Watch of the Week: Zenith El Primero Tourbillon Skeleton

The newest entry in the El Primero line is the watchmaker’s first timepiece in ceramic…

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)


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