Zenith Captain Central Second Boutique Edition Hands-On: A Great Simple Watch

Zenith Captain Central Second Boutique Edition Hands-On: A Great Simple Watch

Zenith Captain Central Second Boutique Edition Hands On: A Great Simple Watch   hands on

A referenced by our Top 10 Watches Of Baselworld 2014 list, we clearly liked this new Zenith Captain Central Second Boutique Edition watch quite a lot. The piece is very simple, but also very satisfying–and in my opinion sums up many of the strengths that the Zenith brand of today enjoys. The watch was also the subject of a little "moment" between Zenith and aBlogtoWatch.

Allow me to explain something about how watch trade shows (and companies) work–they are very much still based on the concept of regions. Not all watches are sold in all countries, and watch brands have separate employees that deal with different parts of the world. When it comes to media, each country tends to have a distinct marketing and public relations (PR) team for that country. Their goal is to take care of their "market" and work to promote the watches that will be sold in that country. This model worked well enough when dealing with print media, which is regional, but it doesn't work nearly as well with digital media–because we are region-less. As such, there continues to be a misconception that because aBlogtoWatch is based in the United States (which I would argue against given that we have writers all over the world), aBlogtoWatch readers exist only inside of the United States. The reality is that more than half of all aBlogtoWatch readers hail from places outside of the US.

Zenith Captain Central Second Boutique Edition Hands On: A Great Simple Watch   hands on

Zenith Captain Central Second Boutique Edition Hands On: A Great Simple Watch   hands on

During our meeting with Zenith we noticed this lovely watch in a tray and it was our strong desire to inspect it further and photograph it. The media representative at Zenith for the United States was deeply not inclined to show it to us because it was destined exclusively for Zenith boutiques and as of now there are no Zenith boutiques in the United States. Their logic being, that we should not see the watch in light of that fact and that it might irritate our readers. While we respected their desire to protect our audience from undue watch frustration, we fervently rejected the assumption that writing about an internationally available boutique-only timepiece was in any way a poor notion for aBlogtoWatch. Again, this was based purely on the incorrect assumption that it would not be relevant to our readers. And you know what? Even if aBlogtoWatch readers did come 100% from United States I still think we have a duty to bring cool watches to their attention. Lest we not forget that a little thing called the internet has made it possible for people to purchase things not normally sold in their home towns. Anyhow, let's get to this nice timepiece shall we?

What we have here is a slightly different version of the more standard Captain Central Second watch that normally has baton-style hour markers. Instead, this ref.  03.2022.670/38.C498  version of the timepiece used Arabic hour numerals. The numerals are applied and against the silvering white dial make for a classic and highly legible look. What I further LOVE are the properly sized hands. Anything but perfectly sized hands on this dial would make for a mediocre watch.  Zenith however is typically very strong with proper hand length on its watches and the Captain Central Second is no exception.

Zenith Captain Central Second Boutique Edition Hands On: A Great Simple Watch   hands on

30 comments
r_s_g
r_s_g

The cut-off six is symptomatic of the movement being too small for the case. Zenith hasn't updated the Elite to match the trend for larger case sizes. It's not as noticeable on the other Captain models because most use baton markers instead of numerals, and a cut-off baton is not such a big deal.


The Elite has a nice date complication in that it quicksets both forwards and backwards--nice for the international traveler (who can presumably buy this watch in HK or SG and duly quickset the date whilst crossing the international dateline towards N. America). Zenith should find a way to move the date display closer towards the bezel.

markallen
markallen

I'm new to watches. And, I love this watch, but I live in the US. Any direction on something very close to this one that is equally clean and simple, and with numbers and dials so well proportioned?

somethingnottaken
somethingnottaken

Not only is your readership international, considering the prices of luxury watches, many (most?) potential buyers could easily afford to fly to Switzerland (or another country with a Zenith boutique). At least some are probably frequent international travellers as well.

DG Cayse
DG Cayse

Your comments re:"regionalism" among watch makers is very much appreciated. I would add the restrictive marketing of the Japanese makers to the list as well.

Time for these departments to get their collective heads out of their power-point meetings and meet the real world.

I like this watch very much.

Re: the "6" marker - perhaps it would have been slightly more acceptable if the grotesquely decapitated indicator had been left off entirely. Everyone knows its the "six o'clock" position even without the numeral, or parts of the numeral, on the dial in that position.

Other than that quibble - Well Done Zenith!

Zeitblom
Zeitblom

One of the best things about the Zenith I own is that it has no date. And this one would likewise be better off without that superfluous and annoying "complication". Today, for example, I have to fool around with my other watches because of the absurd fact that Aprli has no 31st.....

Fraser Petrick
Fraser Petrick

You can tell Zenith fer me that where I come from , we ain't got no Zenith Boo-teak and 'sides, the six is chopped off. "Round here, if we wanna know the time, we stick a stick in the snow and look at the shadow - or if we suddenly need a beer it's 'leven in the morning or four in th'afternoon.

('fweren't for the chopped off six on the watch, I'd buy a plane ticket to wherever there's a Zenith boo-teak and get me one. "tween you me and the fence post, I kinda have a big love on for that there watch.

JoelSchumann
JoelSchumann

I don't understand how an article can go for two pages making minute notes of every single, obscure design element regarding this watch, and only hint, in a passing note, that the "6" marker have been decapitated, which looks like a design"whoops" to me.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Big love, seriously. 


Is it reall 40mm? Looking at your wrist shots, I would have guess more like 42 or 43mm. I get a tiny little inkling of bremont with those applied arabic markers, but don;t get me wrong, the watch is very nice with a personality all to itself. I would have a very regular spot in my rotation for something like this, although I would certainly swing a little harder in the strap area. The gator strap here is nice, but the stark details of the case and dial lends, in my eye anyway, a canvas to have a little fun with. One of my favourites is bullfrog: here is a picture of some in grey with a blue stitch. It was made for a Panerai, so it is a little too beastly for this Zenith, but a hide like this with a darker blue stitch to match the seconds hand, and a stature more in line with the watch (finer keepers, etc), and you'd have a real winner. Or, maybe the reverse - a dark blue frog hide and grey/slate stitch. 


The gears are turning...

MarkOs
MarkOs

As one of your international readers in a country with no Zenith boutiques I would like to remind Zenith that I have a passport and know how to use it. I believe even a few Americans have passports too !

As far as this watch is concerned it is beautiful but the partially cut off 6 really spoils it for me. I know what comes between 5 and 7, a shortened cut off baton marker does not bother me but a cut off numeral puts me off.

MikeinFrankfurt
MikeinFrankfurt

Glad that you got to teach marketing to Zenith with the fact that people use the internet to buy things not sold in their home countries.  There's also that clever invention called the airplane that people use to get around to places outside of their home countries too...very useful.  Perhaps Zenith feel that most are under the control of one of the dictators in their dictator line of watches and cannot leave home.  ;)


All that being said, it's a very nice, clean watch but I agree with others that JLC would be my first choice for this type of watch and price combo.  A nice alternative perhaps.

mrchan
mrchan

This is beautiful piece but unfortunately too simple for its price. The price is too close for comfort to a JLC (which is a better option).

pinkdela
pinkdela

Good price point, excellent design. Keeping it simple, yet classy.

IMHO, like the JLC MUT you brought to our eyes last week, this is a pure example of how an all around watch should look.

Grinnie Jax
Grinnie Jax

I think this piece is among the best dress/casual pieces. It doesn't try to bring faux vintage, it is like it is, clean, with accurately applied arabic numerals, almost perfect diameter/thickness, slightly elevated crystal and nice trapezoidal date window. MSRP in steel seems quite reasonable.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

Quite similar to an IWC Portuguese.  Considering the myriad variations on the Portuguese design, when you'd be able to find the perfect one for your tastes, i'm not really seeing the appeal of this.  Still, a respectable timepiece.

JonnyD
JonnyD

Clean and crisp looking, which is what you want in a dress watch. I admire the application of the Arabic numerals. Not quite sure about the cut-off "6", but I suppose they made the best use of the tight space they had with that trapezoidal date window. Not a bad price in SS too.

pinkdela
pinkdela

Shakespeare himself couldn't wrote this any better.

mrchan
mrchan

Totally agree about the cut off on the number 6 being kinda annoying.

mrchan
mrchan

Let's put it this way though, if I had money to fly out of the country to buy a watch, it isn't going to be a Zenith. Especially not one with a chopped off number 6. Lol

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

@mrchan  So, the same watch with a JLC logo on it means the price makes sense?

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@JonnyD I like the trapezoidal date window. Shows attention to detail and proportion to my mind.

markallen
markallen

I'm really open on a brand. Something obviously with solid internals and, perhaps, somewhat easily serviceable. And, something that costs no more than this zenith.

Fraser Petrick
Fraser Petrick

@pinkdela Yer grammers not that good. You shoulda wrote "Shakespeare himself couldn't a wrote this any better". Sorry to be picky, eh; as in picayune.

mrchan
mrchan

A watch with a JLC logo has a JLC movement. You should know the significance of that? Nuff said.

Grinnie Jax
Grinnie Jax

@mrchan Could you explain your point? My father's Zenith Captain from 60s runs perfectly being maintained once in 5 years.

It keeps perfect time and looks great.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

@mrchan  And this watch with a Zenith logo has a Zenith movement in it. 


So no, not "nuff'" said - please elaborate. An equivalent JLC movement to this is more significant how?

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