back to top

Zenith Academy Minute Repeater Chronograph Watch

Zenith Academy Minute Repeater Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

The Academy collection from Zenith is back with more, introducing this new Academy El Primero Minute Repeater Chronograph. This is a very high-end and exclusive version of the Zenith Elite design family which the model lives in. This isn’t the first Zenith minute repeater, but they aren’t common for the brand. For the right high-end collectors, this could be a very special timepiece.

Zenith is mostly known as an in-house movement maker and producer of the famous El Primero family of high beat automatic movements that operate at 5 Hertz (36,000 beats per hour). The El Primero is a base for most of their chronographs and is also the base for a chronograph with a minute repeater in this very uncommon Caliber 4043 El Primero movement that I recall from a rare model back in 2009. The 4043 caliber is back in a much more attractive piece that gives new life to the movement and theme.

Zenith Academy Minute Repeater Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

Zenith Academy Minute Repeater Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

What I like about the 461 part caliber 4043 movement is its practicality and beauty. It is also a fully integrated movement that seamlessly combines time, 30 minute chronograph, and minute repeater functions. It also features an admirable 50 hours of power reserve and is an automatic. Look how beautiful it is as well. It is truly an exceptionally designed and finished movement fitting for the Zenith El Primero name. There is just a slight amount of skeletonization in the 2012 Academy Minute Repeater Chronograph model around where you can view the minute repeater hammers through the dial of the watch. The 2009 piece with the 4043 movement was a bit more strange looking with more extensive dial skeletonization.

It is easy to love the silvered guilloche engraved dial on the face of the watch. On the face are also 18k rose gold hands and Roman numeral hour markers. The chronograph and subsidiary seconds dials don’t really intrude on the hour markers as much as you’d think they might. I personally quite like minute repeaters with visible hammer and gong displays on the dial This piece does that well, but also preserves legibility for both the time and chronograph functions.

Zenith Academy Minute Repeater Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

The Zenith Academy Minute Repeater Chronograph is actually a rather large timepiece. The case is 45mm wide in 18k rose gold and it is almost 17mm thick. That should however lead to a lot of space in the case for the gongs as well as air space for sound to reverberate. I have a feeling the minute repeater sounds lovely in this watch. Hopefully I will find out some day soon. Zenith will produce just a few of these as a limited edition set of 25 pieces. Price is $172,000.


Zenith Academy Minute Repeater Chronograph Watch Watch Releases

Technical Specs from Zenith:


El Primero 4043, automatic

Calibre : 16¼“` (Diameter: 37 mm)

Thickness: 10.36 mm

Components: 461

Jewels: 46

Frequency: 36,000 VpH – (5 Hz)

Power-reserve: min. 50 hours

Finishings: 22-carat gold oscillating weight with “Côtes de Genève” pattern


Hours and minutes in the centre

Small seconds hand at 9 o’clock

1-counter chronograph:

• 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock

Minute Repeater

Case, Dial & Hands

Material: 18-carat rose gold

Diameter: 45 mm

Thickness: 16.55 mm

Crystal & Case-back: Box-shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflection treatment on both sides

Water-resistance: 3 ATM

Dial: Silver-toned guilloché

Hour-markers: Gold Roman numerals

Hands: Gold-plated rhodiumed

Strap & Buckle

Alligator leather strap with protective rubber lining

Reference: 27.00.2218.713

Brown alligator leather

18-carat gold triple folding clasp

Reference: 27.17.0003.940

Rose gold



Disqus Debug thread_id: 3991129537

  • RobertAngus

    This watch is really good, whether his structure or appearance, deep to attract people’s attention. Here I share I prefer to watch type:

    • arthurdavis


    • MarkCarson


  • Ulysses31

    The chrono is really gorgeous with several lovely details like the guilloche and a clear, easy to read dial.  I don’t normally like gold watches or Roman numerals but they work together in this piece.  The other model is a different story.  It looks rather busy and cluttered, especially with the randomly located dial elements.  I also don’t like the multiple stepped bezel on a lot of Zenith watches, which adds visual bulk and makes the dial look smaller.  Still, Zenith offers a good choice of models, so at least there’s the option of avoiding the overly elaborate pieces.

  • Kris C

    Heavy duty want. I don’t like rose gold at all and I still want to have this permanently attached to my wrist.
    The picture of the movement is a real stunner, but it’s not the side anyone would actually see if they owned the watch – I’d like to see the reverse side, that will actually be visible to owners and gawkers.

  • cluedog12

    Fantastic design! Also, the price is competitive compared to other minute repeater chronograph watches. What is with the giant-sized dimensions though? The repeater mechanism adds to the thickness, but there is no need to retain the automatic functionality as collectors of six-figured timepieces prefer manual wind movements. Removing the automatic rotor would bring the thickness down and the diameter could be reduced accordingly. 
    Even the classiest timepiece in the world will look ridiculous when the lugs are hanging off the edges of the wearer’s wrist. The Terminator has plenty of great AP high complications to choose from already, so how about something sized for the average Joe the Plumber? This is an exceptionally beautiful timepiece that would wear as well as it looks if it was sized at, for example, 41 mm x 13 mm.

    • cluedog12

      Ariel, please inform Zenith that I would be willing to conduct an objective on-the-wrist review of this timepiece. I consider myself a budding chronograph afficionado (if there could be such a thing) and I realized that my remarks above were a bit harsh. Only hands-on testing could qualify statements such as, “That should however lead to a lot of space in the case for the gongs as well as air space for sound to reverberate.”

  • HawaiianHorology

    Wow!  Very, very nice movement.  Applied markers on the dial.  Repeater.  Gold hands and guilloche dial. The only thing not to like is the price.  I think Zenith is fairly under-rated and under appreciated.

  • iamjustsyd

    @academicdave To be fair, can’t they afford one of those now?

  • korbindallis

    Ariel you have got to show this to John 
    would like to know what he things of this 
    Zenith is on a role the El Primero, the Pilot and the Captain Winsor and now this beauty

    • korbindallis I will and will force him to like it.

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png.