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50th El Primero Anniversary A384 Revival

  1. Carl

    Carl Aug 30, 2019

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    Please allow me to introduce my A384 Revival. This watch came as a complete surprise, as I did not realize that it was even released yet. I read about it back in June this year, and figured it would not appear until September or so, and likely the first ones would be spoken for. Besides, I have tried on numerous watches with both square and cushion cases over the year, to find I did not feel they suited my wrist comfortably. And I was disappointed that the A386 Revival was issued in such a limited amount and only in gold, as that would have been my choice. As it is, I will likely never see one in real life. But never mind......

    I visited Time & Gold here in Vancouver last Saturday to check on a bracelet for my Hamilton Khaki and, as usual, we got talking about all watches. I am a huge Zenith fan, and was told they had just received a new A384, and would I like to see it. Although I never dreamed the watch would be fit for me, I really did want to see it. Well, it was in it's box, and when I saw it, it was love at first sight. I had never seen anything like it! For one thing, the depth of the dial, and the vibrant white and black of the panda dial, with the vibrant red chrono hand really popped! I strapped it on my wrist, walked around the shop for a few minutes, took out my credit card, and that was it.

    The finishing, the beauty of the polishing and fine satin brushing with sunshine effect on the case is as nice as I have seen anywhere. The dial details are amazing, the sub dials are stepped with a subtle guilloche pattern, and the detailing of the date window is unlike any I have seen on any watch.

    A few details:
    A few details about the A384:
    Case width 37mm (it does fit larger, still not big. Actually had to measure it myself to believe it)
    Case thickness 12.6mm
    Lug to lug 47mm
    Lug width 19mm
    Case stainless steel with polished lugs, one piece no bezel, satin brushed top and sides with polished bevel. Quality of polish and brushing: Outstanding!
    Black leather crocodile strap with rubber lining
    Period (1969) correct tang buckle
    The only differences between the original and revival: sapphire crystal coated both sides (original was acrylic), sapphire case back (original was solid, with large embossed Zenith star), and the El Primero 400 movement, updated over the years but still the base movement. Great to be able to position sundials exactly as original.
    Crown and push pieces also identical to original, as is the vibrant red chrono hand, with rectangular tip
    Date between 4 and 5, window frame beveled like original. Detail is amazing, makes me enjoy having the date!
    Dial is an absolute vibrant white, not opaque or silvery. The sundials slightly stepped with a fine, circular guilloche pattern.
    Outer black Tachymetre scale brings all dial elements beautifully together.
    Lumed markers and hands with lovely greenish hue

    Thank You for looking at my review. My first post on the Zenith forum, and hope to do a lot more!
    Cheers,
    Carl

    Here are some photos I have taken so far. Hope you enjoy them. As usual, photos do not convey the true beauty:
    A384 1.jpg A384 3.jpg A384 7.jpg A384 8.jpg A384 9.jpg A384 11.jpg A384 12.jpg A384 13.jpg A384 14.jpg A384 16.jpg A384 17.jpg A384 18.jpg
     
    preacher, ELV web, Wetworks and 13 others like this.
  2. Carl

    Carl Aug 30, 2019

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    Since I wrote my first post in this review late last night, I thought I would follow it up with some facts and my own thoughts, about the differences between the original 1969 model and this revival model:
    New model has sapphire crystal, original was acrylic
    New model has open sapphire case back, original was solid with four pointed star
    New model has newer five pointed Zenith Star logo, original was four pointed to match case back
    Examples of vintage case back and crown:
    ewc a384 caseback.jpg
    EWC a384.jpg
    New model has tang buckle with five pointed Zenith Star, original had different design
    Example of vintage tang buckle:
    zenithsstang1.jpg
    Example of new tang buckle:
    Tang buckle.jpg
    Of course, the movement has been updated since the original, but still the same base movement

    Apparently Zenith and Movado had a relationship back when the A384 was in production. This probably explains the four pointed star on both solid case back and crown. Here is a link to a Monochrome article with further explains the Zenith/Movado relationship and some interesting facts about the movement as well:
    https://monochrome-watches.com/the-...siting-one-of-the-most-iconic-movements-ever/

    I am by no means an expert when it comes to true vintage pieces, and have always been a bit of a coward to obtain a vintage piece and restore or maintain it. However, I do totally appreciate and respect these vintage models and find the differences between the vintage and reissue/revival models very interesting. When I got the A384 Revival I was so delighted to find a watch with a cushion shape case that I felt comfortable with.

    Zenith has done an incredible amount of research and development for all the El Primero 50th Anniversary models, of which the A384 is the last. I can only surmise that the reason behind the sapphire case back vs solid case back and new crown logo vs vintage logo, is because Zenith no longer has a relationship with Movado. Also, I am normally a huge fan of solid case back designs, especially when it comes to vintage revivals, however I am a huge fan of the El Primero movement and also the amazing looking rotor that Zenith uses for the movement that I totally forgive not having a solid case back. I also think it's good that the tang buckle, crown case back/movement and dial all have same five pointed Zenith Star signature. In other words, nothing is going to prevent me from total enjoyment of this fine timepiece!

    Thanks for reading.

    Cheers,
    Carl
     
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  3. CaptainWinsor

    CaptainWinsor Aug 30, 2019

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    Beautiful. Did you get a discount from the AD?
     
    Carl likes this.
  4. stuart70

    stuart70 Aug 30, 2019

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    Good review, very nice watch enjoy.
     
    Carl likes this.
  5. Evitzee

    Evitzee Aug 30, 2019

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    Very nice watch and review.....how many pieces in this edition?
     
    Carl likes this.
  6. Carl

    Carl Aug 30, 2019

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    I was very fortunate. As I have been a client since 1997. Normally, on a watch like this, a Special Edition, no discount. I did get basically equivalent of tax included. I would more than willingly have accepted no discount at all, as this is such a fine piece.
    Cheers,
    Carl
     
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  7. Carl

    Carl Aug 30, 2019

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    Thank you very much. So glad that you read my review.

    Cheers,
    Carl
     
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  8. Carl

    Carl Aug 30, 2019

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    Thank you very much. This edition is not a Limited Edition. Just name "50th Anniversary Edition". Even my AD is not certain how long they will run this edition. Maybe for the rest of the anniversary year, or maybe longer. Very ambiguous. If I wasn't absolutely certain about my love for this watch, I would have waited. I guess we will see over time how long is the production.

    Cheers,
    Carl
     
  9. speedy57

    speedy57 Aug 31, 2019

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    Good looking watch!
     
    Carl likes this.
  10. moyrules

    moyrules Sep 1, 2019

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    Congrats, very nice timepiece. Lit of efforts from Zenith to do a perfect replica of the original watch.

    If I can wait, I will go for it with the guy Freres bracelet.
     
    Carl likes this.
  11. Ninja2789

    Ninja2789 Sep 1, 2019

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    It always a great feeling to try on a watch you thought wouldn't work but just DOES. So often this hobby requires you to make an educated guess based on pictures and similar references.

    However, there's nothing like strapping on that perfect watch for the first time. Euphoria.

    Hopefully it'll last until the next new purchase, however that comes.
     
    Carl likes this.
  12. asrnj77

    asrnj77 Sep 17, 2019

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    I was at the Zenith boutique a few days ago and the saleswoman said it will only be produced for a year. She said the bracelet must be ordered separately from Zenith and she was supposed to get back to me on the price. She said it’s about a one month waiting list right now. She did have one for me to try on that had already been sold. It’s a fantastic watch for sure.
     
    Carl likes this.
  13. snarkq

    snarkq Sep 17, 2019

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    Nice pics! How big is your wrist? Can you take any photos from farther away?

    Looks amazing! Thanks for sharing!
     
    Carl likes this.
  14. Carl

    Carl Sep 20, 2019

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    Thanks. Here are a couple of pics that should give a better idea of size. My wrist is 7.25in. The watch is only 37mm but definitely wears bigger. I actually had to measure it myself to believe it! Nevertheless, it is a perfect size and very compact for a chronograph.
    Cheers,
    Carl wrist.jpg wrist1.jpg
     
    Risto likes this.
  15. Carl

    Carl Sep 20, 2019

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    Thanks for the comments. It is funny with this hobby, often there is no quick method for justifying why a watch works for us, nor is there any need to justify. I rarely buy a watch unless I can see it first in real life. Fortunately, it has worked out well for me. A few times, I have actually seen a watch in real life that I liked better in the photos! With this watch, I expect the Euphoria to last and last.

    Cheers,
    Carl
     
  16. Carl

    Carl Sep 20, 2019

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    I have really thought long and hard about the Guy Freres bracelet. And looked at any photos I can find. In a sense, I would like to get it, as I believe the original model did come with bracelet only, and leather strap not an option. However, so far I just love the strap it's on, and I'm afraid the bracelet might get worn for a while, then I would put the strap back on. Not only for the cost, but because the bracelet has been made exactly like the original, I would hate to see it just sit in the drawer when it should be enjoyed. And I have a feeling that is what would happen. I don't even know if the bracelet is available yet. Have to check with my AD.

    Cheers,
    Carl
     
  17. dsacks30

    dsacks30 Oct 27, 2019

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    I spent some time over with the folks at Zenith at the WatchTime event in New York yesterday, and they said the 50th anniversary El Primero is now a part of their core collection and they will continue to produce it indefinitely.

    I tried on this watch and was blown away. It is so nice in the metal and looks great on the wrist.