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Thread: Zenith Synopsis: The "Open" Three-hand El Primero ---Photo Review

  1. #1

    Zenith Synopsis: The "Open" Three-hand El Primero ---Photo Review

    Zenith Synopsis: The "Open" Three-hand El Primero



    The El Primero is Zenith's famed automatic chronograph movement that made its debut in 1969. Its most signature feature is its beat rate. While most watches beat between seven and eight beats per second, the El Primero beats at a faster 10 beats per second. While this high-beat movement has historically been exclusive to their chronograph movements, Zenith had been experimenting with using it in three-hand watches in recent years. Their first three hand El Primero was the Espada which came out in 2012. The Espada featured three centrally attached hands. This year the Espada has been removed from the collection and replaced with the Synopsis, a watch that integrates the "open" dial into a three-hand watch. This post will take a look at the steel Synopsis models.The first thing you will probably notice when looking at this watch is the skeletal opening in the dial. The open dial first appeared in Zenith watches in 2003 and is one of the most iconic features in a Zenith. The Synopsis features a similar skeletal opening to the formerly offered Chronomaster Open and to what now also appears in current open chronographs, such as El Primero Chronomaster Power Reserve. It allows a complete view of the "heart beat" of the watch and showcases the balance and escapement wheel, hairspring, and pallet fork.



    A look at skeletal opening of Synopsis with steel colored accents


    A look at skeletal opening of Synopsis with gold colored accents

    As it does in the open chronographs, the Synopsis features a clear view of the new technology that Zenith is using. Like the Chronomaster Power Reserve, the Synopsis features a silicon escape wheel and pallet fork. Earlier this year Zenith's brand director, Roland Enderli, said the following while describing the identical use of silicon in the Chronomaster Open, "It has the major advantage of extending the service interval, but at the same time it brings a nice aesthetic feature to the watch where you can see the violet color of the these parts that are made of silicon instead of traditional metal."When comparing the the Synopsis to the Espada there is certainly a great deal the watches have in common other than the signature El Primero beat rate. Both watches feature identical 40mm cases with aesthetic design cues taken from the 36,000 VPH. They also possess similar hands and hour markers which are faceted, rhodium-plated and coated with SuperLuminova, and each rate 100 meters of water resistance

    .

    The Synopsis shown here on a metal bracelet features a nearly identical case and bracelet to the Espada



    A shot of the lume of the Zenith Synopsis

    The Synopsis offers an identical bracelet to the Espada, but does stray from its predecessor in its option of alligator band options; Espada only came as a bracelet watch. The pricing is also surprisingly similar. While Zenith charges a premium for the open movement in the Chronograph models with the open model retailing for over $1,000 more than the standard 42mm VPH model, Synopsis is around the same price as Espada. The strap model retails for $6,400 and the bracelet model is $6,900. By comparison, Espada retailed for $6,700. All steel models feature a silver dial, with the choice of gold or steel colored hands and indices. Below are additional photos of the Synopsis steel models.


    The Synopsis on alligator with gold colored accents



    The Synopsis on alligator with steel colored accents


    A view of the strap and folded deployant clasp on the Synopsis





















    Last edited by robattopper; Nov 27, 2014 at 02:37 AM.

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  3. #2
    If this doesn't get CitizenM out of his little hidey-hole to post then nothing will

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  5. #3
    Member Steppy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domo View Post
    If this doesn't get CitizenM out of his little hidey-hole to post then nothing will

    Surely a seiko movement question thread will?

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  7. #4
    Interesting post, but I can't help thinking how much nicer this would look if it wasn't open. Probably just personal preference, but it spoils for look for me. Also, you say "gold colored accents"... Are they not real gold?
    G-Shock: GW-M5610-1E, GW-7900-1ER & GW3000B-1A
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    Omega: Speedmaster Professional 3570.50.00

    Meistersinger: Perigraph AM1002
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  9. #5
    optimistic pessimist hayday's Avatar
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    Not a fan of open hearts, but this doesn't quash my love for Zenith. Heck, if the Rolling Stones tribute doesn't ruin my love for them, nothing will.

    -"the-answer-is-always-Zenith-this-is-my-hat-tip-to-Rick-Denney" hayday
    The pessimist says it can't get any worse while the optimist says it can.

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  11. #6
    Not keen.
    The hole compromises and unbalances a clean, legible dial for the sake of a showy gimmick. It looks to me like the watch equivalent of a guy in a beautiful suit walking around with his fly open.
    Last edited by GaryF; Nov 28, 2014 at 09:42 PM.

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    Old but Crafty RayMac's Avatar
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    I like the idea of using a simplified chronograph movement in a time only watch - I have a Russian 3105 movement piece which is a stripped down 3133. Like Gary I don't see the point of these open heart movements but maybe that's just me.


    Few things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap. ~Doug Larson

  14. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by GaryF View Post
    Not keen.
    The hole compromises and unbalances a clean, legible dial for the sake of a showy gimmick. It looks to me like the watch equivalent of a guy in a beautiful suit walking around with his fly open.
    I guess I agree, but not nearly so vehemently. On the other hand, Magada recently said that the open-dialed watches were their best sellers. I'd rather they made the money they need for sustenance doing that than with entry models that use Sellita movements.

    Rick "whose Captain doesn't have a hole in the dial" Denney
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

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  16. #9
    KEĜJNF Spooky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryF View Post
    Not keen.
    The hole compromises and unbalances a clean, legible dial for the sake of a showy gimmick. It looks to me like the watch equivalent of a guy in a beautiful suit walking around with his fly open.
    Exposing his showy gimmick? Heh. Sadly I agree. Somehow I think I'd like it better as a full skeleton.

  17. #10

    Zenith Synopsis: The "Open" Three-hand El Primero ---Photo Review

    I'm a big Zenith fan but I also am not an open heart enthusiast. Skeleton? Sometimes, depending on the design. Open tourbillon? Sure. Open heart? Not so much. The El Primero is a nice movement (I own one), but it's too bad they (apparently) have killed the Elite movement, which is an excellent one, with a more modern design and the ability to hack.

    P.S. Nice to see Rob visiting here!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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