Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Revival

Zenith Chronomaster Sport

The Zenith watch company is inseparable from their famous chronograph caliber, the El Primero. After all, it made history as the first automatic chronograph movement ever produced. Able to measure 1/10th of a second, so reliable was the El Primero that even Rolex used it in the Daytona before they manufactured their own movements.

The original El Primero made its debut in 1969 with the now iconic A386 chronograph. Mechanical prowess aside, the A386 also had a distinctive and colorful design that stood out among chronographs of the day. So important was this reference that Zenith continued to iterate on it over the years.

In 2021, the brand brought back the flair of the iconic A386 with the Zenith Chronomaster – a chronograph with vintage-inspired looks but entirely modern movements. Check out the growing family of Chronomaster watches:


Zenith Chronomaster Original 38mm Steel 03.3200.3600 / Chronomaster Sport 41mm Steel 03.3100.3600
Chronomaster Original 38mm Steel 03.3200.3600 /
Chronomaster Sport 41mm Steel 03.3100.3600


Zenith Chronomaster Original

Zenith seamlessly brings back retro elements from the 1969 A386 into the completely modern Chronomaster Original. This watch is a favorite among fans since it shares many similarities to the original model, such as a 38mm bezel-less case, sharp profile, and sporty, faceted lugs.


Zenith Chronomaster Original 38mm Steel 03.3200.3600
Chronomaster Original 38mm Steel 03.3200.3600


The main attraction of this timepiece is the tricolor sub-dials in shades of gray and blue. These registers, along with the red chronograph seconds hand and the black 100-second counter, offer a striking contrast against the silvery-white background. Moreover, the date window at 4:30 and rhodium-plated indices remained, as did the El Primero and Zenith texts in identical font to the mid-century models, which give the watch a vintage charm.

A white scale that measures tenths of seconds was added on the rehaut to replace the tachymeter scale, while the subdials at 3 and 6 o’clock have now become 60-second and 60-minute counters, respectively. The Chronomaster Original is available in steel and rose gold with a choice of a steel bracelet and leather strap.


Zenith Chronomaster Original 38mm Steel 03.3200.3600
Chronomaster Original 38mm Steel 03.3200.3600


Inside, the watch runs on the Caliber 3600 – a modernized version of the El Primero with an increased 60-hour power reserve and stop-seconds mechanism. This automatic movement presents improvements in accuracy and is viewable through a sapphire caseback.



Zenith Chronomaster Sport

The Zenith Chronomaster Sport was one of the most talked about watches in 2021. Measuring 41mm, it effectively combines the vintage cues of the A386 with modern proportions.


Zenith Chronomaster Sport 41mm Steel Watches 03.3100.3600
Chronomaster Sport 41mm Steel Watches 03.3100.3600


The most apparent feature of this reliable chronograph is its black ceramic bezel. Zenith has previously employed ceramic bezels in the Chronomaster series, but this version is noteworthy on two fronts: first, the way the light interacts with the ceramic surface, and second, the incredibly practical use of silver graduations for reading off tenths and hundredths of a second.

For added depth, the Chronomaster Sport features black-lacquered or matte white dials complemented by rhodium-plated baton hour markers and hands. The red-tipped chronograph seconds hand that spins around the dial once every 10 seconds contributes to the dial’s readability.


El Primero Caliber 3600
El Primero Caliber 3600


The original Chronomaster Sport models had a steel finish, but Zenith is expanding the line with four new iterations for 2022: one boutique edition in steel with a tri-colored ceramic bezel, one in steel and gold, and the last two in full gold. Powering the watch is the same Caliber 3600, which is the updated version of the iconic El Primero Caliber 400 that allows for elapsed timekeeping accuracy to one-tenth of a second.



Zenith Chronomaster Open

Lastly, we have the Chronomaster Open, which offers a view of the El Primero movement from the dial. This 2022 release is a reworked version of the Chronomaster Open – Zenith’s mid-2000s flagship that features an exposed escapement rendered in “open heart” fashion.

Crafted in a sleek 39.5mm steel case, the watch features the famous overlapping tricolor counters, with the addition of a transparent counter for the running seconds at 9 to 10 o’clock. Like the Chronomaster Sport, it also has ergonomic lines and pump pushers but without the heft of the ceramic bezel and a date window between 4 and 5.


Zenith Chronomaster Open 39.5mm Rose Gold 18.3300.3604 / Chronomaster Open 39.5mm Steel 03.3300.3604
Chronomaster Open 39.5mm Rose Gold 18.3300.3604 /
Chronomaster Open 39.5mm Steel 03.3300.3604


Moreover, the Chronomaster Open runs on the El Primero Caliber 3604, whose base is the Caliber 3600 that powers the Chronomaster Original and Sport. The open base plate and polished bridges on this powerful mechanism provide a better view of the 5hz escapement including the balance wheel and lubricant-free silicon escape wheel.

The Chronomaster Open is available in four variations – three in stainless steel, with blue, silver, or black dial, and the remaining in rose gold, with a silver dial.


El Primero Caliber 3604
El Primero Caliber 3604



The Chronomaster reflects Zenith’s watchmaking brilliance and mastery in crafting modern, sporty timepieces with excellent craftsmanship, neo-retro design, and unwavering precision. Explore our selection of Zenith Chronomaster models at SwissWatchExpo.com.


Zenith Chronomaster El Primero 38mm Steel Mens Watch 03.3200.3600 Review

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