Zenith has had a stellar couple of years, ever since their new CEO, Julien Tornare, came on board in 2017. Before that, every year it was just Zenith offering some variant or another, all riding on the coattails of their legendary El Primero movement. This year, however, is the strongest showing of Zenith yet, with the new Chronomaster collection and with it the Chronomaster Sport, a fantastic automatic chronograph capable of measuring 1/10th of a second.
While the Zenith Defy Lab with its revolutionary new escapement design and the Zenith Defy El Primero 21 with the 1/100th of a second chronograph was impressive, it represents either a proof of concept or a piece only available to the most affluent of watch enthusiasts. With the Chronomaster Sport, however, it is offering an evolution of the brand made available to all existing fans of the brand and definitely to some new fans as well.
Let’s get the most obvious thing out of the way. Yes, it does remind me of a Daytona. But, when you actually delve deeper into the design of the watch, Zenith ensures that each element was actually taken from a watch in their catalogue. The colours, of course, come from the 1st generation El Primero, the bezel was an amalgamation of references like the De Luca and the Rainbow, and so on. This combination of design elements resulted in the Chronomaster Sport you see here, offered in both a black or white dial and with a black ceramic bezel.
Unlike most watches that use the bezel for a tachymeter scale, the Chronomaster Sports’ bezel is paramount to how the 1/10th of a second measurement will work. The engineers at Zenith have designed the El Primero 3600 automatic movement to use the central second’s hand as the 1/10th of a second counter. It will make one full rotation in 10 seconds with the corresponding scale etched onto the bezel.
When you actually see it in action, this hand is so weird (in a good way) as it is out of sync with the seconds counter and the small seconds on the subdials. Another concession they had to make when designing the movement is to forgo the hours counter on the chronograph as there are simply not enough subdials. I doubt this function would be missed as most modern mechanical chronographs are mostly used to time short intervals or more likely to impress friends at watch enthusiast gatherings.
Of course, the 1/10th of a second function is only possible as the movement beats at a high frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour or 5Hz. And another incredible thing about this movement is that even though it has a high beat escapement, it still manages 60 hours of power reserve at minimum.
The case is in stainless steel and measures in at 41mm. And the best part about all of this is that Zenith has managed to keep the price under CHF 10,000.
The Zenith Chronomaster Sport will be priced at MYR 42,300 with the metal bracelet, and MYR 40,300 with a Cordura effect strap.