Blast from the Past - Zenith Vintage 1969

 

By ASHOK SOMAN

Swiss luxury watchmaker Zenith turns to the recent past for inspiration with its New Vintage 1969 collection, even as the entire watch industry girds itself for a return to classical values. For Zenith, the year 1969 resonates strongly because that is the year the mighty automatic chronograph movement, El Primero, debuted.

In its own time, this movement was arguably the first automatic mechanical chronograph movement for the wristwatch. There is no argument that it was the most beautiful, being an integrated movement, with vertical clutch column wheel and an unmatched cadence of 36,000 vph.

By way of tribute, Zenith issues three sublime watches that display all the virtues of the past while proudly proclaiming their 21st century sensibilities. What you see here are watches that form a segment of the collection called 'The Originals' that truly harken to the 1969 models, with the tonneau shape of the case and the rivet-shaped chrono pushers.

Each model is a chronograph of course, with date complication showing between 4- and 5 o'clock. The topmost image here shows the black titanium model, with transparent dial and exposed movement. The other models are executed in stainless steel and gold, without the transparent dial. 

Zenith

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