10_2260_400_69_R573

The Zenith of Lightweight Chronographs

10_2260_400_69_R573

There is a term for cyclist that applies to those of us who ride that are obsessed with getting a bike as light as it can get.  They are called weight weenies.  Well, for you weight weenies out there, meet your watch.  Zenith is releasing a limited run of their El Primero Chronograph that tips the scales at a mere 15.9 grams.  That is a bit over 1/2 an ounce, or to put it in another context, about 3 seedless grapes.

El Primero Lightweight_2

That in and of itself is pretty impressive, but realize that this watch has an automatic movement and a 50 hour power reserve.  How do they get the weight so low?  Titanium and carbon fiber, with a bit of aluminum as well.  The case itself it aluminum and carbon with titanium pushers and a crown.  There is a sapphire crystal up front and another for the exhibition caseback (waterproof to 100 meters), and the face is highly skeletonized around the eyes for the chronograph functions.  So there is a lot going on with the dial, but it is still pretty legible, all packed into a 45mm think and 13.2 mm tall package

El Primero Lightweight_4

The movement is the El Primero 400B, redone in titanium to shave 25% of the weight, with 31 jewels and beating at 5 Hz.  The oscillating weight is finished with a “Côtes de Genève” pattern and decorated with the Spindrift logo, to commemorate the partnership between Zenith and Spindrift Racing (a multi-hull sailboat racing team).  The watch comes on a Nomex-coated black rubber strap with a PVD triple folding clasp.  It is being offered in a limited, numbered edition of 250 pieces.  zenith-watches.com

Watch Overview

  • Brand & Model: Zenith El Primero Lightweight Chronograph
  • Price: $22,000 (based on other reports)
  • Who we think it might be for: Those of us that drool over carbon fiber race craft.
  • Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: If I had the spare change.
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: The date ring does not add anything, and losing it would drop a gram or two
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch: That “weight weenie” tag I used early on, that’s me.
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