Zenith Captain Winsor Annual Calendar Watch Review

Zenith Captain Winsor Annual Calendar Watch Review

Zenith Captain Winsor Annual Calendar Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

When you think of Zenith watches, what's the first thing that comes to mind? It's very likely the term "El Primero," as that's been one of the most famous movements (and product lines) in their history. And frankly, after my first exposure to the El Primero, in the form of today's review piece, I can certainly see why. With it, you get classic styling combined with some very nice functionality, courtesy of the complications included in the movement.

I've reviewed quite a few different dress chronographs over the last year, and each seems to have their own particular strengths. With the Captain Winsor, that strength is the realization that, while you might like to have a chronograph in a dressy piece like this one, you're not going to be timing marathons. As such, you end up with just a single sub dial (at 6 o'clock) to record the minutes (the one at 9 o'clock is the small seconds). This then also frees up the dial over at 3 o'clock to add in another very nice function - displays of the day of week, and month, driven by the annual calendar complication. Combined with the date display at 6, you've got everything but your appointment book on your wrist.

Zenith Captain Winsor Annual Calendar Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

As an aside, the annual calendar complication came to be via collaboration with Musée International d‘Horlogerie (MIH) - specifically, their curator Ludwig Oechslin. For more details on the complication, check out Ariel's writeup here, Paul's review of the MIH Watch, and then head on over here.

Right off the bat, you can see that we've got quite the nice list of functionality, all enabled by the El Primero 4054 automatic movement. Zenith didn't just go for function however. They've created a rather striking timepiece around this movement. All of those functions are set into a silver-tone dial, with a guilloche treatment appearing in the center. This gives a nice bit of texture, and I'd say is a good alternative to a sunburst pattern in the dial.

The faceted indices are made of gold, and the faceted handset is gold plated. This makes for a cohesive color statement with the 42mm rose gold case. It also means you've got varied surfaces that catch the light, giving you some flashes of light without the need for gems to be embedded. While I'm generally not a gold watch sort of guy, I did really like this one. I think that's primarily due to the more coppery color you get out of a rose gold. Additionally, that large silver dial offsets the color, making the gold, in some ways, an accent color, rather than the predominant one.

Zenith Captain Winsor Annual Calendar Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

6 comments
HawaiianHorology
HawaiianHorology

I know I'm supposed to like it, but I don't.

In this case the whole is less than the sum of it's parts.

Its got the name (Zenith)

Annual Calendar

Chrono

etc etc

but the design leaves me flat, uninspired.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

I'll do you both one better - the calendar would look great displayed in the weekday/month/date format cascading on the inner right of the dial, where all the real estate is. A window at 1:30, then 2:30, then 3:30. In that format, you could open them up a little more to show off many some unique font instead of the same basic block font that 90% of all watches from $2 to $250k use. It would be unique without total polarization, leaving the elegance intact. 

Panagiotis
Panagiotis

I've always viewed Zenith as an underdog--and I usually root for such companies. However, I want to like them more than I usually do...

On this interesting specimen, the whole asymmetry works againt the design, not for it. As Mark pointed out, the calendar placements follow no logic that I can see. Everything is squeezed in the middle, with overlapping subdials (again) when the rest of the watch feels empty! Maybe a different finish on the outer dial? Smaller hour markers? Dunno...Though I must give them credit for the nice shape of the date window, which follows the curve of the subdial above it.

The hands are just terrible IMHO. Either go all spearhead on them (a la Grand Seiko) or introduce some grace to the design (a la Portofino leaf hands). Just...do something else with them!

I want to say to others that "look, Zenith has a great pedigree and makes more interesting watches than your boring RXXXXXX" As it stands, my only argument is the pedigree and the movement, which only gets you laid in niche circles!

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

Beautiful watch. Great hand/dial proportions. I  wonder if moving the date to the 3 position would look better or worse? It would make reading the date flow better to my mind but perhaps it would make symmetry issues worse. Either way, a classy looking watch.