Back in the 1960s, watchmakers were racing to get their automatic high-speed chronographs to market. That race saw the birth of Zenith’s El Primero G381. The G381 came out alongside the A386, though it was much rarer than its sibling. The G381, with its yellow gold body and black-on-white panda dial, was limited to only 700 examples, making it an instant collector’s item that is still sought after today. To celebrate the G381’s 50th anniversary, Zenith is releasing a revival version that is even more limited, with only 50 examples being made.
The revival G381 is being offered through Hodinkee, who describes the watch as “The limited edition Zenith El Primero Revival G381 captures the charm of the original model in a warm tribute to the golden era of sporty vintage chronographs.” Just like the original, the revival watch is done in 18k yellow gold and measures 38mm wide. The white lacquer dial still features the black “panda” sub dials. The crown and chronograph pushers are smaller than other watches, just like the original. It uses a Zenith caliber 400 El Primero movement that still adheres to the original high-beat heart. The revival watch has a 50 hour power reserve and features a fully integrated column wheel chronograph movement. Based on the 1960s’ design, the revival watch is smaller than many watches, but that is becoming more and more appealing to modern watch aficionados.
“Whether you’re a savvy collector looking for something special or someone who simply wants a gorgeous, sporty chronograph from one of the first names in the game,” states Hodinkee’s site, “the Limited Edition El Primero G381 is a cool modern example with vintage touchpoints that honors the birth of the legendary El Primero.” Hodinkee lists the G381 revival watch at $19,200.