The diameter is, of course, not the only metric we pay attention to. We greatly prefer thin watches at Timeless, to the point that we often find ourselves using manual wind movements over automatics. Of course, there’s no way we’d skip using the El Primero, so that wasn’t a viable option, yet it is a testament to the engineering of a movement from 1969 that the watch only had to be 13.75mm thick. That’s hardly an ultra-thin, but in an era when even ordinary three hand watches are frequently 14mm or more, it remains impressive.
The El Primero movement is, by far, the biggest change to the A273 source material. The A273, wonderful as it was, was powered by a more common, from a technical standpoint, manually wound movement. The El Primero, conversely, is not just a good movement, it’s a true legend. It is easily among the two best known chronograph movements in the world, the other being the highly respected, although less prestigious, 7750. There are many reasons that the El Primero has stood the test of time where so few other movements have. The first is the feature by which it derives its name, specifically that it’s the first automatic chronograph.
The second, more impressive feature, however, is its unusually high frequency. It beats 10 times per second, or 36,000 BPH, 25% faster than an ordinary modern watch, but an astonishing 100% faster than many watches at the time it was released. It quickly developed a strong reputation for accuracy and precision. In fact, the El Primero in this watch is, if the name didn’t give it away, a certified chronometer, and it thus carries with it a greater guarantee of accuracy than even most other El Primeros. Because it’s one of very few chronographs that beats 10 times per second, it can also measure events in 0.1 second increments, supposing that your reaction time is up to the challenge.
One reason that our Timeless Chronomaster Heritage has been able to avoid the obesity that’s befallen many of its counterparts is because the El Primero is what is commonly called an integrated chronograph. In general, there are two kinds of chronographs, integrated ones, like you see here, and modular chronographs, which are also very common. Modular chronographs take an ordinary, non-chronograph movement and add a chronograph module to it. This makes it relatively easy for a company to produce chronographs because it doesn’t require the creation of an all-new movement from scratch, but it generally results in thicker than necessary movements.
Integrated chronographs, conversely, are designed from the ground up to be chronographs and chronograph components share space with non-complication parts inside the watch. An interesting side effect of integrated design is that it generally produces much more visually intriguing movements because, unlike their modular counterparts, these components are not hidden on the other side of the watch. Thus, the owner may enjoy views like the one you see here, peering directly into the chronograph itself.
It’s hard to imagine that the Timeless Chronomaster Heritage Chronometer is our 11th limited edition so far, and perhaps even more mind-blowing is that it’s the first Swiss watch we’ve ever designed. It’s unfortunate, then, that only 25 will ever be produced, the smallest Timeless LE run yet. Imagining that the new watch will be gone very soon, a watch that we spent countless hours designing over the course of dozens of renders, is an interestingly difficult experience. I certainly hope that we get the opportunity to design more limited editions with Zenith in the future, but for now, the Timeless Chronomaster Heritage Chronometer will stand on its own, our first chronograph, our first Swiss watch and our first Zenith.
Each of the 25 Timeless Chronomaster Heritage Chronometers costs $7,500
$7,500and there’s still some available for reservation. If you happen to be local, consider stopping in and seeing it in person. Otherwise, please e-mail us or call us at 214-494-4241 to make sure to get yours before it’s too late. >timelessluxwatches.com
The above was a review of the Zenith Timeless Chronomaster Heritage Chronometer provided by Timeless Luxury Watches.
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