The only three-color dial available in the tonneau-shaped case
If the name of El Primero refers to the legendary automatic chronograph launched in 1969, it has actually been used in various watches, including the iconic first trilogy, namely A384, A385 and A386. In recent years, Zenith fake has reissued all these products in the hot “Revival” series. But in 1971, a watch A3817 appeared, which broke the difference between A384 and A386 in some way, mixing the case of the former with the dial of the latter. Today, this style is back with the new Zenith Chronomaster Revival A3817.
In the 1969 trilogy, the A384 was regarded as a sporty model, with its tonneau-shaped case, panda dial and only made of stainless steel. From the side, the A386 is a more classic choice for a round steel or gold case. Of course, the iconic three-color dial is still one of the most well-known elements in Zenith’s DNA. In 1971, there was a watch that combined the two fields, the A3817. It uses the sporty steel tonneau-shaped case of the earliest El Primero steel case, with a striking A386 three-color dial, which has a unique and attractive beauty-even with one or two cool design elements. It is still one of the most popular models in the early El Primero watches.
Following the Chronomaster Revival A385 and A385, and using the same technical foundation, Zenith released a new version in the Revival series, paying deep respect to A3817. Therefore, it retains the barrel cases of the other two models with compact (historical-related) dimensions of 37 mm in diameter, 12.6 mm in height, and 47 mm from lug to lug. The case also uses a beautiful combination of radial brushed surface, polished surface and sides. All products are made using historical blueprints and reverse engineering techniques, so this table is basically a one-to-one copy of the original model.
The important thing about the Zenith Chronomaster Revival A3817 is the dial, which looks exactly the same as the A386… but it is not. Of course, it uses the classic white background and three-color counters (grey and blue), but some elements here are different, just like the 1971 model. For example, a second counter running at 9 o’clock is completed with a blue marker, indicated by a blue pointer on the dial. The external tachymeter scale can also be used as a pulse meter (from 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock) and other track speedometers. Finally, the second hand movement is completed with a pyramid pattern affectionately nicknamed the “shark tooth” scale, which enhances readability through the obvious retro feel. The hands and markers are rhodium-plated and faceted, and then painted with beige Super-LumiNova.
As A385 and A384, the new Zenith Chronomaster Revival A3817 is powered by the El Primero 400 movement, which is a direct descendant of the 1969 movement. Visible under the sapphire caseback (which is a concession to modernity), this internal engine runs at 5Hz and has a power reserve of 50 hours. It retains the integrated automatic timing structure with row wheels and horizontal clutch.
In order to complete the retro look of the Chronomaster Revival A3817, two strap options are proposed: the first is a steel “staircase” strap, which refurbishes the modern GayFrères strap and becomes a symbol of the early El Primero watches, and a small light brown. Cowhide straps, with steel pin buckles, patina will gradually form over time.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS – ZENITH CHRONOMASTER REVIVAL A3817
Case: 37mm diameter – 12.6mm height – 19mm lug width – 47mm lug-to-lug – Stainless steel case, radial-brushed, straight-brushed and polished – box sapphire crystal – steel pushers – screwed sapphire caseback – 50m water-resistant
Dial: White-lacquered dial with tri-colour sub-counters, specific seconds track – Rhodium-plated, faceted hands and applied indexes, coated with beige Super-LumiNova
Movement: El Primero calibre 400 – in-house – automatic integrated chronograph with column wheel and horizontal clutch – 278 components incl. 31 jewels – 30mm – 36,000 vibrations/hour – 50h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph with 30min and 12h counters, date
Bracelet: Stainless steel “ladder” bracelet and double folding clasp
Or Light brown calfskin leather strap with protective rubber lining. Stainless steel pin buckle
References: 03.A384.400/3817.M3817 on steel bracelet
03.A384.400/3817.C855 on leather strap