The reemerging luxury Swiss watchmaker has recently updated its new El Primero 36,000 VPH line with a new, more feminine Zenith El Primero 36,000 VPH Lady (ref. 18.2150.400/21.C709) automatic chronograph watch, which is now presented in a smaller case only 38 mm in diameter.
Offered at a recommended retail price of $15,400 (around €11,000 at current exchange rate,) the watch sports a nicely crafted rose gold case. Thanks to a rather thin bezel, the case looks even lighter and more elegant than one might have expected from a “sporty” chronograph.
Although some versions of the piece come adorned with dozens of diamonds, this particular model, which is of most interest to yours truly, sports a much more subdued, discreet design with the 18-carat rose gold case simply polished and satin-finished in all the right places.
As you may have already guessed, the watch is powered by the new (or, rather, redesigned) chronograph caliber Zenith El Primero 400.
Offering all the usual chronograph functionality (there is a tachymetric scale on the bezel flange, a small seconds display at 9 hours, and a 30 minute and 12 hours chronograph totalizers at 3 and 6 o’clock respectively,) the device lets you measure time intervals at an impressive accuracy of 1/10th of a second.
The feature comes courtesy of an unusually high frequency of its balance wheel that ticks at 36,000 vibrations per hour (5 Hz.)
Positioned as a ladies watch, the new Zenith El Primero 36,000 VPH Lady 38 mm talks the same design language as the models created for the stronger part of the population.
The five hands as well as the 12 hour markers are faceted, gold-plated and covered with thin strokes of Superluminova (SLN C1) luminous substance.
Why not tritium, you may ask? Well, maybe the reason is that nowadays it takes a watchmaker too much time and energy to make all the paperwork required by the European bureaucrats when it comes to consumer products that have even the tiniest amount of radioactive materials in them.
Anyway, it is not a diver or a tool watch, so the luminous parts here are more for the show, not for work.
Thanks to the use of Anthracite-colored dial with an attractive-looking Sunray pattern on it, the gold-plated elements look very contrast and offer adequate legibility in all lighting conditions. The three sub-dials could have been a trifle darker, though, although I dig the idea behind the choice of colors.
Of course, the watch is not really affordable and such a design of the dial seems a bit too masculine even for a unisex watch, however, if you (or your beloved one) like this kind of styling, you may want to consider buying this watch.
Given the high build quality and engineering superiority of Zenith’s calibers, the timekeepers is by no means overpriced although its MSRP of $18,500 will probably leave a big hole in your pocket in case you decide to go after one of these gorgeous pieces.
Zenith El Primero Lady 38 mm (ref. 18.2150.400/21.C709) automatic chronograph watch specification
Price: $18,500 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Zenith caliber El Primero 400, 31 jewels, 30 x 6.60 mm, 326 components, 36,000 vph, in-house, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Oscillating weight is finished in a Cotes de Geneva pattern
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power reserve: 68 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 38.00 mm
Lug width: N/A
Case height: N/A
Hour markers: Gold-plated, facetted, luminous
Hands: Gold-plated, facetted, luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Brown natural leather strap with gold buckle
Case back: Sapphire