Zenith - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII Geneva Saturday, May 8, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Zenith
    Year: Circa 1969
    Reference No: A386
    Case No: 706D893
    Model Name: El Primero
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 3019PHC, 31 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Zenith bracelet, max length 175mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Zenith deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 37.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    With the El Primero, meaning "the first" in Spanish, Zenith not only wanted to create a high frequency precision wristwatch, but also sought to advance the state-of-the-art of horology with a fully integrated, automatic chronograph caliber.

    The reference A386 was presented in 1969 and housed this new revolutionary caliber. The case is a masculine 37.5mm in diameter with long angled lugs and an almost non-existent bezel giving greater visibility to the dial. The dial is also in line with the aesthetic freedom of the 60s-70s with its overlapping blue, grey and anthracite subdial and the red chronograph hand bringing a touch of vivid color. With an overall modern and colorful appearance, the launch of the model marked a move away from the more subdued aesthetics of the 1940s and 50s.

    Preserved in excellent condition, the present watch displays crisp edges and is even accompanied by a Zenith mesh bracelet.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1865

    Since Zenith's beginnings, founder George Favre-Jacot sought to manufacture precision timepieces, realizing quality control was best maintained when production was housed under one roof. Zenith remains one of the few Swiss manufacturers to produce their own in-house movements to this day.

    Today, the brand is best known for the "El Primero," the firm's most successful automatic chronograph movement. In an interesting twist of fate, the company that owned Zenith during the 1970s decided to move on to quartz movements and therefore sought to destroy the parts and tools necessary to make mechanical movements. One watchmaker realized this folly and hid the tools and parts before they were destroyed. In 1984, he returned them to Zenith so they could once again make the El Primero movement.

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Ref. A386
A highly rare, incredibly well-preserved and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with bracelet

Circa 1969
37.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for CHF27,720

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724



The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII

Geneva Auction 8 - 9 May 2021