The fine watch fanatics over at Hodinkee took the wraps off of a collaboration with Swiss watchmaker Zenith last night: a limited-edition El Primero, made to their exacting standards. Boy were they exacting.
For starters, the watch has a very restrained 38mm stainless steel case — the same size and shape of the original A386 reference El Primero from 1969. Likewise, the beautiful slate gray sunburst dial is borrowed from a mid-’60s Zenith reference and features only two sub-dials and omits the date window. Changes are far from just aesthetic, though. The movement inside is Zenith’s high-beat El Primero 4069 chronograph, but tweaked to meet COSC standards. Each watch even comes with its COSC chronometer certificate.
They’re all excellent changes to the venerable El Primero that add up to a modern watch that truly looks like it was plucked from the late 1960s. The only problem? Zenith has only made 25 of them, and each was sold about an hour after going live. A shame, sure, but we look forward to seeing what Hodinkee cooks up in the future.