1970's Zenith - Movado El Primero Mens Vintage Automatic Chronograph - Stainless Steel


Item No. 5663

Today's offering showcases showcases this original Zenith Movado El Primero, one of the finest automatic chronograph wristwatches ever produced. Its movement in many ways set the standard against which high-end, professional chronographs were judged for decades. Filled with revolutionary new technology, it left a legacy that is still influencing the modern idea of the luxury chronograph today.

It is very rare - we have heard it suggested that some Zenith collectors believe that perhaps as few as 500 or fewer examples were produced, although as far as we know that is speculative.

It is one of the original 16 El Primero models and was included in the Zenith catalog from the early 70's. Made by both Zenith and Movado, it was made at a time when Movado and Zenith shared the same ownership and is branded both Zenith and Movado depending on the part.

Requiring a full seven years of research and development, this extremely innovative wristwatch developed by Zenith, the company that holds the record for most first place finishes in precision timing competitions, is a masterpiece of creative genius and refinement. So superior is this fine mechanism that it not only powered the Zenith El Primero, it also directed renowned watches like the Panerai Luminor and the Rolex Daytona (which utilized it into the twenty-first century!)

Here are a few of its features:

  • After almost forty years, the El Primero remains unbeaten in its ability to measure short time intervals to one-tenth of a second
  • High frequency 36,000 beats per hour balance system, twice the speed of many traditional chronographs and faster than any other chronograph in existence, insures exceptional accuracy
  • Full 50 hour power reserve
  • 31 jewel version
  • Very efficient automatic movement with 360 degree, ball-bearing supported rotor to keep the watch wound on the wrist
  • Large rugged and waterproof style case with screw back
  • Quick-set date mechanism for more convenient date setting
  • Complementary monochrome gray dial with 1/5 second markings.

It is is very pleasing original condition, and has 100% original parts down to the crown. The dial is original, untouched, and mint. The case body appears never to have been polished - only the case back has been, and that only lightly as the original light stamping is still intact. The part that appears touched from the factory is the white sweep hand appears to have been repainted.

The movement has been freshly cleaned and oiled, and all of the functions are working perfectly - the chronograph resets strongly and the sweep hand resets to an exact zero.

Included with the purchase is a one-year C.O.T. warranty on the movement and its function, a custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity, and a new timing certificate attesting to its performance.

  • Manufacturer: Movado/Zenith
  • Country of origin: Switzerland
  • Year built: c. early 1970's
  • Model: El Primero, Ref. 01-180-434
  • Functions: Chronograph (12-hour timing), Automatic, Quick-Set Date, Subsidiary Seconds
  • Designed for: Men
  • Case material: Stainless steel
  • Case markings (inside): Zenith Swiss
  • Case markings (outside): Surf, 01-0180-434
  • Case condition: Near mint plus
  • Dimensions: 38mm wide (excluding crown), 42mm long lug tip-to-tip, 12mm thick with crystal
  • Dial: Signed Zenith Movado El Primero Automatic Chronograph, silver with applied luminous faceted luminous steel indexes, silver subsidiary dials for the 12-hour, 30-minute register and constant seconds, 1/5th second increments, date aperture at 4, original, mint condition
  • Hands: Original, baton, luminous, steel, white on sweep hand appears to have been refreshed
  • Movement type: Cal. 3019PHC, rhodium-plated, 31 jewels, straight-line lever escapement, monometallic balance, shock absorber, self-compensating fl at balance spring, micrometer regulator
  • Movement markings: Movado Factories, 17 Jewels, Swiss Made, 3019 PHC
  • Jewels: 17 rubies
  • Band: Original, signed Zenith, sized to fit a wrist up to approx. 7 5/8 inches on the larger setting, adjustable, just short of mint condition
  • Crystal type: Sapphire, original, 99% mint with one tiny prick on the edge visible under magnification
  • Serviced: Freshly cleaned and oiled.
  • Timing: Timed on a state-of-the-art computerized system. Running very accurately. Your watch is important to us, and we will take care of it for its lifetime. We provide the best after sale care in the business with an experienced team of watchmakers both of whom each have over forty years of experience and a large number of parts.
  • Warranty: 1-year C.O.T. warranty.
  • Box/Papers: BOX - Connoisseur of Time watch presentation box; PAPERS - Custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity; New timing certificate
  • Returns: 7 days full refund. 100% satisfaction guarantee

We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee for all of our watches. If you are in any way unsatisfied with the watch we will fully refund the purchase price anytime within 7 days after the watch has been received. Our goal is to exceed our client's expectations throughout the buying experience.

All watches are packaged carefully and mailed double boxed in specially constructed, reinforced shipping boxes designed for high value items. All watches are sent fully insured with signature required. Most of our domestic shipping is done through FedEx. At times we will also use USPS Express Mail, and we can accommodate most requests for your preferred carrier. International shipments are sent USPS International Express Mail or FedEx.

The purchase price will be the declared value of the merchandise on any required customs forms. The payment of all customs duties, tariffs, and taxes are the responsibility of the buyer.

Also note that water resistance of vintage watches can no longer be guaranteed and is not covered under the watch's warranty. We do not recommend getting a vintage watch wet, even one that was originally designed to be waterproof.

To get an idea of how this watch will look on the wrist, please use the Watch Sizing Guide


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