After visiting the Zenith Manufacture in the Jura mountains, I already had a pretty good impression of the brand. I would even go so far as to say that Zenith had become my new BFF. And then, I discovered their latest novelty presented at Watches and Wonders – their new Chronomaster Open. The black dial is delicately openworked to let you see into the heart of the watch, right into the El Primero 3604 1/10th of a second automatic chronograph movement with an openworked plate and bridges that allow a better view of the 5Hz high frequency escapement. It was enough to make me fall in love in a 10th of a second. The timepiece has a magnetic presence on my wrist. Not too big, not too small. Honestly, it is just perfect!
Zenith Chronomaster Open © Fine Watch Club/Jean-Christophe Teigner
The Chronomaster is without a doubt the Zenith collection that makes my heart beat the fastest. Its sporty and fierce look is achieved by the combination of a stainless steel case, El Primero chronograph movement and black dial with coloured counters. These two counters are joined by a third open circle that reveals the mechanical heart of the Chronomaster Open. I wonder which one of us is beating the fastest.
Zenith Chronomaster Open © WorldTempus/Jordy Bellido
Marie de Pimodan
Here is a timepiece that has a heart and doesn’t attempt to hide it! The first thing that jumps out at me when I put the Chronomaster Open on my wrist is the large circular cut-out on the dial that generously opens onto the regulating organ and escapement wheel of the El Primero 3604 movement, which, needless to say, is equipped with a 1/10th second chronograph. The excellent precision is nothing new for Zenith, whose chronometric performance shines through in all its chronographs. In a nod to its origins, the signature tricolour dial of the El Primero timepieces has been retained, but this time with a touch of transparency since the small seconds counter is made of hesalite crystal. This is a contemporary touch for this steel model that fits perfectly on all types of wrists, even the thinners, thanks to new reduced size of 39.5mm. The result is an indisputable technical and aesthetic success.
Zenith Chronomaster Open © GMT Magazine/Marie de Pimodan
Zenith Chronomaster Open Heart: The "Open Heart" concept was developed at Zenith to highlight the visual impact of the 5Hz (36,000vph) balance in the legendary El Primero movement. Since its introduction, the Open Heart has proven its staying power, remaining among Zenith's best-selling watches over the years. The new Chronomaster Open Heart sits relatively high on the wrist, reinforcing the forward-projecting spirit of the movement. This is furthered by the aerodynamically compact lugs and box dial crystal, for a timeless yet overall high-octane aesthetic. The best part of this watch? Playing with the chronograph. That's right, I said "playing". Because this watch was made to be enjoyed. And the tactile satisfaction you get from operating a chronograph that's been refined and improved for over 50 years is very difficult to describe. Go get one and try it.
Zenith Chronomaster Open © WorldTempus/Suzanne Wong
I had already seen the Zenith Chronomaster Open in photos, and briefly during Watches and Wonders, but nothing quite prepared me for what it felt like to put the thing on my wrist. Without wanting to upset my colleague Suzanne (who will fire rubber bands at me from across the office for giving a gender to a watch), but the design is quite “manly” with its chronograph counters and open view on the El Primero movement, but slipping it on my wrist, it looked the cat’s pyjamas. The kind of watch that would get a girl noticed in a seriously cool way. A watch that would tell everyone around you that you know your stuff and not to mess with you, in a truly elegant way, of course. So, to conclude, what more can I say than, I really really want one!
Zenith Chronomaster Open © WorldTempus/Sophie Furley