Lupin III (Lupin the Third) is a 1967 manga and anime from Japan, written by Monkey Punch. If you’re a fan of Hiyao Miyazaki, The Castle of Cagliostro stars the same characters. Lupin the Third is descended from the French master thief, Arsène Lupin. In it, one of the characters wears a watch that did not exist until 2019.
You might say, Lupin the Third stole from the future. The A384 Zenith El Primero existed back in the 1960s, but never in the colors that were drawn in Lupin III.
In the first episode of the series, Daisuke Jigen, the dapper companion of Lupin, is seen wearing a watch inspired by the Zenith A384 with a black and grey dial. This watch did not exist until 2019 when Zenith released the first edition of the A384 Revival Lupin the Third, seen below.
In the final episode of the series, Daisuke Jigen is seen wearing another Zenith A834-inspired chronograph, but in white. This watch was released as the second edition of the A384 Revival Lupin the Third.
The piece released today combines the aesthetics of both previous releases.
This watch never existed in the mind of Monkey Punch, but it’s a unique watch all the same.
The 3rd edition in the Lupin the Third series is a very faithful case, pushers, version of the 1960s A384. The movement inside is the El Primero high beat chronograph Zenith is famous for.
Making a split dial like this is not easy – it’s somewhat similar to the Batik technique of fabric dyeing, where part is dyed, and then a resistive layer is applied to prevent the first color being changed by the application of a second color.
The blank dial is first finished entirely in a silvery-white color on the right half. Then the black chronograph counters are milled while the rest of the dial is protected with a layer of transparent lacquer.
If the protection isn’t correctly applied, colours can bleed into each other, ruining the dial. A third grey color must be applied for the counters. With each step, the chances of something going wrong grows larger.
I’d say producing a large run without error sounds impossible… but they’ve managed to do it. Making such a dial with multiple steps sounds more involved than the usual single color with print on top, and is presumably more expensive, too.
The markers and hands are a mix of gold plated and rhodium plated. Gold, on the side that’s black, rhodium on the side that’s white.
If you’ve got 9900 CHF, or about 10,800 USD, that you have stealthily liberated like Lupin, you too could afford a Chronomaster Revival Lupin the Third Final Edition Zenith. Zenith-watches.com
Chronomaster Revival Lupin The Third – Final Edition
- Key points: Original 1969 case with 37 mm diameter. Automatic El Primero column-wheel chronograph movement. Splitted dial taking inspiration from the former 2 Editions. Limited edition of 250 pieces.
- Movement: El Primero 400 Automatic
- Frequency: 36,000 VpH (5 Hz)
- Power reserve: min. 50 hours
- Functions: Hours and minutes in the centre. Small seconds at nine o’clock. Chronograph: central chronograph hand, 12-hour counter at six o’clock, 30-minute counter at three o’clock. Tachymetric scale. Date indication at 4:30
- Case: 37-mm
- Material: Titanium
- Dial: Black & white
- Water-resistance: 5 ATM
- Price: 9900 CHF
- Hour-markers: Rhodium-plated or Gold-plated, faceted and coated with Beige SuperLuminova ®SLN
- Hands: Rhodium-plated or Gold-plated, faceted and coated with Beige SuperLuminova ®SLN Bracelet & Buckle: Titanium “ladder” bracelet and double folding clasp.