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HomeWatchesThe Historic Classic Watches From Zenith’s “Grasp of Chronographs” Exhibition | WatchTime

The Historic Classic Watches From Zenith’s “Grasp of Chronographs” Exhibition | WatchTime

After a stint at Phillips in New York, the Zenith Grasp of Chronographs exhibition made its option to Los Angeles just a few weeks again. Housed in Westime’s beautiful new house overlooking Rodeo Drive, the exhibition serves as an interactive timeline of the model’s wealthy historical past of chronographs stretching from the early 1900s to present day. Naturally, the historical past nerd inside took maintain and I used to be completely captivated by the prospect of seeing these historic and vintages watches with out protecting glass in between. If you happen to weren’t capable of catch the present, then fret not as I spent a while with, and photographed, these actually historic Zenith chronographs.

Zenith A277 Chronograph

I used to be instantly drawn to a longtime favourite diving chronograph from the late Nineteen Sixties that simply exudes easy and timeless design. The A277 was among the many final of Zenith’s manual-wind chronographs and was solely produced between 1968-1970. In fact, the launch of the El Primero in 1969 was the model’s focus on the time so it’s not a shock the A277 had such a quick lifespan. Particulars just like the reverse panda dial and unique Homosexual Frères ladder bracelet underscore the distinctive wabi-sabi made attainable solely by time’s pure patina.

Is it trite to ask for a reissue of this one? I’d ordinarily be cautious of how a lot is misplaced in translation however Zenith’s monitor document of reissues has thus far been stellar. 

Zenith A3736 Chronograph

The A3736 is one other “Tremendous Sub Sea” diving chrono from this period that’s somewhat quirkier with its inside rotating bezel that’s operated by the crown at 10 o’clock. The motion is the manual-wind Cal. 146HP which is similar as that within the A277 which is smart contemplating these had been each produced through the late 60s/early 70s. I do know it got here in a few funkier colorways however, wow, that reverse panda with the orange lollipop chronograph seconds hand is perfection. 

Zenith Z171

In fact the pre-El Primero age had many dressier chronographs as nicely. This 18k rose gold Z171 on show is a picture-perfect instance of a reasonably prolific design. Outfitted with the versatile 146D, this iteration has these blued arms which are nonetheless so putting even over 55 years later. 

Zenith El Primero A386
Zenith El Primero A384
Zenith El Primero G381

After which, in fact, got here the enduring El Primero in 1969. Naturally, the Zenith Grasp of Chronographs exhibition had some exemplary early El Primero watches. The primary of the trio is an early A384 which I truly had by no means seen within the steel earlier than and, although it’s outdated information by now, it’s spectacular how true to the unique the reissue from a few years again was. The gold G381 and tricolor A386 are the 2 different near-ubiquitous examples from these very early days of El Primero. 

Zenith Hunter Pocket Watch Chronograph Minute Repeater
Zenith 1910 Pocket Watch Chronograph 1
Zenith 1910 Pocket Watch Chronograph

The “Grasp of Chronographs” exhibition truly seems again many years earlier than the aforementioned watches. Historic pocket watches from 1900 and 1910 and a pair of gold mono-pusher chronographs from 1920 actually are museum items that pre-date one or each world wars, which is exceptional to contemplate. In fact Zenith utilized this exhibition to point out off their newer watches just like the Chronomaster Unique and Defy Excessive. These are watches that lovers are acquainted with however seeing them within the context of such a thoughtfully constructed interactive timeline reframed Zenith for me.

You possibly can study extra about Zenith’s watches, outdated and new, over at

Zenith Desk Chronograph



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