The Zenith El Primero Revival G381, limited to just 50 pieces to honor the 50th anniversary of the game-changing El Primero movement, is priced at $19,200 and beautifully recaptures the shining early years of the automatic high-speed chronograph.
The G381 was born alongside the A386 in the earliest days of the El Primero as several brands raced to be the first to bring their automatic chronograph to the market, and today it is a cult item in the ranks of Zenith and vintage chronograph collectors. Much rarer than the steel A386, the yellow gold G381 also featured a black-on-white panda dial. This sporty gold chronograph was an undoubtedly special creation from Zenith that offered the El Primero technology in a format that was distinctive to its steel-cased sibling, the A386.
“The limited-edition Zenith El Primero Revival G381 captures the charm of the original model in a warm tribute to the golden era of sporty vintage chronographs.”
The G381 was originally produced in fewer than 700 examples, making it one of the most sought after vintage Zenith El Primeros. Fifty years later, the G381 has become a highly collectible footnote in the history of the El Primero and an enduring example of Zenith’s ability to create watches with a special mix of style, elegance, and everyday versatility. This brings us to the limited edition Zenith El Primero Revival G381.
When we set out to work with Zenith on this collaboration, we wanted to do right by the anniversary of such a significant contribution to the watch collecting world. The limited-edition Zenith El Primero Revival G381, recreated faithfully in 18k yellow gold, captures the charm of the original model in a warm tribute to the golden era of sporty vintage chronographs.
The limited-edition Zenith El Primero Revival G381, like the original, is 38mm wide and has a white lacquer dial directly inspired by the vintage model, replete with the non-overlapping black “panda” sub-dials. Reflecting key design aspects and proportional details from the original 1969 G381, such as the smaller size of the crown and chronograph pushers, the Zenith El Primero Revival G381 is a loving recreation of a special watch born alongside the revolutionary El Primero movement.
The Zenith El Primero Revival G381 employs a Zenith caliber 400 El Primero chronograph movement, a modern iteration of the same high-beat heart that powered the G381 back in 1969. The original El Primero movement was the first integrated chronograph movement, the first automatic chronograph movement, and the first high-beat chronograph movement. Like the original El Primero, the caliber 400 is a fully integrated column-wheel chronograph movement that ticks at 5 Hz (or 36,000 vph, a signature element of the El Primero) and has a power reserve of 50 hours. Visible through a sapphire display case back, the Zenith El Primero Revival G381’s caliber 400 is a direct descendant of the automatic chronograph caliber launched by Zenith back in 1969.
With svelte proportions surrounding a bright white dial and a bold red seconds hand, the G381 is a knowing nod to the enduring style and bravado of the 1960s and the sporty forward-thinking nature of the 1970s. It’s a design that hasn’t aged a day since The Italian Job was in theaters, and the G381 remains classically stylish and endlessly entertaining on the wrist.
The limited-edition Zenith El Primero Revival G381, while thin and easy-going, is best appreciated from the driver’s seat of a classic, analog Italian sports car. The crisp lines, clear dial, and contrast of yellow gold against black leather all reflect the high-contrast, motorsport-derived style of the era.
From a Sunday drive down a perfect road to a pit lane and the snarl of a Cosworth V8, the limited edition Zenith El Primero Revival G381 is cool, rare, and the perfect El Primero tribute for any well-read Zenith collector.
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