The new Zenith Captain Winsor Annual Calendar Chronograph Automatic from the legendary Swiss manufacture comes equipped with an unusual, although somewhat awkward, annual calendar complication courtesy of their in-house El Primero caliber.
Like a standard annual calendar watch, the new Zenith Captain Windsor sports three small apertures in its silver dial, each representing the current date, day of week and month by means of three rotating disks.
However, while the overwhelming majority of currently produced mechanical timepieces have their disks put on three different axes, this unusual mechanism has the disks placed coaxially rotating around the visual center of the dial.
Hence the rather unfamiliar placement of the windows: day and month at 3 hours and the date at 6 o’clock (see pictures of the movement below.)
For some, this kind of layout may seem somewhat clumsy, but at least the watch doesn’t look like hundreds of other overpriced timekeepers from major brands. Also, the annual calendar module is much simpler than normal designs, which makes it more dependable in the long run.
According to the Swiss watchmaker, the complication was designed for Zenith by a certain Mr. Ludwig Oechslin who curates the famous Musee International d’Horlogerie in La Chaux-de-Fonds (around 70 kilometers West from Bern, Switzerland.) In return, the watch Manufacture will provide the museum with additional exhibition space on its own premises.
The complication was implanted into the new caliber Zenith El Primero 4054 self-winding movement. As usual, it is made solely in-house and beats at an impressive speed of 36,000 vph.
Although this kind of frequency makes the caliber’s moving parts wear out around 25 percent faster when compared to a standard movement beating at a normal frequency of 28,800 beats per minute, the heightened speed also makes it more precise. Its chronograph, for example, can measure lapses of time with an accuracy of up to 1/10th of a second. On the other hand, the increased number of semi-oscillations per hour will exacerbate any problem with the mechanism’s adjustment, simply because of those -even the tiniest- errors multiplying at a higher rate.
As you can see from the photos above, the chronograph in this particular watch features only one 60-minute totalizer at 6 o’clock. The other sub-dial at 9 hours is reserved for the small seconds hand, which is crafted from 18-karat rose gold.
The current generation of Zenith watches comes in modestly sized cases that do not take too much wrist real estate and are not excessively high. The Zenith Captain Winsor Annual Calendar Chronograph is not an exception here.
Available both in 18-karat rose gold and in less flashy, but more durable stainless steel, the case is only 42 millimeters in diameter, which makes it a perfect dress watch for those who prefer the sportier chronographs to more restrained three-handers.
See also: Zenith El Primero Tourbillon Chronograph
Zenith Captain Winsor Annual Calendar Chronograph specification
Price: $8700 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Zenith caliber El Primero 4054, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 29
Movement frequency: 36,000 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, day of the week, month, chronograph
Power reserve: 50 hours
Case: Stainless steel or Rose gold
Case: 42.00 mm
Dial: Silver, guilloche
Hour markers: Rose gold
Hands: Rose gold
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black natural leather strap
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective