REVIEW: Hands On With The Zenith Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar

by Matt Clymo

IN PARTNERSHIP: Zenith has gone back to their vintage roots with a faithful re-creation of the intended design from the 70’s, and we’ve road-tested it to see if the 1970’s works in 2024!

What We Love

  • Vintage styling that doesn’t look out of place today
  • Practicality of the chronograph and calendar functions
  • The subtle green colour that’s not in your face

What We Don’t

  • The 38mm size is a touch on the small side
  • Leather strap could be more detailed to suit the watch
  • Thickness when compared to the case size with the raised lugs

Overall Rating: 8.125/10

  • Value for money: 8/10
  • Wearability: 7.5/10
  • Design: 8/10
  • Build quality: 9/10

Zenith came out of the blocks strong for 2024 where at LVMH Watch Week in January they went strong on their Chronomaster line. Part of these launches was the re-introduction of the Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar in three colourways, which we covered here. The commentary and feedback from these releases were overall positive, especially amongst the collector community where vintage and sub 40mm pieces are received incredibly well. Just look at the below Instagram post from ChampsG with the comments on this.

So when we agreed to do this hands on review, I was curious as to how I would like the green boutique edition, as quite frankly it’s not a watch I would generally gravitate towards – the Chronomaster Sport is a little more my style. But that’s what I love about having watches on review, you can wear them and appreciate them for what they are, and in several instances, I’ve grown to like and even love some of the pieces I’ve had on my wrist. So much so that I’ve ended up purchasing them!

The new Zenith Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar Boutique Edition

The Design

If you read our release article on this piece, you’ll know that Zenith dug into their archives and old blueprints of the original Triple Calendar (which coincidentally never made it to market) to design the 2024 model. 25 prototype pieces were produced in 1970 as a proof of concept, however, the project was shelved for several years due to the success of the core chronograph version. So for this release, Zenith re-created the A386 case with the exact proportions from the original blueprints from 1969 ahead of its intended 1970 debut. And this shows through and through with the 38mm case looking and feeling very vintage, and classic Zenith.

A well-proportioned vintage chronograph on the wrist…

The one drawback I will say to this case design is where the lugs sit in relation to the caseback. I’ll talk more about this when we cover how it wears, but due to the smaller 38mm diameter and the fact that Zenith has a movement with a Triple Calendar plus a chronograph with a 1/10th second, the case is 13mm thick. Normally speaking, I would never allude to 13mm being too thick, as most pieces that are 13mm sit pretty well on my wrist and look in proportion. The thickness here isn’t the issue though, it’s the lug positioning. A majority of the movement in the case sits within and below the main case, meaning the lugs are in a higher position than normal, and due to them not being tapered down much, they do not sit flush with the caseback. This proves less comfortable when wearing it, and if you look at the image below of how high the lugs are in proportion to the overall case, you will see what I mean.

The vintage case design with the higher lugs does make for a small annoyance. But only small!

Stepping away from the case to the dial, Zenith has done a great job with this. Now there were three variants released in January, a silver opaline panda dial, a slate grey dial and this, the boutique-only green edition which I feel is the nicest of the trio. Done in a green sunburst pattern, the dial has the ability to change shades based on the light. In the sun, it radiates the sunburst pattern beautifully, and in the lower light, becomes a dark olive colour, which is subtle and makes for the perfect dinner partner (along with your actual dinner partner!) This makes the white subdials stand out and easy to read, adding to the well-thought-out layout of the Triple Calendar.

The green dial on a somewhat overcast day gives it a darker hue, but the sunburst pattern still radiates through

On the dial itself, Zenith has packed a lot in here. Being a Triple Calendar, you have the day, date and month displayed on the dial. Day and month displays are at 10 and 2 o’clock, with the date sitting at 4:30. It is a different way of laying out the day/date/month configuration. My only comment is on the balance of the dial: The day and month balance out the dial nicely on top of the chronograph seconds and small seconds, however, as I mentioned in the release article, the date window at 4:30 is one of those polarising positions. It can sometimes look a little clunky and does nothing for dial symmetry, but for me personally, I don’t have an issue with it and prefer to have the date than not. If you can live with this, which many people can like me, you won’t find it a deal breaker in any shape or form.

The day, month and date layout may be a little unconventional, but it works for me!

The Triple Calendar is equipped with a leather strap that is colour-matched to the dial, in this case, green. The shade of green can again change slightly in the light, going from a more emerald green to a deeper dark green, but in any event, goes with the dial and seems to mimic those shades depending on the setting.

A nicely coloured and robust leather strap. But some texturing or even white contrasting stitching could make it just that much better!

The push button folding clasp with an additional pin buckle to secure it in place helps with the security of the strap on the wrist and means adjusting the sizing is fairly straightforward. I would say this, however – the design of the strap could be a little more detailed. I felt that whilst it looked good, Zenith could have given it some texturing or pattern, or even as one commentator online mentioned, perhaps an alligator strap to make this piece really pop!

The leather strap with the push button folding clasp and pin buckle in one for added safety

How It Wears & Functions

Looking at the specs on paper for a watch isn’t always telling of how it wears. In fact, it often doesn’t give you much of an idea at all and you have to try it on for size, fit and feel. Normally I would be saying that 38mm is too small, and not my style. I feel that the size looks too small on my wrist, and whilst I don’t have large wrists by any stretch of the imagination, at 17.5cm, a 38mm watch just doesn’t look right in my eyes. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the Zenith Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar as it didn’t look as small as I imagined it would on the wrist. It only took a day or so to get used to the size and to not think it was overly small. Perhaps the 46mm lug-to-lug distance helped with this, or the 13mm thickness made up for it slightly. Either way, looking at the piece in the 3rd person it seems to sit nicely and not out of proportion.

From a distance in the 3rd person, it does not look out of place on my 17.5cm circumference wrist.

Coming back to what I mentioned earlier about the lug and case design with regard to how it sits and wears, this was probably my only major criticism of the Triple Calendar. The size and case proportions are vintage so it will look good on most wrists, however, the case height in relation to the lugs means the watch doesn’t sit flat or flush with the wrist. This does detract from how well the piece wears somewhat for me, but again, depending on your wrist size and shape, this may not be an issue for you at all.

The Zenith Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar sits high with the lugs, but depending on your wrist shape, could be the perfect fit for you.

Whilst the height of the lugs from the bottom of the case isn’t ideal, this is more about aesthetics than anything else. As the case isn’t large, and the lug-to-lug distance is also fairly conservative, the leather strap falls down around the wrist easily, which means you can position the watch squarely on the wrist and is pretty comfortable. The leather isn’t all that supple at first, but like most leather straps, once broken in and shaped to your wrist, will be fitted perfectly.

Looking at the functionality of the piece, you have all the hallmarks of the Zenith El Primero movement with the 1/10th of a second chronograph. The column wheel mechanism makes it easy to start and stop the chronograph function, and the vintage-style pushers make timing a breeze. This, and not to mention that watching the 1/10th second-hand whizzing around the dial every 10 seconds is kind of fun.

The size and shape make it extremely easy to operate the chronograph

The other aspect worth talking about is the day, date and month functionality of the Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar. Somewhat like a perpetual calendar or annual calendar, Zenith has equipped the watch with two quick-change correctors designed to operate the day of the week and the moonphase, however, you do need to cycle through the months using the date change on the crown. This is somewhat cumbersome when you’re first setting it, but once set, you shouldn’t need to worry about this for the most part other than the date setting at the end of a month with less than 31 days – like most pieces.

The quick set correctors on the side of the case for the Day and moonphase

The Movement

We covered the movement in our original release article, but if you missed it, the Zenith Triple Calendar has the latest generation El Primero automatic movement. The high-frequency chronograph calibre, the El Primero 3610 beats at 5 Hz (36’000 VpH) which is able to move the centre hand around the dial once every 10 seconds. Through the sapphire case back you can see the skeletonised rotor with the Zenith Star delivering the 60 hours of power reserve – decent considering the number of functions the Triple Calendar has to perform.

The El Primero 3610 Calibre at the heart of the Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar

Personally, I feel it is a nice-looking movement. The way Zenith has open-worked the rotor allows for maximum visibility of the rest of the 3610 calibre and much of the bridges are also skeletonised to allow more of the inner mechanics to show through. The blue column wheel on the left (as pictured above) provides that little pop of colour as does the gold on the balance wheel. Honestly, it’s designed to be viewed, and whilst you won’t get Patek finishing, you won’t be disappointed with the view!

Final Thoughts

In the original release, I reserved a lot of my thoughts on the piece due to this review being planned, and knowing I’d have the watch on my wrist for a week, was happy to wait and see how it felt. I did say that the piece may not suit everyone and those that prefer a 40mm+ watch may find it on the small side. I still stand by this as 38mm for many will be too small, but on the flip side, vintage lovers will jump at this piece. However, I didn’t mind the smaller than I’m used to size, and it did grow on me. Will I be looking at sub-40mm pieces in the near future? Maybe not, but at least my mind is now a little more open.

The Zenith Triple Calendar – classic yet casual with class.

Putting my personal tastes aside, the Zenith Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar is a solid watch that many people will love and gravitate towards. The dial is nicely laid out, the green tones are lovely and not too over the top, and having the day, month and date with the added moonphase complication ticks a lot of boxes. Plus you get the 1/10th second chronograph on top of this. Yes, the month change functionality could be improved, but this is a small quibble that hopefully once you’ve played with the watch and set the month and date, you can leave and just adjust at the end of the month. The Triple Calendar isn’t an annual calendar or a perpetual calendar, but it is as close as you will get in a conventional sense without spending a fortune.

On that, at A$20,700 the Zenith Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar represents good value for money when compared to other chronograph pieces on the market today. For about A$4,000 more you get into Rolex Daytona or Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Chronograph territory – neither of which has the 1/10th second chronograph function, nor do they have any date functionality or moonphase indication of any kind – point to Zenith. The closest mainstream competitor on the market I feel is the Breitling Premier B25 Datora 42mm. At just under A$1,000 less, you get a day, date and month with moonphase and the Breitling B25 concept movement. However, it’s 4mm larger and 2.3mm thicker than the Zenith and has only 42hrs of power reserve, but does have more water resistance at 100m. However, the Breitling is very different in style and will appeal to a different person, but at least as with all watches, there are options out there.

I’ll finish by saying that the Zenith Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar is overall a good timepiece and one that should be considered if you’re in the market for that vintage throwback piece with some serious heritage and history behind it, with the added benefit of modern materials. With two additional dial and strap colour options plus the option to come on the steel bracelet, there should be a piece out there to suit your tastes.

Reference: 03.3400.3610/40.C912 – Green boutique exclusive on leather


  • Case: 38mm / 46mm lug to lug
  • Thickness: 13mm thick
  • Case Material: Steel brushed and polished case
  • Case back: Steel screw-down with sapphire display back
  • Dial: Green sunburst / Silver Opaline / Slate Grey
  • Crystal: Domed sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective treatment
  • Water resistance: 50m / 5bar
  • Movement: Zenith El Primero Chronograph Calibre 3610 with moonphase, day, date and month.
  • Power reserve: 60 Hours
  • Strap/Bracelet: Green, grey or blue colour-matched leather strap or steel bracelet with folding clasp

Australian Recommended Retail Price: A$20,700 on leather

Availability: The green dial version as featured here is available through Zenith Boutiques or online at exclusively.

This article was written as part of a commercial partnership with Zenith. Watch Advice has commercial partners that work with us, however, we will never alter our editorial opinion on these pieces, a fact that is clearly communicated to the brands when entering into a commercial arrangement. At Watch Advice, we categorically do not sell outcomes or our editorial integrity. We will never say a watch is good when it’s not.

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