Building on the success of their collaboration over the past couple of years, Zenith and George Bamford have announced their first boutique-edition watch: the Chronomaster El Primero Red Radar. (If the name sounds familiar, you're probably thinking back to Bell & Ross's more experimental days.)
As has become his habit, Bamford has delved into the brand's archive to bring out some stylistic cues which are duly melded with the modern Chronomaster. Like the Solar Blue model Bamford produced last year for Mr Porter, we start with a fumé dial and that jagged minute track, but the switch to a brown dial and dull red accents brings a darker, moodier edge to the El Primero.
Those red details are apparently inspired by a 1916 pocket watch Bamford found in the Zenith archives - a white dialled watch with roulette-style alternating numerals; a bold and expressive use of colour that was extremely rare at the time. Hence we get the blocky red subdial at 3 o'clock, which has been coated in SuperLumiNova to give a "night vision" feel to the watch. The radar motif, meanwhile, is expressed primarily on the 9 o'clock subdial with its concentric circles and cross-hair design, while the chronograph hours subdial at 6 o'clock is a more straight-up Chronomaster design.
Instead of Bamford’s standard blackened cases, here he has opted for a 42mm micro-bead blasted steel that gives a matte, utilitarian feel to the model. Finishing off the design is a hybrid rubber-cordura strap with double red stitching.
Inside the watch is unchanged from a regular Chronomaster El Primero, so you’ll find the El Primero 400 B automatic calibre - 5Hz, 50 hours of power reserve - which can be admired as usual through the sapphire caseback.
Only 50 of these are being made and they will be made exclusively available through Zenith boutiques across mainland Europe from November, priced at CHF/€ 7,900
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