I could have started my interrogation of this watch by looking at every single point of difference between the Cronometro Tipo CP 2 and the 1960s Cairelli chronograph that inspired it. But, instead, I reached out to Romain Marietta, Zenith’s head of product development, to find out why such a watch came to be in the first place. I wanted to start from the beginning. The insights I got were intriguing, and sometimes even surprising. 

One of the first questions I had was about the timing of the launch, since Zenith actually released four limited editions/special editions in October (including ours, to be totally transparent here). To put it frankly, I wanted to know if we were seeing a Hublot-isation of the brand? Would we be seeing wave after wave of new releases, each a “special edition” of some kind? What I found out from Marietta though is that the Cronometro project is an old one, almost green lighted several time over the past few years, and finally set in motion sometime around May or June 2015. It was set to be ready for the 2016 Baselworld fair, when it was teased to retailers with much success (more on that later).