Zenith Chronomaster Original, now available with black dial

For the first time, the classic El Primero is available with a black tri-color dial.

For the first time, Zenith brings a black tricolor dial to the Chronomaster Original, a modern reinterpretation of the 1969 A386 El Primero. In addition to the new dial color, this new addition to the Chronomaster Original collection shares the same classic white dial: a 38 mm stainless steel case, a 1/10-second chronograph and the original's iconic three-color subdials.

Until now, the traditional El Primero has always featured a creamy white dial with easily identifiable tri-color subdials. Here, Zenith has reinterpreted these three colors with a black dial, inverting the chronograph scale and changing the date wheel to black.

Apart from the dial update, this watch is the same watch as the Chronomaster Original Zenith released in 2021: measuring 38mm x 13mm (approx. 47mm lug-t0-lug) with a 4:30 date window , all details are true to the original El Primero. The domed crystal and pump pushers also stay true to the original, while Zenith continues to offer a Chronomaster Original steel bracelet, which is more modern than Zenith's vintage trapezoidal bracelet.

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Inside is the high-beat El Primero 3600 movement, which beats at 5 Hz and features a 1/10-second chronograph, which means the central chronograph hand rotates around the dial every 10 seconds.

This looks like a cool, modern version of the original El Primero A386. While almost every other classic chronograph is available in black and white dial versions, the El Primero has never been offered in black. Today, the Chronomaster Sport is available in black and white dials, so this really feels like a natural evolution of the Chronomaster Original line. We haven't seen these in person yet, but Zenith describes the dial as matte black, like the reverse panda that Zenith launches next to the traditional three-color dial. If that's the case, I appreciate that the A386's spiritual successor continues to use a more retro-looking finish (in contrast to the more modern interpretation in the Chronomaster Sport, which uses a jet black finish).

We celebrated when Zenith debuted a modern version of the Chronomaster Original in 2021, a watch that stayed true to the original A386 in every important way (the biggest difference being that the straight red chronograph hands replaced the old-style paddle hands ). While the Reverse Panda released alongside the tri-color dial was an instant hit, this new black tri-color dial might have lost some of its appeal without the contrasting silver subdials. But it makes up for it with heritage links, making a great addition to the El Primero range, developing the most important aspect of the A386 lineage, and it's something worth celebrating once again.

Brand: Zenith
Model: Chronomaster original
Reference number: 03.3200.3600/22.M3200; 03.3200.3600/22.C908

Diameter: 38mm (47mm lug to lug)
Thickness: 13mm
Case material: stainless steel
Dial color:
Index: Rhodium plated
Luminous: SuperLuminova (SLN C1)
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap/bracelet: calfskin strap or stainless steel bracelet

Movement: El Primero 3600
Functions: Date, 1/10-second chronograph
Diameter: 30 mm
Power reserve: 60 hours
Winding: automatic
Frequency: 36,000 times per hour
Number of gems: 35
Other details: Central chronograph hand rotates once every 10 seconds