The watch on the left is the awesome Zenith El Primero Striking Tenth chronograph, a watch we reviewed in detail here and absolutely loved (sidenote, if you’ve never seen one of these in action, you have to watch the video here).  The watch at right looks a lot like the 2010 Striking Tenth, doesn’t it? It should, because it’s the reference from which it was birthed. 

You see, the Striking Tenth borrowed its tri-color dial from the original El Primero chronograph from 1969 – reference A386.  This early automatic chronograph (some would say it’s the first self-winding chronograph, some would say the first high-beat self-winding chronograph, and others, the first self-winding integrated chronograph) is something of a cult classic, as Zenith themselves say no more than 2000 examples were ever produced.  

The tri-color dial of the A386 has since become Zenith’s trademark dial configuration, but did you know there is more than just aesthetics behind its design? The story goes that rey was chosen for the hours register to remind the wearer of the impressive length of time it counted.  The lighter shaded register was to keep track of seconds, and remind us of time’s fleeting nature.  Finally, the blue register, a mid-way point between the light and dark registers, measured minutes, the chronograph’s essential unit.  Interesting, no?

Below is our video review of the Striking Tenth, originally published here