For Baselworld 2017, Zenith is releasing the Chronomaster El Primero Grande Date Full Open watch. Featuring a dial carved in sapphire, a dual-disc sun and moon phase, and for the first time in the Grande Date, a fully skeletonized architecture, it’s hard to not be both enamored and a little overwhelmed by the high-energy design. It’s not a surprise, as Zenith has a penchant for some truly polarizing and bold designs, and this watch is a natural progression in the El Primero line which now has something like over 70 watches in production.

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The watch will come in two variations: a full stainless steel case, or two-tone stainless steel and pink gold. Both will feature a domed sapphire crystal on the front, and a sapphire case-back. And keeping its size in line with the rest of the Grande Date collection, measuring in at 45mm, this may seem like a larger, more imposing watch – but who would buy such a watch if they didn’t want people to see it? It would have been interesting to see a ceramic bezel version like with their Rolling Stones El Primero Skeletonized watch, in my opinion.

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Inside beats a 5Hz, high-frequency, in-house El Primero Calibre 4047B. The self-winding chronograph movement operates at 36,000vph and has a 50-hour power reserve. Because it beats at 5Hz, this allows for an accurate display down to a tenth of a second.

The dial shares the same layout as the previous versions, but for the Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Grande Date Full Open, the architecture is on full display. The transparent date window remains between 1 and 2 o’clock with a red backdrop, and the moon-phase (complete with a 59-day double-lunar cycle) at the 6 o’clock position adds a splash of additional color to the traditional red, blue, and grey Zenith palette. Through the domed sapphire crystal, there is a lot to look at, as there are over 332 components, and the full stainless model does appear a bit busy at first glance. I personally feel that the pink gold model has better legibility, but the more I look at the stainless steel model, the more sporty and “Zenith” it feels.


The steel model will have a bracelet option and a black leather strap and the pink gold model will have the option of black leather strap or brown chestnut leather strap. Personally, I typically lean towards a bracelet, though I can’t deny that the brown leather fits the two-tone variation perfectly. We’ll update with exact pricing but the “non-full open” models in steel and gold range in the $10,000-$15,000 so expect a bit more than that. zenith-watches.com

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