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The Academy collection from Zenith Men's Replica is back with more, introducing this new Academy El Primero Minute Repeater Chronograph. This is a very high-end and exclusive version of the Zenith Elite design family which the model lives in. This isn’t the first Zenith minute repeater, but they aren’t common for the brand. For the right high-end collectors, this could be a very special timepiece.
Zenith is mostly known as an in-house movement maker and producer of the famous El Primero family of high beat automatic movements that operate at 5 Hertz (36,000 beats per hour). The El Primero is a base for most of their chronographs and is also the base for a chronograph with a minute repeater in this very uncommon Caliber 4043 El Primero movement that I recall from a rare model back in 2009. The 4043 caliber is back in a much more attractive piece that gives new life to the movement and theme.
What I like about the 461 part caliber 4043 movement is its practicality and beauty. It is also a fully integrated movement that seamlessly combines time, 30 minute chronograph, and minute repeater functions. It also features an admirable 50 hours of power reserve and is an automatic. Look how beautiful it is as well. It is truly an exceptionally designed and finished movement fitting for the Zenith El Primero name. There is just a slight amount of skeletonization in the 2012 Zenith Academy Minute Repeater Chronograph Watch model around where you can view the minute repeater hammers through the dial of the replica watch. The 2009 piece with the 4043 movement was a bit more strange looking with more extensive dial skeletonization.
It is easy to love the silvered guilloche engraved dial on the face of the replica watch. On the face are also 18k rose gold hands and Roman numeral hour markers. The chronograph and subsidiary seconds dials don’t really intrude on the hour markers as much as you’d think they might. I personally quite like minute repeaters with visible hammer and gong displays on the dial This piece does that well, but also preserves legibility for both the time and chronograph functions.
The Zenith Academy Minute Repeater Chronograph is actually a rather large timepiece. The case is 45mm wide in 18k rose gold and it is almost 17mm thick. That should however lead to a lot of space in the case for the gongs as well as air space for sound to reverberate. I have a feeling the minute repeater sounds lovely in this replica watch.
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The new tourbillon chronograph models come in two classic versions crafted in pink gold or stainless steel with a white or black lacquered dial, and a contemporary version in brushed titanium with a slate grey dial.
The tourbillon complication is associated here with a legendary movement: the Zenith El Primero Replica automatic chronograph calibre beating at the high frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour. Its distinctive asymmetrical architecture places the tourbillon at 11 o’clock. It rotates once a minute and also incorporates a small seconds display and a patented date display appearing on a disc placed around the circumference of the tourbillon carriage.
The Zenith El Primero Tourbillon Replica 45 mm-diameter case, crafted in pink gold or stainless steel for the two classic versions and water-resistant to 100 metres, is enhanced by a fluted winding crown and two round vintage-style pushpieces. The cambered sapphire crystal, glareproofed on both sides, ensures optimal legibility of the white or black lacquered dial punctuated by luminescent facetted dagger-type hands and hour-markers. The slim central chronograph hand, blued on the pink gold version and bearing the Zenith star emblem, sweeps accurately around the graduated dial circumference and its inner bezel ring bearing a tachymetric scale. The 30-minute and 12-hour counters are positioned at 3 and 6 o’clock so as to ensure optimal clarity. The sapphire crystal caseback let see the automatic El Primero movement and its gold oscillating weight adorned with a “Côtes de Genève” motif.
The titanium version features cut-out lugs and slender pushers giving it a resolutely sporty, modern touch. The brushed dial is slate grey, while the facetted hands and hour-markers are coated with a black luminescent material and the chronograph counters are framed by an anthracite grey rim.
The tourbillon chronograph movement El Primero Calibre 4035D was designed, developed and produced by Zenith. It features all the signature characteristics of the El Primero collection, beats at the exceptional frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour enabling tenth-of-a-second precision. Comprising 381 parts, it is endowed with a 50-hour power reserve.
These three El Primero Tourbillon models are fitted with a rubber-lined black or brown alligator leather strap fastened by a triple folding clasp.
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Zenith Mens Replica and Range Rover may not seem like the most likely pair, but if you ponder it a bit, they’re closer than they seem. Both have been pioneers in their respective industries, by designing unique products destined for luxury markets. Now, they’ve begun a partnership that is officially introducing the: “Zenith El Primero Range Rover Replica Special Edition”.
The year of 1969 saw the now legendary “El Primero” chronograph first appear on the horology market. While at the same time the British car manufacturer “Land Rover” was introducing their very first luxury all-terrain vehicle, the now iconic “Range Rover”. It’s this historical coincidence and the innovating mind-sets found at these companies that tie them together.
The first Range Rover in front of the latest model, 40 years of history in one image. * Image courtesy of: Land Rover
The 42mm case on this timepiece is made of aluminium, with a matt black ceramised case. Choosing aluminium as the case material, is clearly linked to the chassis on a Range Rover, being made of the same material.
There is a ratcheted crown, between two black round pushers, which control the chronograph functions.
The transparent caseback exhibits the dual-branding of “Zenith” and “Range Rover” on a personalized oscillating weight, as well as allowing to glance at the inner working movements. A cambered sapphire crystal covers the dial.
Time is presented via hour index markers and a brushed grey dial, bearing the “Zenith Range Rover” dual-branding inscription. Circling near the bezel is a ring of white minute index markers. Hands and index hour-markers are rhodiumed and luminescent, for an enhanced legibility. There are three sub-dials: a 30-minute counter at the 3 o’clock position, a 12-hour counter at the 6 o’clock position and a sub-seconds at the 9 o’clock position. A black date aperture is also found at the 6 o’clock mark.
The inclusion of the dual-branding, directly on the dial for all to see, may not be to everyone’s liking. If you think about it, not owning a Range Rover, while wearing this timepiece can seem odd and deceptive to he/she lending their wrist. It might have been wiser to keep the “Zenith & Range Rover” branding only on the caseback, but that wasn’t their option.
Still, this isn’t the first time a horology brand is directly linked to a car manufacture. And this is also a special limited edition replica watch, of a collaboration both brands have stated is the beginning of “an exceptional long-term partnership”. So, we can expect to see variations on this timepiece, in the near future.
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One, the most famous post-revolution Cuban cigar, debuted in 1966; the other, one of the most distinguished Swiss chronograph calibers, originally introduced in 1969. Now, in 2016, they come together as the limited Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Cohiba Replica Edition.
First things first, though: Fine hand-rolled cigars paired with High Quality Replica Watches are, of course, nothing new. In The Cigar Report, a quarterly periodical I once edited, I wrote a series of pieces entitled “replica watch in a Box,” the box in question being a cigar box or humidor. The magazine itself was murdered by the 2008 financial crisis, but “replica watch in a Box” could have lived, theoretically, pretty much forever.
Second, this isn’t even the first Cohiba cigar replica watch — about which, more in a moment. But with the fiftieth anniversary of the most iconic post-revolution Cuban cigar brand at hand, Zenith (which has been busy in the vintage motorsports world of late) has very much made the right move here.
A little history: Cigars and wristreplica watches have been sold side by side since 1932. That was the year Alfred Dunhill Ltd. patented its first wristreplica watch (Dunhill pocket replica watches debuted in 1903; replica watches and clocks set into cigar and pipe lighters came right after). Dunhill, now a Richemont company, was far more a gentleman’s tobacconist up through the 2000s than the modern English men’s fashion house it has become over the last handful of years.
Then, there was Cuervo y Sobrinos. What Cartier was to Paris, Bulgari to Rome, and Tiffany & Co. to New York, Cuervo y Sobrinos was to (pre-Castro) Havana. As the city’s top purveyor of jewelry and timepieces — Churchill, Hemingway, and Clark Gable were clients — CyS worked with a number of Swiss replica watchmakers (Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Universal Genève among them) that produced both double-signature and private-label timepieces. It was located in Havana’s Old Town, and as such, corporate real fábrica de tabacos clients commissioned countless custom-dial replica watches with logos such as the classic Partagas script to be given as executive and retirement gifts. Vintage Cuervo y Sobrinos, mostly from the 1950s, pop up often on auction sites. Today, the modern incarnation of CyS names its models after cigar vitolas (the unique cigar measures that combine length, girth, and shape), and most of them come in a humidor, not just any old box.