Pre-Baselworld 2014: Three new Zenith timepieces to discover

Zenith El Primero Lightweight

My full respect – chapeau! – to the work of CEO Jean-Fred Dufour and his entire team! Zenith surprises me again and again and I am sure there is still more to come.


You will discover the Zenith novelties being presented on three seperate pages, so don´t miss to continue to read the post …


The Zenith El Primero Lightweight.

The new El Primero Lightweight is distinguished by its carbon case featuring an original and complex construction. It combines flowing dynamics and lightness while displaying exceptional power, very much like the most appealing automotive bodywork. Sporty, contemporary and decidedly masculine, the new El Primero Lightweight gives a new breath of life to the Zenith collection, while confirming the innovative capacities and creative daring of the Manufacture. Zenith chose titanium to make the main parts of the movements, which are the heaviest when they are made in brass; namely the main plate and five bridges, the barrel bridge, the balance bridge, the lever-bridge, the lever-wheel bridge and the chronograph bridge. The result is a 25% lighter weight. The open worked dial provides another bird’s eye view of this legendary movement, the El Primero 400B Titanium.

This is a dynamic reinterpretation of the collection’s classic design characteristics. The transparency of the central part makes it even lighter and provides a clear view of the skeleton-worked El Primero calibre. The disc-type date display is also both light and efficient thanks to cut-out stencil-style numerals standing out against a red dot at 6 o’clock. The generously hollowed-out facetted hour-markers bear a luminescent coating, while the light grey, blue and anthracite counters pick up the three characteristic colours of the 1969 El Primero chronograph that have become one of the collection’s key signature features. The blue central sweep-seconds chronograph hand with its small Zenith star is accurate to the nearest tenth of a second. The choice of carbon reinforces the technical and sporty look. The internal structure of the case is in ceramised aluminium, a cutting-edge material blending lightness, resistance and hardness. Titanium was chosen for the pushpieces and the crown.


Zenith El Primero Lightweight
Zenith El Primero Lightweight


Chronograph function: 36,000 A/h (= 5Hz) for 1/10th of a second precision

El Primero 400B Automatic

Calibre: 13‘‘‘ (diameter : 30 mm)

Thickness: 6.60 mm

328 parts

31 jewels

36,000 A/h (= 5 Hz)

Oscillating weight adorned with “côtes de genève” motif

Titanium components: main plate, barrel bridge, balance bridge, chronograph bridge, lever bridge and lever-wheel bridge

Over 50-hour power reserve

45 mm carbon case, open worked dial with three counters

250-piece limited edition


Zenith El Primero Lightweight
Zenith El Primero Lightweight
Zenith El Primero Lightweight
Zenith El Primero Lightweight
Zenith El Primero Lightweight
Zenith El Primero Lightweight 
Zenith El Primero Lightweight
Zenith El Primero Lightweight



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16 replies on “Pre-Baselworld 2014: Three new Zenith timepieces to discover”
  1. says: bruno

    The grand feu is not a watch. It’s a work of art !

    No idea how expensive it will be but I would , ove to get one. Probably too expensive for me but I can always dream
    Once again, call this a sculpture, call it art ….. but not ‘just a watch’:)

  2. says: Steve Cseplo

    I must admit that I find the Zenith Pilot Type 20 Grand Feu to have way too much retro embellishment, more like a Brighton jewelry piece than a Zenith. Just isn’t my taste.

    But to each their own. I’m sure there are people who don’t like many avant-garde watches I like.

  3. says: Heiko

    Hello Alexander and many thanks for this very interesting blog.

    This is my first post here, after much reading in the past.

    The first version of the Zenith “light” was this limited edition “New Vintage” from 2009.

    PVD coated Titanium. Looks similar to the new try.



  4. says: Edwin Tschopp

    What I do not like about Zenith is their “open hard” stuff. Zenith semms to go kitsch again after some reasonable years.

  5. says: Mezdis

    Alex, thanks for the presentation of these models! Pretty nice pieces.

    Could you please give me some insight: What is exactly the difference between the 100 pieces limited edition El Primero Lightweight that you presented on September 25, 2013 and this piece?
    Thank you!

      1. says: Mezdis

        Well, I still don’t really get it.
        The only difference I can see is the different (number?) of the movement. However, the key characteristics of the movement seem to be the same (bridges made of Ti, silicon components, weight reduction of 25 %). If I compare the two images from the backside of the two watches, they look nearly identical to me.

        But maybe my experience in haute horlogerie is not long enough to see the differences…

  6. says: DeanAsh

    Certainly the Type 20 Grand Feu is one of the most beautiful watches ever produced. Aesthetically perfect. As an owner of the 57.5 mm Type 20 Specials with the same 5011K movement, I have no issues with large watches if to accommodate the large movement. The original 2012 release Type 20 was pushing it at 57.5mm, but is still wearable. At 60mm, I think Zenith should have opted to create a pocket watch instead. And where are they getting these extra 5011K movements from?
    I was under the impression that we would only see this glorious movement in the original 2012 batch of 75 pieces in rose gold and 250 in Titanium. Make a sub-43mm Grand Feu Type 20 with a hand wound movement finished to the highest degree and it will be an instant and somewhat affordable legend.

  7. says: Tom A.

    – I love the carbon fiber El Primero: sporty, high tech. Looks even better than the recent black ceramic Omega Speedmaster.
    – The Synopsis is also a nice dress watch, while I normally don’t like this “open heart surgery” style. However I noticed that it has no second hand! It may not be exactly necessary but it is nice to have a second hand. I think the reason may be that in the El Primero they may not be able to make it stop when adjusting the time (this was the case in the Espada), a behaviour that would look a bit cheap on such a high class watch.
    – Not convinced about the Sapphire model. Very very big, and so fragile. And far too much bling for my taste. It looks like an expensive fashion watch to me. If Swarovski would make an all crystal watch, it might look like this.

      1. says: Tom

        Hi Alex, strange I still can’t find the second hand on the Synopsis, is it something in the open heart? Cheers

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