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2011 Zenith El Primero Pilot Chronograph

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First impressions


- Excellent finished case, Beautifully brushed finished with subtle touches of high polished areas on the beveled lugs, between the lugs, pushers and crown.



- Highly legible dial enhanced by AR coating on both sided of the sapphire crystal.

- Easy to read date display


- Well-proportioned and good looking hands



- Great size at 42mm and 11.8mm thick, its smaller than my typical 44mm watches, but it has great wrist presence (to be honest, the smaller case size is actually refreshing)



- I dig how the caseback is secured to the watch case using four screws and cool looking flanges.


- The El Primero cal. 4002 movement looks great inside the case; I was expecting it to look small like many Ive seen inside some of modern Zenith watch with large cases.


- Sexy as hell large crown and rectangle pushers.


- This Zenith gator strap are some of the best quality Ive ever handled, I like the fact that Zenith utilized rubber as a backing material on the strap; it should prolong its life.


The not so good

-They could have left the word Automatic off the dial (a pet peeve of mine)

-wish the water resistant were rated at 100m instead of 50m and a screw down crown would have been nice I guess no swimming with this one.

In conclusion:

Great value considering you get a very nicely finished great looking watch with a legendary in-house chronograph movement. These current Zenith watches are such a great deal; most of the entry level pieces are priced about the same or less than many Mid/high end brands that utilizes pedestrian ETA or Valjoux movement. (Not a knock on ETA or Valjoux...Im actually a fan)

I see great things coming from Zenith currently and expect even more so in the next few years.





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i like it very much! congratulations! my main problem, before getting one is how tough is it? the screws and the crown and pushers look very fragile.

compare it to say rolex datejust or gmt master (with screw in crown, true wr 100m never afraid of water)

i really want to get the el primero as my next watch but those are my hesitations. btw is this to be treated as a dress watch or a sports watch?

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great watch and pictures. thanks for sharing. that is one of the first zeniths I have liked for a very long time. my 2001 el primero rainbow flyback is still one of my very favourite watches. wear it in good health.

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Good stuff, Drew. Thanks for sharing. I really like this one, perhaps the hour markers could have been a thinner and/or shorter, but overall - great piece and great value!

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It looks fantastic on the leather nato! And your pics are great.

"AUTOMATIC" doesn't bother me but I think "PILTO" should definitely go. And I could probably do without "36,000 VpH."

When I tried it on in person, I didn't like how close the dial sits to the crystal. I'm used to little more distance between them (I guess a taller flange). I also thought the luminous markers looked a little too plasticky (for lack of better word).

But I really do think it looks great on you, especially with the leather nato... killer look IMO.

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