Jensen heritage for the next generation


Item description: One of the rarest and most sought after sports watches is the Zenith El Primero Sub-Sea diver / pilot watch. This stunning close to new old stock example dates from 1975 and was an edition of just 500 pieces. Typical large stainless steel case with polished surfaces. The dial in black, and with triple black sub-registers, along with the Zenith logo and name. The dial has the calender set inbetween the 4 & 5 hour battons. On the outside of the black dial is a bi-directional black bakelite bezel marked 1-11 (with a tan trinagle denoting the 12 position. The crown with Zenith logo.


Case-back in plain stainless steel. Inside of case-back stamped with the Zenith name and logo, along with the date for March 1975. The watch with Zenith’s 3019 El primero automatic movement. The watch complete with a tan leather strap, along with a polished stainless steel non-branded buckle.


Case size: 45mm x 42mm


Condition report: Excellent condition. Polished case. Beautiful original dial with light aging to the luminous hour battons. The bakelite bezel in perfect condition, and with a very pleasing tan traingle at the 12 position. The movement has been recently serviced (no warranty implied). The timepiece may have been opened, so it should not be used near moisture or water without being checked by a qualified watchmaker. This example of the Zenith El Primero Sub-Sea diver / pilot watch, is undoubtedly one of the best and most original examples on the market today.


Background to the Zenith El Primero Sub-Sea watch: The Zenith El Primero Sub-Sea range of watches started in 1969 and finished in 1975. Total production has been estimated at 2,500 pieces, with the diver / pilot model with tachometer representing 500 pieces. As the name implies, the Sub-Sea Diver / Pilot watch was marketed both to professional divers and pilots.


Background to Zenith: Watchmaker Georges Favre-Jacot founded the Zenith company in 1865 at the age of 22, opening a workshop in Le Locle in the canton of Neuchâtel. Zenith has a long reputation for the quality and precision of their watches. It is one of the few Swiss watch manufacturers that still produce their own movements in-house.


During World War II, Zenith were one of a group of Swiss companies, such as IWC, Longines etc given contracts by Germany to produce military watches for them. Zenith famously created the El Primero calibre, which was first released in 1969, and still produced today. This renowned movement was one of the first automatic chronograph movements and has a frequency of 36,000 alternations per hour (5 Hz). This high rate allows a resolution of 1⁄10 of a second and a potential for greater positional accuracy over the more common standard frequency of 28,800 alternations per hour (4 Hz)


Special notes: n/a


Provenance: n/a


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