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

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    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

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    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 02:39 AM.

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  3. #2
    Member Hayseed Brown's Avatar
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    One of the better, if not the best, open-heart dials out there. I still think I'm a bit more traditional in liking a non-open dial, but I'll have to se one of these in person to see how I really feel and react to the watch. Thanks for the write-up. And kudos to Zenith for not getting too carried away with the price of these things.

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    Zenith & Vintage Mod Dan R's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post Rob! I do like the gold accents and the lume shot was a nice touch!

    Everyone has to decide what they like in watch. This one has the advantage of being well priced as well.

    Cheers!

    Dan

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    Hall Monitor Samanator's Avatar
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    Another nice review Rob. Very attracted to the rose gold/SS look lately. Zenith makes one of the few open heart watches I like. I'm not an expert on El Primero movements so did they make this one hack? Don't know if that is even possible on a El Primero?
    Last edited by Samanator; Nov 27, 2014 at 02:50 AM.
    Cheers,

    Michael

    Tell everyone you saw it on IWL!

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    Zenith & Vintage Mod Dan R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCat View Post
    Another nice review Rob. Very attracted to the rose gold/SS look lately. Zenith makes one of the few open heart watches I like. I'm not an expert on El Primero movements so did they make this one hack? Don't know if that is even possible on a El Primero?
    Nope, not yet. One of those "features" if you know what I mean.



    Dan

  7. #6
    Be perfect to me if they made it with a central seconds hand. One of the joys I feel in owning any watch that is a high beat movement is watching that smooth high beat seconds sweep.

  8. Likes Hayseed Brown liked this post

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