Zenith Chronomaster Open

by Chamath Gamage
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Zenith’s release for Watches & Wonders 2022 comes as a part of their “Master of Chronographs” exhibition that’s held during the event. This exhibition showcases the milestones and trajectory which made the Manufacturer establish itself as the preeminent innovator of automatic chronographs. During this exhibition, Zenith is releasing their latest update to the Chronomaster open collection with a new tri-colour dial which reveals more of its high-frequency beating heart.

The “Master of Chronographs” shows us Zenith Manufacturer’s past with its countless achievements, which helped advance the chronograph movement over the last 50 years. For Zenith, it highlights the brand continued pursuit of innovation and excellence when making the most complex and sought-after complications. Ever since the launch of the first El Primero movement in 1969, the brand has continually developed and pushed the boundaries of what’s possible in terms of greater precision, performance, and more complex features. Zenith over the years has not only mastered the automatic chronograph movement but has also gone on to create astonishing complications such as the fractional measurement of time like the 1/10th and 1/100th of second movements. 

The latest Chronomaster Open collection comes with a new facelift, taking lines and design features from the new sporty Chornomaster Sport and the historically inspired Chornomaster Original to bring about a very modern update. 

Design:

The latest Zenith Chronomaster Open comes in three variants. They all have a 39.5mm case size, which is smaller than the previous 42mm Chronomaster Open models. Out of the three variants, two are made from stainless steel while the third gets an 18-ct Rose gold case. The famous three-dial configuration that was used on the iconic A386 1969 model is still retained in this version, however, now with a more modern transparent twist. The previous versions of the Chronomaster Open had the 9 o’clock subdial, the seconds counter, cut out completely so that the escapement can be more easily seen.

For this new generation model, however, Zenith has retained the seconds counter at 9 o’clock by now using a hesalite crystal element, which serves as a readable sub-dial while also being able to see the star-shaped escape wheel of the movement underneath. The original openings to show the inner workings of the movement have also been redesigned, with circular openings with chamfered edges now revealing the movement with more straight bridges. 

The two stainless steel case variants get a matte black dial and a silver matte dial that both have two different-coloured counters and the translucent polymer counter. The black dial certainly does have the greater contrast and readability out of the two options, however, the silver dial allows the colours of the sub-dials to stand out. The hands and hour indices for these two models are Rhodium-plated. 

The third variant is the 18-ct rose gold which also features a silver matter dial with the same coloured sub-dial layout. The 18-ct rose gold version, however, comes with gold plated, faceted hour indices and hands, which against the silver matte dial looks simply beautiful! 

Movement:

For the movement inside these new Chornomaster Open models, Zenith has used a modified version of the calibre 3600 movements that were used in the latest Chornomaster Sport. This new modified movement, the calibre El Primero 3604 1/10th of a second automatic chronograph, features an open base plate and bridges which allow the wearer to have a clearer view of the high-frequency 5Hz escapement. The timepieces come with an open case-back which gives a view to the open-star-shaped oscillating mass. The power reserve for this El Primero 3604 movement is roughly 60 hours. 

The stainless steel versions of the movement get a steel bracelet as standard which follows the contours and mixed finishes of the case. The 18-ct rose gold version gets a blue calfskin leather with a gold triple folding clasp as standard. Having the blue calfskin strap makes the 18-ct rose gold stand out beautifully. 

This redesign of the Chornomaster Open marks the update of the brand’s chronograph collection. Zenith has updated this iconic model with a more modern touch in aesthetics and movement, which still keeps the essence of what makes the Chronomaster Open intact. 

References:

  • CHRONOMASTER SPORT STEEL BLACK DIAL – 03.3300.3604/21.M3300
  • CHRONOMASTER SPORT STEEL WHITE DIAL – 03.3300.3604/69.M3300
  • CHRONOMASTER SPORT ROSE GOLD SILVER DIAL – 18.3300.3604/69.C922

Specification:

  • Case: 39.5 mm
  • Case Material: Rose Gold and Stainless-Steel
  • Dial: Black-lacquered, White-matte and Silver-toned sunray-patterned
  • Crystal: Sapphire Crystal, anti-reflective coating inside
  • Water resistance: 100 meters
  • Movement: El Primero 3604 automatic
  • Power reserve: 60 Hours
  • Strap: Metal Bracelet with a double folding clasp and Blue calfskin leather with a gold triple folding clasp

Australian Recommended Retail Pricing:

  • CHRONOMASTER SPORT STEEL BLACK DIAL – $14,300.00 AUD
  • CHRONOMASTER SPORT STEEL WHITE DIAL – $14,300.00 AUD
  • CHRONOMASTER SPORT ROSE GOLD SILVER DIAL – $28,800.00 AUD

Availability: August 2022

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