Zenith Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar hands on – best watch this year?

I've used the retro-tinged chronograph – and it could easily be the watch of the year for 2024

The Zenith Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar flanked by a Zenith Pilot chronograph and a Zenith Chronomaster Sport
(Image credit: Future / Sam Cross)

We talk a lot about the best watches here at T3. Whether that is the best watch overall, the best watch on a budget, or even the best watch which no-one would ever consider, it fills a lot of our time.

We're somehow already a month into 2024, and I think I've already found the watch of the year. Launched at LVMH Watch Week, I recently had the chance to spend a brief moment with the Zenith Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar – and it's darn good.

Based on an original Zenith design, this 38mm chronograph packs in three subdials for the chronograph, a moonphase on the 6 o'clock subdial, a date window at the 4:30 position and day and month windows above the 3 and 9 o'clock subdials.

Sure, it's chock full of complications, but that's only half the battle. It also has to be good to look at, if consumers are going to bite. But come on – this is Zenith. I can't recall a truly bad looking watch they've made, and this one is a real looker.

The classic silhouette really works here, with a slim feeling on the wrist. It's also really nicely laid out. Blink and you might just miss the day, date and month windows thanks to their colour matched panels. Similarly, the moonphase wheel sits in the bottom subdial in a really elegant way.

Inside, you'll find the El Primero 3610 movement. That's based on the 3600 movement found in the popular Zenith Chronomaster Sport model. That offers a 5Hz beat rate for incredibly smooth operation, while the 1/10th of a second chronograph sees the central seconds hand turn every ten seconds.

It's a staggering movement to look at, too. Sure, you could argue that no-one ever sees the movement, but that's not really the point. No-one ever sees the engine in my car – I'd still like it to go fast.

Ultimately, this left a substantial mark on me. The Zenith Chronomaster Sport model was already really popular, and substantially elevated the profile of the brand over the last few years.

At £12,100 on the strap or £12,500 on the bracelet, this feels like really good value for money. It's a shade cheaper than the Rolex Daytona models you still can't buy anyway, but offers far more in terms of both complications and personality.

We're less than 40 days into 2024, so calling anything the best of the year is a big statement. But honestly, it's going to take something really special to knock this Zenith off of its perch.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.