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Thread: The Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Tribute to The Rolling Stones: Paint It Black

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    The Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Tribute to The Rolling Stones: Paint It Black

    The Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Tribute to The Rolling Stones: Paint It Black







    The song "Paint It Black" by the Rolling Stones came out in 1966, three years before the first El Primero famously hit the market in 1969. Last year, Zenith announced a partnership with the Rolling Stones and shortly thereafter came out with a 300-piece limited edition version of the Chronomaster 1969 Open. The watch was identical to the non limited edition with one difference: the Rolling Stones logo at a subdial at six o'clock. This year at Basel, Zenith previewed a new Rolling Stones watch which they have just now officially launched. When previewed, Zenith were informally referring to the watch as the "Paint it Black," but the press release states it officially as the "El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Tribute to The Rolling Stones." This edition is limited to 1,000 pieces.

    The Zenith Rolling Stones watch features design details from several Zenith timepieces. First and foremost the domed crystal, and skeletal opening are derived from the DNA of the Chronomaster 1969 Open. The case design is based on the original El Primero chronograph from 1969, and both watches feature a domed sapphire crystal that reminds one of the acrylic crystals of that era. Like all El Primero models, it beats at ten beats per second (36,000 vph or 5 Hz) instead of the industry common eight (28,800 vph or 4 Hz), and provides a minimum power reserve of 50 hours.

    The open skeletal portion on this new limited edition is also identical to the 1969 Open. It is a design influenced by Zenith watches of the early 2000s. Introduced in 2003, "open" watches first appeared in the "Chronomaster," but were also often paired with very avant-garde styles such as the Port Royal XT Open and Class XT Open. The dial opening shape allows an unobstructed view of the balance and escapement wheel. It is distinguished from pieces of the early 2000s in its use of a silicon escape wheel and pallet fork. These silicon parts extend the service interval and add a violet color that make the parts more visually interesting than traditional metal applications.

    What distinguishes the piece from the other "open" models are the pierced lugs. This is a design element introduced in the "Lightweight" limited editions from 2013 and 2014. The watches rectangular chronograph pushers are also similar. The use of these modern design elements give the Rolling Stones watch a much more modern look than last year's piece. Further accenting the sense of modernity is the DLC coated titanium case. The black ruthenium-plated dial and hands have the satin tone and texture of a "black out" watch.

    Compared to the last effort, there is much more "Rolling Stones" in the design of the piece. Instead of using the solid hands on other 1969 El Primero models, the hands are skeletal and are meant to "echo the shape of the fretboard on the Fender Telecaster guitar played by Keith Richards." The subdials feature a similar guilloche pattern to other El Primero models, but are presented in matt black to evoke the grooves on vinyl records. The strap features outlines of both the iconic Rolling Stones tongue logo and the British Union Jack. The movement's rotor features a full-color tongue logo.

    Also on the rotor appears "Certified Chronometer." This is unusual for a Zenith since their own internal standards for accuracy are stricter than COSC, and most of their pieces do not undergo the formality of COSC testing.

    The watch is a currently available and features a retail price of $14,200, placing it nearly halfway between last year's Rolling Stones watch ($10,900) and the 2014 Zenith Lightweight ($19,200). For fans of the Rolling Stones who want a luxury timepiece that celebrates the band, this watch may have just the right combination of subtle design paired with the spirit of rock and roll.


    The El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Tribute to The Rolling Stones.



    The pierced lugs are similar to those on the "Lightweight" models.



    The Union Jack on the twelve o'clock side of the strap.



    The guilloche at three o'clock reminds one of vinyl records such as single for the 1966 hit "Paint It Black".



    The dial at eleven o'clock features Zenith's signature skeletal opening and the movement features violet silicon for the escapement wheel and pallet fork.



    The hour markers are black ruthenium-plated, faceted and coated with SuperLuminova black SLN.



    The outline of the tongue logo seen below the Union Jack on the strap.



    The hands echo the shape of the fretboard on the Fender Telecaster guitar played by Keith Richards.



    "Certified Chronometer" appears on the rotor which is unusual for a Zenith since their own internal standards for accuracy are stricter than COSC, and most of their pieces do not undergo the formality of COSC testing.



    The exhibition case back of the El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Tribute to The Rolling Stones.



    The lume of the El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Tribute to The Rolling Stones.
    Last edited by robattopper; May 13, 2015 at 07:56 PM.

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  3. #2
    The Dude Abides Nokie's Avatar
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    Like the dial, the strap and the case back, but the hands seem out of proportion to me.
    "Either He's Dead, Or My Watch Has Stopped....."
    Groucho Marx

  4. #3
    optimistic pessimist hayday's Avatar
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    I like the all-black and think it looks rather sharp. Not too hot on the strap but it's appropriate for a tribute to the Rolling Stones. The hands look like blades from a ceiling fan but it doesn't bother me. Still not a fan of open heart dials, not even on a Zenith.

    It's a damn sight better than the first one they did but, to be fair, that was a very low bar to clear.

    -hayday
    The pessimist says it can't get any worse while the optimist says it can.

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    Member CamB's Avatar
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    Am i on my own when I think "What the hell are they going to make a tribite watch to next?". Its just a lame concept to me, we have tributes to movies, songs, cars and god forbid, even the Titanic. Let the watches stand on their own if you ask me.
    As a watch, its ok, wouldnt be rushing out to spend all my spare cash on it though.
    Regards Cam

    Watches
    Omega Speedmaster 3510.50, Oris 1965 Diver, Tissot Visodate, Helson Blackbeard, Seiko PADI Turtle, Tag Heuer F1

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  8. #5
    At first I was like "Oh good they left the tongue off it this time" and then you turned it over....

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  10. #6
    truly take a lickin' and keep on tickin'...

  11. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by hayday View Post

    It's a damn sight better than the first one they did but, to be fair, that was a very low bar to clear.

    -hayday
    Truth.

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  13. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Domo View Post
    At first I was like "Oh good they left the tongue off it this time" and then you turned it over....
    ...which is almost worse...

  14. #9
    Open heart dials are, as far as I'm concerned, completely out of the question. Can't stand them. Sorry.

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  16. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domo View Post
    At first I was like "Oh good they left the tongue off it this time" and then you turned it over....
    Yep, I said the exact same thing as I skimmed through the article.

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