Swiss luxury watchmaker Zenith recently unveiled its first Manufacture Edition, made using a previously-unknown prototype dial of its signature El Primero chronograph.
Last year, a discovery was made in the attic of the Zenith Manufacture. Several dials are kept preserved inside an unlabeled box among countless artifacts in the attic, hidden by the hero of Zenith-manufactured El Primero movement, Charles Vermot. The box consisted of the signature El Primero A386 tri-color dial, and another version of the tri-color dial - with three different shades of blue.
It was unclear whether it had been intended as an alternative to the El Primero A386’s dial, or as a completely different model, since there are no records of it at all. Nevertheless, admiration and intrigue of having discovered the dial with three shades of blue had encouraged the watchmakers at Zenith to produce it as a Revival piece.
The Chronomaster Revival “Manufacture Edition” has its 38mm stainless steel case with pump-style pushers built using the blueprints of the original A386 from 1969, to preserve the proportions of the iconic chronograph. Its movement is powered by Automatic El Primero column-wheel chronograph - which would have been its movement had it been made in 1969. It has a white-lacquered dial with three shades of the blue counters located in three, six, and nine o’clock, showing a 30-minute counter, 12-hour counter, and small seconds, respectively. The timepiece is completed with a blue alligator leather strap with protective rubber lining, and uses a stainless steel pin buckle.
While it's not a limited edition, the exclusive piece was intended to be available only for visitors coming to the Zenith Manufacture at Le Locle. However, since the current situation does not allow visitors or manufacture tours at that, the Chronomaster Revival Manufacture Edition will also be made available on Zenith’s own ecommerce site, which will gradually roll out in various markets starting from Italy, France, and Switzerland in May; followed by Germany, Spain, the UK, and the States.