One of the most admired movements

By Ishan Raghava - November 27, 2020
One of the most admired movements of all time – the El Primero automatic chronograph caliber – turned 50 this year. To commemorate this achievement, Zenith produced a faithful redesign of the land....

Even in the exalted and centuries-old profession of fine watchmaking, 50 is a significant number. And even more so when the design of your significant timepiece is still trendsetting even today. Alongside the breathtaking design, in 1969, the G381 also marked the introduction of Zenith’s groundbreaking high-beat 5Hz chronograph movement that was revolutionary for its time. One of the fastest chronograph movements in the world, the El Primero moves at a rate of 5Hz, which translates to 36,000 beats per hour or 10 beats every second. This was revolutionary in 1969, and allowed the Zenith timepieces to measure time extremely accurately. 

 Additionally, the G381’s design also caught the eye of many a fine connoisseur. After all, 50 years ago, making a sports chronograph in gold was an unusual choice. This modern G381 reinterpretation stays true to its roots, with a 38mm yellow gold case, lacquered white dial and overlapping ‘Panda’ sub-dials. Meanwhile, the red seconds hand and bright white dial make it a particularly eye-catching design – ensuring that this contemporary interpretation becomes a definite collectible. To stay faithful to the original, the G381 is powered by a modern version of the El Primero movement, running at 5Hz, with a power reserve of 50 hours. Naturally, the G381 has only been released in a limited production run of 50 pieces, and the price of the timepiece also includes warranty and service for 50 years.

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