Imagine the possibilities – A Striking Tenth Movement In A 38mm Case?The detailing of this watch is really very nice.  On the tail of the red center hand you will find the Zenith star, just as you will on the crown, the buckle, and the rotor.  All alligator straps from Zenith are very thin and soft, yet come lined in rubber to make for a longer lifecycle – they absorb sweat better than any alligator strap I’ve ever worn. 

What I haven’t mentioned yet, which will matter to some, is that the Striking Tenth is a limited edition chronograph.  Only 1,969 pieces will be made in stainless steel, while 500 will be made in gold.  I was told that Zenith is now reaching the end of production of all 1,969 pieces and that at no point in the future will they ever build a watch using the Striking Tenth movement with this vintage case and dial again.  You have seen that Zenith now offers a Striking Tenth with a flyback mechanism, but in a much heftier, sportier case called the Stratos – which, despite the great movement and vintage dial, just doesn’t have the same appeal to me. 

At The End Of The Day

I loved my time with the El Primero Striking Tenth, and consider it one of the absolute coolest watches around right now.  It fires on all cylinders for me – a classical appearance with fantastic vintage appearance plus a reliable and proven caliber but with a really stunning and sexy twist.  Often times a cool modern complication will only be offered in an aggressive case, and I can only thank the designers at Zenith that this movement was first executed in this case with this dial – the result is perfect.  Also, at a retail price of $10,900 as tested (more for bracelet or gold version), you are getting a really great watch with a killer movement for not all that much money, relatively speaking of course.  I happen to think this watch is a bargain, especially when you compare it to TAG Heuer’s Mikrograph at $50,000 and FP Journe’s Centigraphe at even more.  You get the same high-frequency precision for much less money, and one would assume greater reliability. 

At the end of the day, the Zenith El Primero Striking Tenth is a fantastic looking and performing watch with great wrist presence, legitimate sex appeal, limited availability, and potentially historic importance as the watch that re-ignited Zenith, all for under $11,000.  This is a winner in my book.

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