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Old 5 November 2011, 12:18 PM   #1
Maxtor
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Zenith El Primero HW

I just received this watch a couple days ago and wanted to share some initial impressions with you.

I am relatively new to watch collecting (and what little I do know I learned from this site... so thanks to all who share their knowledge here). If I use some incorrect terminology in this review my apologies but I am coming at this as a fan and not an expert.

I am thoroughly thrilled with the watch.

You can see the beautiful El Primero movement through the clear case back. I find my self taking the watch off to admire the workmanship of the movement. One of the advantages of this not being an automatic (which is what the El Primero is famous for being) is that there is no rotor obstructing the view.

It keeps excellent time. The non-hacking is a bit of a pain (you can stop the second hand from moving by back pressure on the crown but I am not keen to do so). I used the chrono to check if it was gaining or losing time and found that after 6 hours it was still spot on. The click of the chrono is quite distinct and it zeros back perfectly. The date clicks over cleanly at midnight.

The design of the watch is one that I find very appealing. More so then the more recent Zeniths which are a bit over the top for me. I like the size. At just under 40 it is big enough to have some pop on my wrist without looking like it is oversize. The finish on the dial and the case is exceptional.

The band is comfortable with a butterfly deployment at the back.

Thanks to members of TRF who gave me some insights into this model a few months ago including David SW, LouS and HunterShooter. By the time I figured out I wanted it the one I was looking at had sold. 4 months later another one in near mint condition popped up on Watch Recon and I contacted drster (Mark Tannebaum) to buy it. He was great to work with.

If I manage to attach the pictures to this review the pictures are from Mark.

I think if you are looking for a less expensive way to get the El Primero movement, and don't mind doing the daily wind (I am talking to you Speedmaster Pro fans) then this watch is worth your consideration.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Zenith HW 1 IMG_1879.jpg (70.0 KB, 2318 views)
File Type: jpg Zenith HW 2 IMG_1881.jpg (68.3 KB, 2294 views)
File Type: jpg Zenith HW 3 IMG_1877.jpg (114.5 KB, 2292 views)
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Old 5 November 2011, 12:40 PM   #2
cedargrove
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Great looking watch. That movement looks awesome. Congrats!
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Old 5 November 2011, 01:50 PM   #3
Dickson Lim
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The movement is nicely done. There are two groups for this watch, one against and one for. Against because it is not an automatic and may not be considered as El Primero. Contrary, for as it is still an El Primero only with the absent of the rotor, giving a good view on the movement. For me, I am on the second group, I love hand winding my watches.
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Old 5 November 2011, 01:56 PM   #4
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Very nice and I can see all of the sub-dials.
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Old 5 November 2011, 02:19 PM   #5
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Excellent!
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Old 5 November 2011, 04:30 PM   #6
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Fantastic watch. I'm a big fan of the HW and i'm keeping an eye out for one for myself, but probably the white/cream dial. Congrats.
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Old 5 November 2011, 09:49 PM   #7
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Nice looking watch, Congrats.

The movement looks quite nice on this watch.
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Old 5 November 2011, 11:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickson Lim View Post
The movement is nicely done. There are two groups for this watch, one against and one for. Against because it is not an automatic and may not be considered as El Primero. Contrary, for as it is still an El Primero only with the absent of the rotor, giving a good view on the movement. For me, I am on the second group, I love hand winding my watches.
I have always wondered why they would remove the rotor from the El Primero, but now I understand why. I didn't realize the HW had a clear caseback. A great movement that you can actually see on a very nice looking watch.
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Old 9 November 2011, 12:02 PM   #9
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Nice! Congrats!
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Old 17 November 2011, 12:25 AM   #10
Maxtor
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Thanks for the comments. The only issue with this watch is that I don't want to take it off to get the other watches in the rotation a day out. I am sure this will settle down with time (...or until I buy the next one). Yikes, what an addictive hobby.
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Old 17 November 2011, 01:47 AM   #11
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Great piece. These HWs were sort of stealth issues from a few years back, and represented a heck of a buy for anyone who bought one. Definitely a worthy purchase. The longer you look at it, the more subtle features you'll notice.
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Old 21 November 2011, 04:33 AM   #12
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Sighting any Zenith in the wild seems rare in North America compared to Rolex, Omega, Brietling, etc... and this model more so as it was a short production run (ending in 2002 I believe). Anyways, they do come up from time to time and I recommend it to anyone who is on the fence.
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Old 21 November 2011, 06:36 AM   #13
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Great watch and pics. Thanks for the share.
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Old 2 April 2012, 08:48 AM   #14
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I had that model, but with the cream colored dial. Try as I might, I just couldn't bond with it. I did replace the bracelet with a tan alligator strap which looked much nicer than the overly thick bracelet.

Here's my review of the HW:
http://watchreviewsbymcv.blogspot.co...rimero-hw.html

Cheers,

-Marc
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Old 4 April 2012, 11:43 AM   #15
Maxtor
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Hi Marc,

I am glad you posted your link.

I read your review before getting my watch and it was extremely helpful in confirming my desire to buy the watch.

Overall, I found your comments balanced and very detailed.

Personally, I don't have a problem with the thickness of the bracelet and love the watch.
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Old 5 April 2012, 12:51 AM   #16
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Wow, thanks, Maxtor, I really appreciate it. I think the bracelet compliments the black dialed version better.

It's still a great value for such a storied piece.

Cheers,

-Marc
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Old 31 July 2012, 11:45 AM   #17
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Update: Still love this watch. I was at an antique show over the weekend and I always browse the book sellers looking for watch books. One of them had a catalogue book from Zenith for 2002 with this watch as the centrefold (complete with original price list included). Couldn't resist that one...karma.
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Old 1 August 2012, 02:43 PM   #18
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It's a great watch. Glad you still love it 9 mos later.
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Old 8 August 2012, 09:18 AM   #19
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Zenith really does make some fantastic looking watches. I know they aren't for everyone, but what are some thoughts about the Defy Xtreme models? Seems that people love them or hate them. I'm in the first group, and have been eyeing up a few pre-owned models.
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Old 6 October 2012, 06:42 AM   #20
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I prefer the more understated look of the HW or the Flyback (nice review posted on that one recently). The Xtreme models sure grab your attention on the wrist though.
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Old 6 October 2012, 08:15 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biotechmanjr View Post
Zenith really does make some fantastic looking watches. I know they aren't for everyone, but what are some thoughts about the Defy Xtreme models? Seems that people love them or hate them. I'm in the first group, and have been eyeing up a few pre-owned models.
Like all Z's they look way better in the flesh than they do in pictures. The RG/titanium versions - especially if you can swing one with RG center links in the bracelet (VERY pricey) - are simply gorgeous, and no one who sees it will be disappointed. Figure $17K US for this one, I know where one is available, BNIB.

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Old 7 October 2012, 10:55 PM   #22
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Very nice looking watch.
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Old 18 October 2012, 03:57 AM   #23
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Love that HW! It would look great on a black croc strap aswell.
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Old 20 October 2012, 06:39 AM   #24
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I agree but I will likely stick with the bracelet as it is a perfect fit on me (most comfortable fit of any watch I have ever had).
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Old 24 March 2013, 01:52 AM   #25
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This one was sitting in the safety deposit box at the bank for a few months.

Just got it out to get it into the active rotation... and fell in love with it all over again.

Great design. Super comfortable to wear. Maybe my flat out favourite.
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Old 24 March 2013, 10:20 AM   #26
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Very nice - glad you rediscovered it!
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Old 1 April 2013, 04:20 AM   #27
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Nice, I had the auto version of that and still regret selling it.
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Old 26 April 2013, 05:24 AM   #28
Maxtor
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Wearing it today. Looks great with a suit or just jeans. Great all rounder.
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Old 1 May 2014, 08:05 PM   #29
Maxtor
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I see this one is getting some love on the Watch Recon Facebook page.

If you are looking to get into a Zenith, and don't mind the hand wind aspect, this is a very nice watch to pick up. Minty ones come up from time to time (but not very often... makes the hunt a little more fun).
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Old 11 May 2014, 11:44 AM   #30
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Great looking watch.
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