21 like 21st century. With the new hundredths of a second El Primero chronograph movement, Zenith remarks its important place in watchmaking innovation, in our days like in the past.
In 1969 Zenith made its outstanding commitment to the chronograph history with the El Primero (meaning ‘the first’ in Esperanto): an integrated automatic segment wheel mechanism beating at the high frequency of 36,000 vibrations each hour (5Hz) enabling it to reach chronometer-certified 10th of a subsequent exactness.
In the 21st century, Zenith shifts up to ultra-high accuracy with the Defy El Primero 21 which displays hundredths of a second by means of a central hand and beats at a frequency of 50 Hz, making it multiple times faster and more accurate than its archetype.
A 32 mm diameter compared with 30 mm for its ancestor; 7.9 mm thick rather than the original 6.50 mm; 203 components instead of 278 of every 1969. More complex mechanical functions performed by a smaller number of parts: similarly as in the automotive and aeronautical businesses, the Defy El Primero 21 was intended to guarantee simplified assembly and adjustment serving to achieve the finest level of performance and certification.
The El Primero 3019 phc released in 1969
A visual and audible signature of the new Defy El Primero 21, the central chronograph hand performs a full turn of the dial in one second.
To avoid any danger that the chronograph interferes with the smooth running of the watch, the Defy El Primero 21 is furnished with two autonomous “gear boxes”: one for the time and the other for the chronograph. Each has its own transmission and escapement framework and there is no coupling grasp.
The escapement for the watch beats at 36,000 vibrations each hour (5 Hz), while the escapement for the chronograph at 360,000 vibrations each hour (50 Hz).
The COSC-certified automatic watch movement has a 50-hour power save, matched by a 50-minute autonomy for the 100th of a subsequent chronograph.
The new in-house made movement is equipped with its own patented balance-springs made of Carbon-Matrix Carbon Nanotube composite. The exceptional physical and mechanical properties of this balance-springs with its graphene matrix render it unfeeling toward temperature and to the influence of magnetic fields, well past the known 15,000 Gauss standard, subsequently guaranteeing unmatched exactness altogether states of utilization.
Alongside its integrated development, its twofold chain architecture and the remarkable chronometric performance of its new balance-springs, the El Primero 21 movement features a patented chronograph-reset control mechanism composed of three heart pieces and a select starter mechanism, guaranteeing simultaneous resetting of the seconds as well as tenths and hundredths of a second.
This new-generation twin-barrel El Primero drives central hours and minutes functions, small seconds at 9 o’clock, a 100th of a second central chronograph hand clearing around a scale on the circumference, a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, seconds and tenths of a second at 6 o’clock, and a percentage indication of the chronograph power-hold at 12 o’clock.
Performed via a crown with two situations (for winding and time-setting), manual twisting works in the two ways: clockwise for the chronograph, counterclockwise for the watch. 25 turns of the crown are sufficient to obtain a 100% charge of the chronograph barrel. An oscillating load with a star-shaped openworked oscillating weight handles single direction automatic twisting of the watch function.
The plan is clearly roused by the original El Primero models.
One of the El Primero models from the 1970s which motivated the plan of the new Defy El Primero 21
Water resistant to 100 meters/330 feet, the 44 mm x 14.50 mm case features short drags and is outfitted with a fluted crown and rectangular chronograph pushers. The transparent sapphire crystal case-back displays the movement.
The Zenith Defy El Primero 21 comes in three variations: in titanium with a silver-conditioned dial and black counters (ref. 95.9001.9004/01.R582), in titanium with an openworked dial (ref. 95.9000.9004/78.R582) and in a black ceramicised aluminum with openworked dial (ref. 24.9000.9004/78.R582) with costs of Swiss Francs 9,900, Swiss Francs 10,900 and Swiss Francs 11,900 respectively.
All dials maintain typical elements of the El Primero like the star-tipped range seconds hand, large glowing baton-type hands and faceted hour-markers.
The black elastic strap with black alligator leather coating is gotten by a twofold blade folding clasp. zenith-watches.com