ne could say that the Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar has been 55 years in the making. A little-known fact that attests to just how advanced Zenith’s groundbreaking automatic high-frequency chronograph calibre was at the time of its launch in 1969.
The El Primero was initially designed to accommodate the triple calendar and moon phase functions right from the very beginning. A series of 25 prototypes was produced in 1970 as a proof of concept, using the same round case as the A386. But given the success of the core chronograph version, it was decided to wait a few years before releasing the first version of the El Primero triple calendar in a watch, which by the 1970s took on a much more space-age design.
With a host of functions, the Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar is possibly the most versatile and functional line within the Chronomaster collection. While the 1/10th of a second chronograph is as prominent and legible as the standard Chronomaster Original, the inclusion of the complete calendar is executed in a manner that makes it intuitive to read without cluttering the dial. The days of the week and months are displayed in symmetrically positioned windows above the chronograph counters, while the date window is positioned in the traditional El Primero position of 04:30. The moonphase display is placed with the chronograph’s 60-minute counter at 6 o’clock.
The Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar’s compact 38mm case in steel isn’t just vintage inspired, but in fact based on the exact blueprint and proportions of the A386 from 1969. With its bezel-less construction and featuring a raised and domed sapphire crystal, the incorporation of a complete calendar with moonphase mechanism to the automatic high-frequency 1/10th of a second chronograph calibre without altering the case’s proportions are a true feat of ingenious design.
The Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar comes in two distinct dial versions: A sportier silvery-white “panda” opaline dial with black counters and 1/10th of a second scale, and an opulent opaline slate-grey dial with silvery-white counters and scale that is directly inspired by the small series of El Primero triple calendar prototypes from 1970. Both versions are highlighted by rose gold-tone applied baton markers and hands, adding a warm contrast that brings out the polished rose gold moon set on a metallic blue sunray-patterned disk with five-pointed stars. A third dial variant, exclusively for the Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar Boutique Edition available only at Zenith physical and online boutiques, is done in a sunburst olive-green tone with golden applied markers and hands. In each version, the calendar wheels match the dial colours.
A new variant of the latest generation El Primero automatic high-frequency chronograph calibre, the Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar’s El Primero 3610 operates at a rate of 5 Hz (36’000 VpH) to deliver a true 1/10th of a second chronograph function. Even with the addition of the complete calendar, its efficient transmission allows for a power reserve of approximately 60 hours. The sapphire display back provides an unobstructed view of the movement’s contemporary architecture, with a sleek and open design revealing the blue column wheel and open rotor marked with the five-pointed Zenith star.
The Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar comes with either a three-link steel bracelet with the same alternating brushed and polished finishes as the case, or a calfskin strap in black for the panda dial, blue for the slate-grey dial and green for the Boutique Edition dial.
The Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar with silvery-white and slate-grey dials are available from all Zenith boutiques and authorised retailers, while the Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar Boutique Edition is available exclusively from Zenith physical and online boutiques worldwide.
Complete Calendar (Day, Date & Month). Moonphase display. Automatic El Primero column-wheel chronograph able to measure and display 1/10th of a second. Power reserve of 60 hours. Date indication at 4:30. Stop-second mechanism.
El Primero 3610, automatic
Frequency 36’000 VpH – 5Hz
Power reserve approx. 60 hours
Hours and minutes in the centre. Small seconds at 9 o’clock. 1/10th of a second Chronograph: Central chronograph hand that makes one turn in 10 seconds, 60-minute counter at 6 o’clock, 60-second counter at 3 o’clock. Complete calendar display (day, date, and month). Moonphase indication.
Finishes: New star-shaped oscillating weight with satined finishings
Material: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 5 ATM
Crystal: Domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides
Case-back: Transparent sapphire crystal
Dial: Silver opaline dial with black-toned counters
Hour markers: Gold-plated, faceted and coated with SuperLuminova SLN C1
Hands: Gold-plated, faceted and coated with SuperLuminova SLN C1
Bracelet & Buckle: Black calfskin leather with folding clasp
Price: 12’900 CHF