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Revival Of The Fittest

Revival Of The Fittest

Sporty Chronographs Evoke A Bygone Era With Retro Styling

During watchmaking’s mid-20th-century golden age, developments in extreme water resistance, shock resistance, antimagnetic features, and enhanced precision ushered in the era of rugged and reliable sport watches.

Retro-styled chronographs—which function as stopwatches—pay homage to their predecessors by fusing vintage flair with cutting-edge movement technology. With pushers to start, stop, and restart the timer function, and sub-dials to keep track of elapsing times, chronographs are a popular sports watch complication, often with motorsport overtones.

In 1969, Zenith launched its landmark El Primero movement in three inaugural models powered by the famous high-frequency, column-wheel chronograph mechanism. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the milestone in 2019, Zenith introduced special commemorative editions of the original iconic A386 and the A384, flaunting on-trend ’70s flair.

Sketches of the Zenith El Primero A384 Revival, which is now available
Sketches of the Zenith El Primero A384 Revival, which is now available.

The 37mm El Primero A384 Revival ($7,900) is the product of a reverse engineering process that involved digitizing every component of the original. Zenith naturally made a few 21st-century upgrades, such as replacing the acrylic glass with robust sapphire crystal, which is also used on the caseback to showcase the current El Primero 400 movement.

Tudor, a Rolex-owned brand, debuted its first chronograph in 1970. Last year, it outfitted its Black Bay Chronograph in two-tone steel and gold, reviving the popular mixed-metal look from the 1980s. The 41mm Black Bay Chrono S&G ($6,800 on bracelet) fuses the brand’s popular dive model with a chronograph in a nod to the brand’s legacy with motorsports. The result is a sporty-chic hybrid with a healthy dose of nostalgia. S&G stands for “steel and gold,” which is prominently featured from the counters on the dial to the yellow gold pushers inspired by the brand’s early chronographs.

The automatic Caliber MT5813 movement, which debuted in 2017, is built on the caliber Breitling 01, featuring a high-precision regulating organ developed by Tudor. The two brands collaborate on producing movements that are used jointly. Designed with a column-wheel and vertical clutch, the high-performance chrono is COSC-certified and delivers 70 hours of power reserve.

Choose from the steel and yellow gold bracelet, a brown leather strap, a black textile strap, or a brown leather bund-type strap for a 1970s racing vibe.

The Zenith El Primero A384 Revival celebrates the 50th anniversary of the company’s landmark movement.
The Zenith El Primero A384 Revival celebrates the 50th anniversary of the company’s landmark movement

A similar racing spirit is conveyed with the perforated kudu leather strap on the Manero Flyback chronograph ($16,900) by Carl F. Bucherer.

Taking its design cues from the brand’s circa-1960s and ’70s models, the 43mm 18K rose gold case is appointed with a convex sapphire crystal, prominent mushroom push buttons, wedge-shaped applied indices, and open-worked lancet-shaped hands.

With bold red accents and a generous case, the Manero Flyback Chronograph blends the best of both worlds—contemporary and vintage.

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