“I’m sorry Sir, these were only ever produced with the leather strap..”

Zenith 1969 New Vintage On Bracelet

There are a couple of things which can irk me greatly: one is watches that are produced without a bracelet option. The other is someone telling me I can’t do something because it’s not possible and the latter will motivate me like there’s no tomorrow. So when I called Zenith to ask if there was a bracelet that might fit my El Primero New Vintage 1969, only to be told somewhat snootily that they were only produced with a leather strap, it was red rags to a bull. I was aware when I bought the watch that it only came on a leather strap but had blindly convinced myself that there must be one that fits.. Let’s just say I probably should have done that research before getting my credit card out..
Undeterred, however, the search began for a suitable bracelet in earnest. It wasn’t as easy as I’d first imagined, however.. Heck, is it ever? To cut a long story short I eventually ordered a vintage Zenith bracelet and two NOS NSA bracelets from the 70s. The vintage Zenith was a no go. It had been advertised as having 20mm end links; they were actually 21mm.. One of the NSA bracelets, however, was rather nice and it had originally been made for a Zenith watch. The end links were a pain to adjust to get them to fit the unusual lugs and case of the New Vintage but after an hour of micro adjustments and re-fittings it eventually slotted into place rather nicely and in my opinion works rather well. So now I have the bracelet option I craved which is useful in the Summer when leather straps are nice but not particularly practical.