Zenith has dropped the third and final instalment in its collaboration with anime rogue, Lupin The Third.
Zenith’s seminal El Primero chronograph appeared on the wrist Lupin III’s best friend, Daisuke Jigen, twice in the series. In the very first episode Jigen is seen wearing a Zenith El Primero A384 with an entirely fictitious black, grey and gilt dial configuration. Then, in the final episode of the first series, he is seen wearing a version with a white panda dial.
In 2019, Zenith produced the Zenith Chronomaster Revival Lupin The Third, inspired by with a black, grey and gilt model before following up the following year with the panda version. The third and final watch now features both dials in one.
This new 37mm titanium enith Chronomaster Revival Lupin The Third – Final Edition is limited to just 250 pieces and bisects the dial diagonally by both designs.
The manufacturing process sees Zenith first finish the right-hand side of the dial in a silvery white and mill the black chronograph counters while the rest of the dial is protected with layers of transparent lacquer. The second half of the dial is then painted black after the white half has been coated in another transparent layer. The final layer is the grey accents on the left hand side of the dial.
The tonneau-shaped watch has been paired with a distinctively retro ‘ladder’ bracelet, originally designed by the famed bracelet maker Gay Frères, while the sapphire crystal caseback has been engraved with an image of Daisuke Jigen.
Watch addicts always get a little jolt of joy when they spot a recognizable timepiece in a movie or tv show. Of course, manga-loving horophiles were extra excited when one of the most iconic chronographs ever – the Zenith El Primero A384 – made a cameo appearance in the anime series Lupin the Third.
Zenith also noticed this Easter egg and, in 2019, introduced the limited edition Chronomaster A384 Revival Lupin The Third based on the original A384 but with a black and grey design that only existed in the Lupin universe.
Just a year later, in 2020, Zenith added another rich detail to this universe when it created a sequel called the Chronomaster A384 Revival Lupin The Third – 2nd Edition. The watch was still based on the first El Primero chronograph from 1969, but this version featured a white lacquered dial with contrasting black counters.And finally, a little over 24 hours ago, Zenith launched the last of its collectible manga tributes: the Chronomaster A384 Revival Lupin The Third – Final Edition. For this third and final chapter of the collaboration, its creators combined the two antipode dial colors of the first and second Lupin The Third editions into one distinctive graphic face.
If you’re not familiar with Lupin the Third: Basically, it’s a series of books written and illustrated by the late Kazuhiko Katō, a.k.a. Monkey Punch.
The story centers around the adventures of the debonair master thief Arsène Lupin III, grandson of gentleman thief Arsène Lupin (the protagonist of Maurice Leblanc’s series of novels from the first half of the 20th century). The manga by Monkey Punch, which first ran from 1967-1969, was then turned into an animated series.
However, you don’t have to know anything about the Lupinverse to appreciate the Chronomaster A384 Revival Lupin The Third – Final Edition. The diagonal dissection of the dial, for instance, is not just innovative for Zenith (it’s the first of its kind for the brand) but for chronographs of any stripe.
Plus, on the left, the watch features a semi-glossy black finish with grey counters and golden markers and hands from the first edition. In turn, this is juxtaposed with the cream-colored dial with contrasting black counters in a “panda” configuration from the second edition. So it’s not surprising that 24 hours after first seeing this dual dial, our minds are still blown by the aesthetics. We’re still puzzling over how hard it must have been for Zenith’s artisans to adjust all the contrasting colors and materials on this display to make every detail match seamlessly.
Unlike other high-end character watches, like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Black Panther Flying Tourbillon or the S.U.F. Sarpaneva x Moomin, the Zenith Chronomaster A384 Revival Lupin The Third – Final Edition is not very cartoony. But that isn’t to say fans won’t be delighted by the subtle engraving of Lupin III’s sidekick and best friend Daisuke Jigen on the sapphire caseback. Finally, all of this detail is housed in a 37mm titanium case – the same proportions as the original 1969 A384 – and inside beats the legendary El Primero 400 automatic integrated chronograph movement.