Zenith New Vintage 1969 “El Primero” Chronograph Limited Edition
If Carlsberg made watches..or at least, chronographs.. I’ve admired this one from afar for a while now. Whilst once again culling my spiralling collection I needed to find something that would become my daily wearer but this time something that would really succeed in putting a smile on my face every time I cast my eyes upon it. For the last couple of years I’ve been quite boring with regard my horological acquisitions; all too often I’ve purchased watches for a second or third time and whilst that can be sometimes quite satisfying, none of the watches I’ve re-purchased have really succeeded in getting my juices flowing. It’s a little like dating an ex-girlfriend: fun and safe to begin with but it soon dawns on you why you split in the first place..
So off I went on a major search. I now had a few pre-requisites and many were firsts for me. I’d recently found a taste for chronographs so that was the first. I love vintage Omega divers and their retro shapes so I’d want a flavour of those in there, too. I really adore the colour blue to be present in my watches, whether it’s the dial or the hands but somewhere a smattering of blue always does good things for my eyes. It would need to be at home with jeans or a suit and preferably even a dinner jacket. But finally and most importantly, it had to be new love and that would probably mean a new brand.. Budget? £8k (about $12k USD)
Enter the Zenith New Vintage 1969 Chronograph Limited Edition, one of only 500 made!
As a daily wearer you really want to be thinking “modern”. A Rolex 1665 Great White SD or a Red Sub are all very well but when it’s time to get them wet do you really want to risk a forty year old £10k watch in a swimming pool in Marbella? I’ve always loved the look of the vintage Heuer Autavia GMTs but again, daily wearer? Maybe not.. I came close to re-purchasing an NOS Omage SHOM SM200 or SM120 “Baby PloProf” but hey, been there, done that and nowadays, amongst collectors they’re no longer uncommon.
So when a fellow member of TZ-UK posted some pics of his Zenith New Vintage 1969 my ears pricked up and I felt my heartbeat quicken a few beats. Hmm…this could well be the ticket.. After my usual autistic research I decided this was the one.
From the tricolore sub dials to the striking red chrono sweeping hand to the subtle date window at 4 O’clock to the Omega SHOM-like case to the extra-ordinary El Primero movement, everything sit’s just perfectly with the Zenith NV 1969. The 40mm case perches nicely on most wrists and the expensive looking black croc strap with signed buckle compliments the package beautifully. Most important, though, is how it makes you feel.. Remember that gorgeous girl you dated at 15? Remember getting her picture and installing it in your wallet and taking it out twenty times daily to just..admire.. Well, that’s the Zenith El Primero New Vintage 1969 Chronograph Limited Edition! I’m just so glad none of my girlfriends ever had names like that or I fear my cheeks might have taken quite a beating..