I began this article by saying I believe the El Primero Chronograph Classic is playing its part in reviving the category of a dress chronograph at a reasonable price. Sure, Patek has its 5170, Lange has its 1815, VC has its Harmony, which are all dress chronographs, but they are six to 10 times the price of this watch. Under or around $10,000 you certainly have some nice in-house chrongraphs – think Breitling, Rolex, Omega, and Jaeger-LeCoultre. But the vast majority of them are really sports chronographs, coming on big steel bracelets or sticky rubber straps.
Now there are some in-house “dress” chronographs around $10,000, and they include the likes of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Chronograph and Omega’s Seamaster Co-Axial. But both cases are much sportier feeling than the Zenith, and what’s more, the JLC is a three-register chronograph while the Omega is a two register but with an hour hand and a much busier dial. What’s more is both feature date windows – this Zenith is void of all that, and that is what makes it so attractive.