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Zenith El Primero Original 1969 Ref. 03.2150.400/69.C713


Pre-owned Zenith 38mm El Primero Original 1969, Leather Strap Ref. 03.2150.400/69.C713

This historically-inspired chronograph retains the same design elements and proportions of its predecessor while delivering a new era of performance. Inside you’ll find Zenith’s in-house, high-beat chronograph movement, the El Primero 400. The movement was introduced in 2009, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the original El Primero 1969 movement. The movement is notably compact and can be observed in its entirety through a sapphire crystal case back. The self-winding movement consists of 278 components and features an oscilating rotor with Côtes de Genève finishing and the trademark Zenith star logo. (The logo also makes a rather loud appearance at once end of the bold red chronograph seconds hand on the dial.) Beating at 5 Hz, or 10 bps, (36,000 beats per hour), the El Primero 400 allows for the measurement of finer increments of time, resulting in greater observational accuracy (should the chronograph actually be used to time an event). This watch comes with its original box and booklet.

Only 1 left in stock

Categories: , , SKU: 210000006798

Additional information

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Stainless Steel

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Item ID0006798
Model #03.2150.400/69.C713
Model NameEl Primero Original 1969
Serial Number37XXX


When he established his brand in 1865, George Favre-Jacot gave rise to the first integrated watch manufacture in Switzerland.  His concept was to connect workshops to the train station of Le Locle for a direct supply of raw materials for production. By the early 20th century, his watchmaking site already counted up to 2000 workers.  In 1900, at the Paris Universal Exhibition, Zenith was awarded the Grand Prix for the Zenith caliber, which prompted the manufacturer to adopt it as the company name.

Zenith is most known for its El Primero movement, named for its position as the first automatic chronograph.  Forever connected to that movement is Charles Vermot, who played a pivotal role in Zenith’s legacy. One of the original watchmakers who worked on the El Primero movement when it was unveiled 50 years ago, Vermot was appalled by the decision of management to destroy all of the El Primero watch making machinery at the time of the quartz crisis.  Defying his superiors, Vermot took it upon himself to protect the El Primero for future generations, in the hope that one day Zenith would bring the exceptional movement back into production. In total secrecy, Charles Vermot gathered all the technical plans and tools necessary to produce each and every component of the El Primero movement and hid them in a walled-off section of the Zenith manufacturer’s attic.  Years later when Rolex and others came looking for an automatic chronograph movement, Zenith was ready.

Zenith continues to offer exceptional watches that reference those early days of success as well as to build upon the legacy of its most successful models.