Editor’s note: Like you, we are also excited for the Watches & Wonders 2022 novelties. Before we get to dive deep into them, here’s our preview & Gut Reaction Review (Grr…) of the new Zenith El Primero A3818. For our detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is NOT a sponsored post.
The New Zenith El Primero A3818 In A Nutshell
51 years after the 1971 Reference A3818 and two years after the launch of the stunning El Primero A3818 Revival ‘Cover Girl’ by Zenith x Revolution, comes the second edition, nicknamed the ‘The Airweight Cover Girl’.
The guys at Revolution sure know how to tug at the heart strings of collectors with their collaborations, and we are sure that the new Zenith El Primero A3818 Revival in light weight and durable titanium case and the 1st ever titanium ladder bracelet will bring joy to lucky 250 wrists.
The 5W1H Of The Zenith El Primero A3818
The new El Primero A3818 Revival features a 50m water-resistant 37mm diameter and 12.6mm thick Grade 5 titanium case with a lug-to-lug spacing of 47mm and interhorn spacing of 19mm.
The sizing makes it wear quite different to other watches, given the tonneau shaped case design and dimensions. For instance, the case of the Zenith El Primero A3818 features the same lug-to-lug as that of the Tudor BB58 but a smaller diameter of 37mm compared to the 39mm of the Tudor.
For those may not know, the nickname of “The Cover Girl” has come about due to the appearance of the original watch’s — these are based on the 1969-1971 A3818s — photo on the cover of a book about Zenith history written by Manfred Rossler in 2009. Since then, vintage watch collectors have been referring to this colour and dial layout combination as the “Cover Girl”.
As for the bracelet, that comes with precedence too.
It is inspired by the Gay Frères designed bracelet — the “ladder” bracelet — to compliment the vintage aesthetics of this watch. It is a classic three-link bracelet design but with gaps in the middle that give it a ‘ladder’ look
Sandwiched between the third edition of the LVMH Watch Week 2022 (January 24 – 28, 2022) — that saw the release of a number of beauties such as Zenith DEFY Midnight Sunset And DEFY Midnight Borealis, Defy 21 Chroma as the Yang to the yin that the Zenith Defy Extreme Carbon Fibre is, DEFY Revival A3642, attack of the watchmaking cliches the Zenith DEFY Skyline, and the mesmerising Chronomaster Revival Lupin The Third – Final Edition — Watches & Wonders 2022 (March 30 to April 5) the limited edition new Zenith El Primero A3818 was announced on 10 February 2022. It retails for 9’900 CHF or 14’300 AUD (higher than the 1st edition that retailed for 7’900 CHF). Upon release it should have been available from Revolution & The Rake as well as Zenith boutiques around the world.
Best Foot Forward
The most striking feature about the new Zenith El Primero A3818 Revival is that “Superman” blue dial execution that inside a cold titanium case simply rocks.
Basic Specifications Of The New Zenith El Primero A3818
Inside the new Zenith El Primero A3818 reference 95.A3818.400/51.M3818 ticks the calibre El Primero 400 which is a self-winding automatic movement with column-wheel chronograph comprising of 278 parts, 31 jewels and beating at the frequency of 5Hz (36’000 A/h).
The watch face shows the functions of hours and minutes in the centre,small seconds at 9’o clock, a central chronograph hand, a 12-hour counter at 6’o clock, a 30-minute counter at 3’o clock, a tachymetric scale, and a date indication at 4:30.
The El Primero A3818 Revival offers a (min.) 50-hour power reserve and an okay water resistance of 50m (5 ATM).
“At Zenith, our tradition has always been to push boundaries as we did all the way back in 1969 with the introduction of the world’s first integrated automatic chronograph movement. We had used titanium for some of our A386 style cases such as our Chronomaster “Shadow” limited edition but, so far, not yet in a bracelet. But we thought this would be the perfect time to try it. We love to work on limited editions that are ambitious and bring something of real value to collectors”.Julien Tornare, CEO Zenith
Our Thoughts On The New Zenith El Primero A3818
My first reaction to the titanium version of the Zenith El Primero A3818 was to marvel at the package as a whole, that features a cool combination of elements such as a brightish shade of blue dial — the press release calls “Superman”— with vertical brushing, typical luminescent shark tooth scale on that dial, and the use of Zenith’s famous El Primero movement, the calibre El Primero 400. Then there is of course the use of the ladder bracelet that should send Zenith connoisseurs into a collecting frenzy.
The new A3818 Revival is also slightly different visually — it’s different in feel given the light-weight of titanium used that ensures a total weight savings of 32.4 grams — as the Airweight’s SuperLumiNova is done in a more natural “C1” white colour rather than the slightly green “C3” tone that was used in the 2020 previous Revival edition.
It is thanks to collaborations such as this between Zenith and Revolution & The Rake that the watch collector (and the larger enthusiast) community gets the chance to collect timepieces that are off the oft beaten track. This version 2.0 reissue gives another chance to those who missed out on the first batch from 2020 that consisted of only 100-pieces and / or who genuinely do love the aesthetics (and you can count me amongst the latter). Collaborations between a watch reviewing site and a brand also means that the brand gets the outsider-insider take, that often is stemmed from actual interactions between a reviewer and the watch community.
With marriage of vintage and contemporary elements, whether be the dial colour or the choice of materials, and the demand, Zenith and Revolution have got another surefire hit for your wrist.
To find out more about the new El Primero A3818 Revival ‘The Airweight Cover Girl’ and other Zenith watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are courtesy are ©Zenith.