
Seller
The Watch Movement
 
US
Zenith El Primero Striking 10th Limited Edition
Zenith El Primero Striking 10th Limited Edition
$9,750
Free shipping
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Temporis Aeterni
 
US
Zenith Captain 03.2143.691/01.C498 Watch with Leather Bracelet...
Zenith Captain 03.2143.691/01.C498 Watch with Leather Bracelet...
$3,850
Free shipping
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Crown & Caliber
10
US
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Open
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Open
$5,795
Free shipping
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Essence of Time, Inc.
22
US
Zenith El Primero Cal 400
Zenith El Primero Cal 400
$2,400
Seller
Time Merchants
 
CA
Zenith Montre D'Aeronef Type 20 57.5mm LTD Ed--------
TOP
Zenith Montre D'Aeronef Type 20 57.5mm LTD Ed--------
$18,500
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Private Seller
 
US
Offers from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland
Offers from Germany
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Zenith Defy Classic Elite Power Reserve 03.0516.685 Ivory...
Zenith Defy Classic Elite Power Reserve 03.0516.685 Ivory...
$3,493
Seller
Collectors Coins & Jewelry
 
US
Zenith 01.0240.410 Chronomaster T El Primero Moon Black Dial...
Zenith 01.0240.410 Chronomaster T El Primero Moon Black Dial...
$4,300
Seller
European Watch Company
113
US
Zenith , Pvd-coated Titanium Wristwatch With Date, Power...
Auction
Zenith , Pvd-coated Titanium Wristwatch With Date, Power...
$1,294
Estimated price
Seller
Sotheby´s
 
Zenith El Primero Rattrapante Chronograph
Zenith El Primero Rattrapante Chronograph
$9,800
Seller
WatchWorks Fine Watches & Accessories
11
US
Zenith Type 20 Chronograph Extra Special Chrono Bronze
Zenith Type 20 Chronograph Extra Special Chrono Bronze
$4,795
Free shipping
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J A Meyer Jewelry & Watches, inc
22
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 03.2042.4061 Watch with...
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 03.2042.4061 Watch with...
$5,500
Free shipping
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Crown & Caliber
10
US
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Skeleton
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Skeleton
$4,790
Free shipping
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Essence of Time, Inc.
22
US
Zenith Futur Time Command
Zenith Futur Time Command
$750
Seller
Time Merchants
 
CA
Zenith Oversized caliber 2572PC
TOP
Zenith Oversized caliber 2572PC
$682
Seller
Vintage Watch Services
203
NL
Zenith Port Royal Open Concept Chronograph Titanium 95.0550.40...
Zenith Port Royal Open Concept Chronograph Titanium 95.0550.40...
$4,393
Seller
Collectors Coins & Jewelry
 
US
Zenith el primero vintage 1969 Panda a384 factory restored
Zenith el primero vintage 1969 Panda a384 factory restored
$7,999
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
Zenith Defy El Primero 21 95.9000.9004/78.R582
Zenith Defy El Primero 21 95.9000.9004/78.R582
$9,950
Free shipping
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Govberg Jewelers
247
US
Zenith  El Primero Port Royal Open T Concept
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Zenith El Primero Port Royal Open T Concept
$3,895
Free shipping
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Luxury Horology
180
US
Zenith Elite Ultra Thin
Zenith Elite Ultra Thin
$9,597
Free shipping
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Carat & Co.
 
US
Zenith El Primero 03.2070.4054 Watch with Leather Bracelet and...
Zenith El Primero 03.2070.4054 Watch with Leather Bracelet and...
$5,000
Free shipping
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Crown & Caliber
10
US
Zenith Class Elite HW
Zenith Class Elite HW
$5,750
Free shipping
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Essence of Time, Inc.
22
US
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Grande Date Full Open 03.2530.4...
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Grande Date Full Open 03.2530.4...
$7,526
Free shipping
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Prestige Time LLC
79
US
Zenith Vintage Dress Watch Caliber 2572PC
TOP
Zenith Vintage Dress Watch Caliber 2572PC
$1,504
Seller
Vintage Watch Services
203
NL
Zenith El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar Chronograph NIB
Zenith El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar Chronograph NIB
$5,495
Free shipping
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J A Meyer Jewelry & Watches, inc
22
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster
$4,200
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
Zenith Elite 01.0040.680/03
Zenith Elite 01.0040.680/03
$2,450
Free shipping
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Govberg Jewelers
247
US
Zenith Elite Stainless Steel Automatic Men's Watch 03.2010.681...
Zenith Elite Stainless Steel Automatic Men's Watch 03.2010.681...
$2,290
Seller
Midtown Watch
20
US
Zenith El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar
Zenith El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar
$17,980
Free shipping
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Carat & Co.
 
US
Zenith Pilot Montre d'Aeronef 16.1930.681.31/C725 Watch with...
Zenith Pilot Montre d'Aeronef 16.1930.681.31/C725 Watch with...
$4,250
Free shipping
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Crown & Caliber
10
US
Zenith El Primero Heritage Pilot Cronometro Tipo CP-2
Zenith El Primero Heritage Pilot Cronometro Tipo CP-2
$5,650
Free shipping
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Essence of Time, Inc.
22
US
Zenith Elite Dual Time 03.2130.682/02.C498
Zenith Elite Dual Time 03.2130.682/02.C498
$4,290
Free shipping
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Prestige Time LLC
79
US
Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot
Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot
$53,700
Seller
E.D. Marshall Jewelers Inc
19
US
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Ton-Up
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Ton-Up
$4,395
Free shipping
Seller
J A Meyer Jewelry & Watches, inc
22
US
Zenith 18k Rose Gold Automatic
Zenith 18k Rose Gold Automatic
$1,600
Seller
Private Seller
US
Zenith 03.1969.469/21.C490 Vintage 1969 Limited SS (28382)
Zenith 03.1969.469/21.C490 Vintage 1969 Limited SS (28382)
$5,900
Seller
European Watch Company
113
US
Zenith Elite Power Reserve 18.2121.685/01.C498
Zenith Elite Power Reserve 18.2121.685/01.C498
$7,950
Free shipping
Seller
Govberg Jewelers
247
US
Zenith Captain Moonphase
Zenith Captain Moonphase
$13,401
Free shipping
Seller
Carat & Co.
 
US
Zenith El Primero De Luca Chronograph 02.2310.400 Watch with...
Zenith El Primero De Luca Chronograph 02.2310.400 Watch with...
$4,750
Free shipping
Seller
Crown & Caliber
10
US
Zenith Heritage Pilot Montre d’Aeronef Type 20
Zenith Heritage Pilot Montre d’Aeronef Type 20
$4,850
Free shipping
Seller
Essence of Time, Inc.
22
US
Zenith Captain Power Reserve 03.2120.685/22.C493
Zenith Captain Power Reserve 03.2120.685/22.C493
$4,225
Free shipping
Seller
Prestige Time LLC
79
US
Zenith Chronomaster Open Moon
TOP
Zenith Chronomaster Open Moon
$6,995
Free shipping
Seller
AJ Watches
92
US
Zenith Grande Class Open El Primero Power Reserve Chronograph
Zenith Grande Class Open El Primero Power Reserve Chronograph
$4,295
Free shipping
Seller
J A Meyer Jewelry & Watches, inc
22
US
Zenith El Primero Doublematic
Zenith El Primero Doublematic
$9,399
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
Zenith 65.2120.685/91.C493 Captain Power Reserve 18K WG Grey...
Zenith 65.2120.685/91.C493 Captain Power Reserve 18K WG Grey...
$6,450
Seller
European Watch Company
113
US
Zenith El Primero Stratos Spindrift Chronograph 75.2060.4061/2...
Zenith El Primero Stratos Spindrift Chronograph 75.2060.4061/2...
$5,950
Free shipping
Seller
Govberg Jewelers
247
US
Zenith Captain Central Second
Zenith Captain Central Second
$8,900
Free shipping
Seller
Carat & Co.
 
US
Zenith Pilot Montre d'Aeronef Type 20 GMT 96.2431.693/21.C738...
Zenith Pilot Montre d'Aeronef Type 20 GMT 96.2431.693/21.C738...
$4,550
Free shipping
Seller
Crown & Caliber
10
US
Zenith El Primero Helios Stainless Steel
Zenith El Primero Helios Stainless Steel
$5,450
Free shipping
Seller
Essence of Time, Inc.
22
US
Zenith Pilot Montre d'Aeronef Type 20 Extra Special 11.1942.67...
Zenith Pilot Montre d'Aeronef Type 20 Extra Special 11.1942.67...
$4,275
Free shipping
Seller
Prestige Time LLC
79
US
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Open 45mm  - Rolling Stones
TOP
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Open 45mm - Rolling Stones
$7,059
Free shipping
Seller
Pawndeluxe
57
NL
Zenith Montre D'Aeronef Type 20 Limited Edition
Zenith Montre D'Aeronef Type 20 Limited Edition
$19,500
Seller
E.D. Marshall Jewelers Inc
19
US
Zenith : Captain Moonphase :  03.2143.691/01.C498 :  Stainless...
Zenith : Captain Moonphase : 03.2143.691/01.C498 : Stainless...
$4,115
Seller
BernardWatch.com
212
US
Zenith 18.2140.691/02.C498 Captain Moonphase 18K RG Silver...
Zenith 18.2140.691/02.C498 Captain Moonphase 18K RG Silver...
$9,350
Seller
European Watch Company
113
US
Zenith El Primero Pilot Chronograph Big Date Special 03.2410.4...
Zenith El Primero Pilot Chronograph Big Date Special 03.2410.4...
$5,450
Free shipping
Seller
Govberg Jewelers
247
US
Zenith El Primero Espada
Zenith El Primero Espada
$8,910
Free shipping
Seller
Carat & Co.
 
US
Zenith Captain Chronograph 03-2110-400-22-C493 Watch with...
Zenith Captain Chronograph 03-2110-400-22-C493 Watch with...
$4,000
Free shipping
Seller
Crown & Caliber
10
US
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  • 20-25 mm
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  • 50-55 mm

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Precision and High Performance since 1865

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.
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.