Zenith's El Primero

A Rare High Beat Movement

In 1865, at the young age of 22, George Favre-Jacot gave rise to Zenith, the first integrated watch manufacture in Switzerland. Setting forth to make the most perfect watch, Favre-Jacot and Zenith were at the forefront of innovation and soon acquired an international reputation for their precision timepiececs. 

A leader in the industry for move than a century, Zenith was almost bankrupted during the quartz watch crisis of the 1970s. The foresight of Charles Vermot, a watchmaker at the factory who had the forsight to sequester the equipment used to make the El Primero chronograph movement in the attic, saved the company. In the 1980s, when Rolex tapped Zenith to provide a movement for the Daytona chronograph, the tools, plans and components hidden by Vermot a decade earlier helped restart the production of the El Primero again.

The rare high beat El Primero movement of this chronomaster keeps time at 36,000 vph maintaining accuracy down to 1/10th of a second. The lightweight 38mm micro-blasted titanium exhibition case of this timepiece surrounds the movement and features a generous application of Super-Luminova on the dial.