Zenith Rainbow Chronograph Fly Back from 1997 vs. Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow from 2014

Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow from 2014

Old vs. new … Simply have a look and tell me what you think… 

In the late 1990s the French Ministry of Defence was seeking for a watch for its fighter pilots. The goal was to find a chronograph capable of maintaining excellent precision even in extreme conditions of use – including violent accelerations from 9 to 11 g’s, variations in pressure and temperature, as well as vibrations and magnetic fields. Zenith responded the bid for tender launched by the French Ministry of Defence by presenting the reliable and resistant Rainbow Fly Back model in 1997. Its steel case had a diameter of 40 mm, therefore the readability from the big dial was outstanding and the accuracy of the Zenith El Primero calibre 400 under all conditions at the level desired by the French Ministry of Defence.

But the Zenith Rainbow Chronograph Fly Back was not only reserved for the French fighter pilots, everyone could buy this chronograph. So did I at the time being and today I am very proud to own one.

By the way: In 1998 the Zenith Rainbow Chronograph Fly Back was sold for 5200 DM (Deutsche Mark) including 15 % VAT.


Zenith Rainbow Chronograph Fly Back from 1997
Zenith Rainbow Chronograph Fly Back from 1997
Zenith Rainbow Chronograph Fly Back from 1997
Zenith Rainbow Chronograph Fly Back from 1997


>>> Discover the 2014 model on page 2 >>>

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  • I think you are totally engrossed with watching 2014 FIFA World Cup and, so, after 8th July you did not post anything, am I right?

    Anyway, I too am watching World Cup matches keenly and very happy with performance of supposedly weaker teams like Costa Rica, Colombia, Algeria, Mexico, Chile etc.

    I am absolutely certain that you are supporting Germany, whereas I am supporting Argentina (though I am an Indian) as I think Leo Messi and his team deserve to win this World Cup!

    And today in the final Leo Messi and his team will certainly beat Germany!

    • I am not a big fan of football, this is not the reason I have been slowing down the frequency of posting articles here, it is you all out there that I assume you are big fans of football and therefore you have no time to read my blog. I will post an interesting story about a new Chopard watch a little bit later today and then watch the final…

  • A,
    I am also the owner of model ’97. I bought a leather strap so watch can change it’s appearance in summer and winter.
    New model is great, nice with the steel strap, better than their recently introduced LE Rainbow.

  • The new one looks a little bit nicer , the margins are more flu and more ergonomic. The old one has better contrast in colours. The single thing what concerns me is the service intervals for Zenith. I say so because here in my country the service is pretty much big problem . You have to wait even 4 months for simple things not to speak about overhaul.In terms of accuracy I cannot make a comparison because I sold my old one long before I bought the new one. Cheers alex

  • They did do a nice job of paying tribute to the original but for whatever reason, I like the older one better.

  • Like you I too am a proud owner of 1997 version, yet I like 2014 version better and hope to acquire the new version.

    Of course, I am not an expert like you and I am a simple watch lover.

  • Handsome. I had always heard that Zenith made the movement for the Rolex Daytona – certainly in 1997 and until perhaps 3-4 years ago. Is that correct? This is the only watch I have ever heard of that had a special ability to be used in infrared light or is this a common feature of aviator watches?

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