Hodinkee and Zenith join forces again on a Limited Edition El Primero

This El Primero chronograph is dripping in vintage charm

Zenith Chronomaster Original Limited Edition For Hodinke
(Image credit: Hodinkee / Zenith)

Hodinkee and Zenith have joined forces once again to release a new limited edition model of the legendary El Primero chronography. The Zenith Chronomaster Original Limited Edition For Hodinkee reinterprets the modern chronograph with late 1960’s-era aesthetics.

Hodinkee’s appreciation of both Zenith’s 1969 release of the first fully integrated automatic chronograph movement, along with the watch brand's Chronomaster Original line that was unveiled last year inspired this partnership. 

The first El Primero caliber was born in a game-changing era for watches and the ethos of invention continued into the design, with one of the most subtle, comfortable and well-proportioned cases of the era.

The Zenith Chronomaster Original Limited Edition For Hodinkee aims to capture this legacy through the wrist-hugging ergonomics, the angularity of the lugs, and the classic tri-colour registers.

Can we all just agree now that this looks jaw-droppingly gorgeous?

Zenith Chronomaster Original Limited Edition For Hodinke

(Image credit: Hodinkee / Zenith)

The Zenith Chronomaster Original Limited Edition For Hodinkee uses the perfectly sized 38mm x 12.6mm case of the Chronomaster Original came in.

The colours are where Hodinkee pushed the boundaries while connecting the timepiece to the world of complex watchmaking. The timepiece is outfitted with a matte salmon opaline dial, providing a dynamic and warm backdrop uncommon for this dial configuration.

Chosen by the Hodinkee team, the salmon leans more towards an orange colourway as opposed to red, and the matte opaline finish allows that colour to shine without any unnecessary finishing. This is anything but simple - the colour has depth and a bit of flash that holds up against the muted silver and grey hues elsewhere. 

On the wrist, the dial can move quite seamlessly between bright and sunny and formal and moody. 

With the strong salmon base tone, the chronograph reinterprets Zenith’s emblematic tricolour registers in three shades of grey. 

The signature 4:30 date window is almost hidden thanks to a matching salmon date wheel that blends in with the colour of the dial.

Zenith Chronomaster Original Limited Edition For Hodinke

(Image credit: Hodinkee / Zenith)

Beyond the new colourway, the watch’s case and dial are enclosed with a raised sapphire crystal, calling to mind the acrylic lenses found on vintage Zenith chronographs. 

The dial is flanked by familiar pump-style pushers and brushed lugs. The case is met by a tapered bracelet with polished centre links, outer links with polished edges, and a folding clasp to ensure the look - and feel - of a modern high-performance sports watch.

Housed inside the 38mm case, and entirely visible through the sapphire case back, sits the Zenith El Primero Automatic Caliber 3600 movement. 

The Caliber 3600 shares the same high-beat rate and column-wheel design that has defined the El Primero since its inception, but with modern technical enhancements that ensure smooth running and reliability. For instance, the chronograph seconds hand traverses the dial once every ten seconds or six times per minute. 

Also, rather than drive the chronograph via the movement's fourth wheel, as the original calibre 400 did, the El Primero 3600 runs the chronograph directly off its high-tech silicon escape wheel.

Do you fancy picking up the Zenith Chronomaster Original Limited Edition For Hodinkee? You'll have to act fast -Zenith is only making 300-pieces.

The Zenith Chronomaster Original Limited Edition For Hodinkee is priced at $9,500 and is available from the Hodinkee Shop and Zenith’s online boutique.

Spencer Hart
Style and Travel Editor

As the Style and Travel Editor at T3, Spencer covers everything from clothes to cars and watches to hotels. Everything that's cool, stylish, and interesting, basically. He's been a part of T3 for over seven years, and in that time covered every industry event known to man, from CES and MWC to the Geneva Motorshow and Baselworld. When he's driving up and down the country in search of the greatest driving roads, he can be found messing around on an electric scooter, playing with luxury watches, or testing the latest fragrances.