Awatch that’s sturdy and reliable, and one that goes with pretty much anything you wear, is precisely what you want your everyday watch to be. Traditionally meant literally for sports such as motor racing, the steel sport chronograph has, over the decades, transcended its original purpose, quite like diver’s or pilot’s watches. The archetypal metallic sport chronograph has, in fact, become a classic, even though it’s not classical in its appeal. It’s something you can literally wear with jeans as well as a suit. It’s usually robust enough to be worn every day, and it’s hopefully automatic and accurate enough to be relied on. Now there are already a number of watches in this segment, and each one, arguably, is an icon for its manufacturer, for a number of reasons that include historical significance. So it seemed only natural that Zenith would finally take a leap into this segment in a bigger way than they have before. And we know they have enough historical significance to claim prominent presence in the segment. They were, after all, the ones who made the first ever integrated automatic chronograph movement—the El Primero. And the Zenith Chronomaster Sport, which they first launched early in 2021, runs on a descendant of that very calibre. The 2021 edition in steel won the 2021 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in the chronograph category and, last year, the brand added all-gold and two-tone models of the Zenith Chronomaster Sportto the series.
Ok, here’s a fact: The Rolex Daytona owes a debt to the Zenith El Primero. A modified version of the El Primero movement powered the Daytona for 12 years, and marked the first automatic Daytona models. This all happened when I was merely 12 years old, in 1988. And now, Zenith is taking that debt back with a black ceramic bezel twist that dawns a new era and a new name, in the Zenith Chronomaster Sport. There’s some pretty nifty mechanical trickery going on with the new 10th of a second caliber, too, but we will get to this once the initial impression wears off, and is – in my opinion – thoroughly justified.
There’s no denying that the Zenith Chronomaster Sport is quite the archetypal metallic sport chronograph, quite like other famous watches in the category. Find out how Zenith—as pioneers of the modern-day chronograph—are disrupting the segment by offering something familiar, yet something that the others don’t have. And now this watch also comes in gold versions
So, in closing, what is this watch? It’s a show of watchmaking force from the brand that few would debate are the king of modern-era chronographs, especially with its 10th of a second hyperactive jumping chronograph hand trick to add another Primero in 2021. And Zenith is not shy about it, with a huge open caseback to show off how the magic happens. It’s also a step in a thoroughly contemporary direction, with the ceramic bezel twist that puts it shoulder to shoulder with a sibling watch in the Daytona, who may be the more famous brother, but who 100% owes the big bro El Primero a debt dating a few decades back. If you’ve had it in your mind that you’ll get a Zenith El Primero-powered model one day, this might just be your moment. Few watches are as ready for whatever the world is going to throw it.