Integrated chronographs, conversely, are designed from the ground up to be chronographs and chronograph components share space with non-complication parts inside the watch. An interesting side effect of integrated design is that it generally produces much more visually intriguing movements because, unlike their modular counterparts, these components are not hidden on the other side of the watch. Thus, the owner may enjoy views like the one you see here, peering directly into the chronograph itself.It’s hard to imagine that the Timeless Chronomaster Heritage Chronometer is our 11th limited edition so far, and perhaps even more mind-blowing is that it’s the first Swiss watch we’ve ever designed. It’s unfortunate, then, that only 25 will ever be produced, the smallest Timeless LE run yet. Imagining that the new watch will be gone very soon, a watch that we spent countless hours designing over the course of dozens of renders, is an interestingly difficult experience. I certainly hope that we get the opportunity to design more limited editions with Zenith in the future, but for now, the Timeless Chronomaster Heritage Chronometer will stand on its own, our first chronograph, our first Swiss watch and our first Zenith.Each of the 25 Timeless Chronomaster Heritage Chronometers costs $7,500 and there’s still some available for reservation. If you happen to be local, consider stopping in and seeing it in person. Otherwise, please e-mail us or call us at 214-494-4241 to make sure to get yours before it’s too late.
Say hi to Zenith’s latest creation, the Zenith watches reputation Replica El Primero… Wait, that’s not right… Welcome to the Zenith Elite 6150, the manufacture’s updated dress watch line that features a new in-house movement. While it’d be easy to say that Zenith and its El Primero are absolutely inseparable, the company has actually been offering the Elite line of dress watches, coming with a more simple feature set and a dressier look than most El Primero-equipped Zenith watches.
The Zenith Elite has, of course, never been able to replace the El Primero, but then again, that is not the goal here – it is a restrained extension to Zenith’s portfolio of watches, something that provides what you would expect from a true manufacture – at a relatively more affordable price level, matched to arguably more timeless aesthetics.
The diameter is, of course, not the only metric we pay attention to. We greatly prefer thin watches at Timeless, to the point that we often find ourselves using manual wind movements over automatics. Of course, there’s no way we’d skip using the El Primero, so that wasn’t a viable option, yet it is a testament to the engineering of a movement from 1969 that the watch only had to be 13.75mm thick. That’s hardly an ultra-thin, but in an era when even ordinary three hand watches are frequently 14mm or more, it remains impressive.The El Primero movement is, by far, the biggest change to the A273 source material. The A273, wonderful as it was, was powered by a more common, from a technical standpoint, manually wound movement. The El Primero, conversely, is not just a good movement, it’s a true legend. It is easily among the two best known chronograph movements in the world, the other being the highly respected, although less prestigious, 7750. There are many reasons that the El Primero has stood the test of time where so few other movements have. The first is the feature by which it derives its name, specifically that it’s the first automatic chronograph.
The Zenith watches chicago Replica Elite line started out as just that, and has been around with more or less quiet updates – especially when compared to the many smaller and greater new iterations the El Primero base caliber has been subjected to. One of the more interesting pieces of news related to the Zenith Elite came in 2014, when Zenith announced that they would be offering Zenith Elite collection timepieces now equipped with sourced Sellita calibers – a bit of a shocker from Zenith, who has been a long standing member in the close group of true and dedicated manufactures.
At that time, the point was to lower the barrier of entry to the brand – and since the manufacture has reached the limits of its output capacities at around 50,000 calibers per year, it would allow them to step up in volume and further down a bit in price. Another highly notable event in Zenith’s history from last year was that the company’s CEO, Jean-Frédérique Dufour left the company to lead Rolex – and it was difficult to tell whether the new director of Zenith, Aldo Magada – former chief executive of Gucci Group Watches – would carry on following this route or not.
Apparently, we are being given an answer to that question right now, as the Zenith Elite 6150, Zenith claims, is “bringing back to the forefront its famous Elite base calibre presented in 1994.” What made the modern Zenith what it is today was unquestionably its return to its roots and more traditional side, as Dufour steered the company back that way after the much more modern – and on many occasions, quite extreme – direction that its former CEO, Theirry Nataf had set. This development also brings up another logical question: how did Zenith come up with a new in-house movement in such a short time (basically less than a year from the time of its change of heart)? The answer in this case, Zenith says, is that they have worked on the original Zenith Elite caliber – which has likely accounted for substantial savings both in time, as well as financial investment in its development.
How will other watch makers respond? Will it become expected for watch makers to make claims about the accuracy of their watches? I am not sure that there will be an industry-wide move to mention actual numbers, but if there is a watch that comes out with a story about accuracy and some special technical elements, you can be damn sure we will point out if they omit actual performance numbers. I think what is more important is that a watch like this, with such a big emphasis on silicon, that isn’t stupid high in price, will force the industry to adopt next-generation watch movements with haste.Only a few companies in Switzerland are able to produce silicon parts. The tools needed for this task are very expensive, which includes the labor needed to operate and program them. Most watch brands that use silicon parts don’t make the components themselves. Is now a time to start given clear levels of increased need? Note again that investments by watch makers into silicon technology in traditional watchmaking has been going on for well over a decade. Though, little of this technology has trickled down into what we might call “affordable” timepieces. Jean-Claude Biver said watch makers will not produce their own silicon parts until they can also make parts for other companies in different industries.
The new movement now offers a most welcome 100-hour power reserve and a more generous diameter. The Zenith Elite 6150 adds an extra barrel to the original’s singe-barrel construction, upping the power reserve from 55 to the aforementioned 100+ hour limit. Beyond adding some extra oomph to the caliber, Zenith has also concentrated on keeping it thin: this accumulation of 195 components is just 3.92 millimeters thick, allowing the brand to keep using the movement in elegant dress watches. The movement runs at 4 Hertz or 28,000 vibrations per hour, one step down from the El Primero’s famous 5Hz/36,000 vph frequency. The functions of the 6150 include the indication of hours, minutes and central seconds – moving the seconds indication from the previous manufacture caliber’s 9 o’clock position to this central location where it helps maintain the symmetry of the dial. At this point, we do not know whether the final version will have a sapphire crystal or solid metal case back, but we’ll add this information as soon as it is made available.
The movement is of course more or less fully exposed, and certainly cool looking with an emphasis on the Zenith watches price Replica five-pointed star shaped logo in the movement design itself. The movement has a full 60 hours of power reserve and again operates at 15Hz (108,000 bph). Power reserve is actually 72 hours, but at 60 hours the stable 0.3 – 0.5 seconds per day accuracy drops to 1 second per day. Amplitude is extremely slim with a movement arc of just plus or minus six degrees. The movement is on the thicker side at 8.13mm, but is also only produced out of 148 parts. The ZO 342 is of course an automatic (C?tes de Genève stripes decorate the rotor), and indicates just the time with minutes, hours, and seconds.Theoretically speaking, all-silicon watch movements (we aren’t there yet) should be able to decrease the cost, while upgrading the performance of your standard mechanical watch. Though for now (and for a while), silicon will continue to be a more or less exotic material in the mechanical watch world that brands will ask customers to pay a bit of a premium for. So long as the products that contain such movements look like the Zenith Defy Lab, or other ultra-modern mechanical timepieces, I think customers will be willing.
The watch we’re looking at today does have an El Primero, but it’s not the A273. It’s the new Timeless Chronomaster Heritage Chronometer limited edition. It’s closely inspired by that A273, of course, but it is not a reissue or a new version. Instead, it takes a leap forward, and not only in terms of the movement as we’ve made subtle updates throughout the watch. Let’s take a close look at the Timeless Chronomaster Heritage Chronometer and learn more about both its predecessor and the limited edition.The aesthetic heart of any watch is its dial. Almost everything that defines a model as a unique, distinctive piece can be found there. For this watch we wanted to use a dial that was extremely understated and clean, yet never boring. That meant removing almost everything that was superfluous. I find that the need for simplicity is greatest in chronographs, and other watches with intrinsically busy dials. This watch, therefore, would have no date and it would have no “El Primero” or “36,000 VPH” writing on it. It had to be reduced to the essence of what a chronograph must have while nonetheless balancing some of those traits that defined its ancestor.
Let’s step back a bit and discuss why this fast operating, silicon material technology is all a big deal. The name of the game here isn’t just to be exclusive with something different, but more importantly – about wristwatch performance. In the words of Jean-Claude Biver, “I imagine this is what Abraham-Louis Breguet would be excited about if he were alive today!” While we’ve seen an enormous level of variety in timepiece design over the years, there is very little new in terms of actual performance increases. That means that most mechanical watches produced are similarly accurate. Of course, there are major differences in terms of how well regulated a movement is, or how well it is constructed, but at the end of the day you can only tweak a standard mechanical watch movement to be so accurate.
There are notable changes on the outside as well: the new caliber makes its debut in the Zenith Elite 6150 – apparently baring the same name as the caliber inside – which is now 42 millimeters wide, “a new benchmark size for the brand,” as Zenith puts it. That slightly larger case size is matched with a thickness of just 10 millimeters, rendering the watch highly wearable and relatively elegant, despite the larger diameter. At the time of this release, the previous Zenith Elite models with the Sellita movements no longer appear to be displayed on the brand’s website, which implies that the Zenith Elite 6150 means an old-new chapter in the dress watch collection’s life.
Zenith has always held a special place for me. From a fairly young age, not long after high school, the brand occupied an elite status in my mind. More specifically, it was and remains in my top two favorite brands of all-time, the other being Grand Seiko. In my mind, they offered two intriguing sides to the same high-frequency coin. Where Grand Seiko possessed a certain austerity to it, a degree of refinement I found in few, if any other places, Zenith was quite the opposite. Zenith might be a Swiss brand, but it always seems to have an American-grade boldness to it, a panache matched by none, at least none with Zenith’s horological pedigree. And thus, my two favorite watch brands were chosen: a restrained and sophisticated dress watch and a wild, avant-garde sports watch. Why can’t one watch just be both?Zenith, to their credit, almost had an answer to my question already: the criminally overlooked A273, a classic chronograph that had a measure of civility to it. Yet the A273 itself had committed an offense: it was offered during the same basic time frame as the legendary tri-color El Primero. Because of this coexistence, it was doomed to be overshadowed by its more prolific brother, which continues to be available today. Unlike the El Primero, the A273 was powered by a beautiful, yet far less revolutionary, hand wound movement. There it remained, largely unnoticed even among Zenith collectors, awaiting the time it too would receive the El Primero.
While the reasoning behind the Sellita-driven Elite models was understandable and rather logical – considering the intentions of opening up the brand for a newer customer base with a relatively smaller budget – Zenith watches chrono24 Replica has clearly decided to “reaffirm the brand’s determination to honor its status as a Manufacture.” That is what they say, and that is what they do with the Zenith Elite 6150. The overall design is rather conservative – which is nothing new when it comes to the Zenith Elite series – while the movement appears to feature just enough modifications to render it a considerable contender in the higher end dress watch segment. And while the pieces with the sourced Sellita movements may appear to be somewhat less desirable, as they obviously lack the in-house flair that has been offered before and after their short career, one wonders how that limited production period will affect the mid-to-long term collectibility of those pieces. We will continue to update as pricing becomes available. zenith-watches.com
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