Luxury watchmakers are increasingly bypassing gold and platinum in favor of ceramic, a high-tech material that is scratch-resistant, hypoallergenic, and lightweight. Take, for instance, the new Zenith El Primero Tourbillon Skeleton in black ceramic, the watchmaker’s first foray in the material. One look at the skeleton timepiece—which marries a tourbillon with a high-frequency column-wheel chronograph—and it’s clear: Zenith has introduced a sexy beast.
How It Looks: With a deep black color punctuated by bright red accents, the openworked, three-dimensional dial of the El Primero Tourbillon Skeleton is the model’s most alluring feature. But the subtle details—such as the ruthenium-plated hands and hour markers, faceted and coated with SuperLuminova—are what lend the timepiece its sophisticated edge. Sheathed in a 45 mm case, the watch comes on a perforated black rubber strap that evokes vintage motor racing, a sport Zenith recently began to promote. The titanium and black PVD-treated triple folding clasp seals the deal.
How It Works: The El Primero Calibre 4035 automatic chronograph tourbillon movement is descended from the 1969 El Primero, arguably the watch industry’s most revered movement. Souped up to include a tourbillon, offset at 11 o’clock, that rotates every minute and two chronograph counters—a 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock and a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock—that form an elegant figure eight, the movement beats at 36,000 vibrations per hour, enabling precision down to a 10th of a second. The functions include central hours and minutes, small seconds, chronograph, and date, with a 50-hour power reserve to boot.
How to Get It: The El Primero Tourbillon Skeleton retails for $47,600. (zenith-watches.com)