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Maxtor

Zenith El Primero HW

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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.

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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.

cheers.gif

 

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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