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Zenith Watch Chronomaster Sport Yoshida 65.3103.3600/53.C920

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Zenith recently released the latest addition to its chronograph collection, and it's fair to say it's caused quite a stir. Opinions were mainly expressed on its looks, as it was quickly compared to a certain popular chronograph, sparking debate on the internet.

Are these comparison reviews correct? Does this watch look similar to the competition? Or, is there more to it?

El Primero's History Evolves Over Time
Often overlooked and overlooked, Zenith are vastly underrated when you consider the contributions they have made to the industry. The El Primero is simply regarded as one of the most important movements in the history of horology.

Originally released in 1969 with the A386, it is known to be one of the first automatic chronograph movements on the market, and looking at the stats at the time of its launch, it is clearly the best. Its use in Daytona helped Rolex out of a tricky situation in the 1980s as they were keen to modernize their models with automatic movements.

Famously, in the 70s, Charles Vermot ignored headquarters advice to destroy all El Primero movements and tools, instead deciding to store everything in the attic. He thus saved the movement, which in turn played an extremely important role in the continued success of Zenith and the Rolex Daytona.

In the 80's and 90's Zenith continued to be a big movement maker thanks to Mr. Vermot and while they were happy that the watches with their movements became so popular, Zenith wanted to get more attention like Rolex . So in 1988 the Zenith DeLuca was born, introducing a design that shared much of its DNA with this new Chronomaster Sport.

Why Not a Rolex Daytona
Let's address the elephant in the room right away. Some (in fact, many) were talking about how this new Chronomaster Sport from Zenith resembled its very familiar model, the Rolex Daytona.

With its white dial, black ceramic bezel, metal bracelet and similar hands and hour markers, on the face of it, this seems like a reasonable assumption. After all, Rolex created this aesthetic and owns it all, right? not completely.

See, a lot of these "Daytona" reviews come up because of the look of the watch. Of course, the look of a watch is a huge part of its value (we look at these things a lot during the day, after all), but it's much more than that. Rolex isn’t the only brand releasing white-dial chronographs with black bezels (shock, I know). Of course there are many others, but Rolex is in demand. The way they have popularized the modern luxury steel chronograph as we know it, has caused anything that looks very similar to be dismissed as another similar thing.

Zenith has an incredible lineup of chronographs that made history. The story of El Primero is one of the most important in its own right, and this new development from the brand is worth talking about more than its visual similarity to other watches.

Zenith Chronomaster Sport - What it does
The Chronomaster Sport watch that we have today brings together all the best of the brand's past into a thoroughly modern model. The Chronomaster Sport is just the right size, with a case diameter of 41mm, a case thickness of 13.6mm, and a lug-to-lug distance of just 46.8mm. Much of the watch's aesthetic can be attributed to De Luca, and the brand wanted to modernize the design. To fully understand this new watch, we have to review the DeLuca and understand the characteristics of this model:

stainless steel case
Steel bracelet with polished center links
timing function
pump pusher
black aluminum bezel
Date window at 4:30

You'll notice that Zenith's new Chronomaster Sport has exactly the same features as the DeLuca, just updated to ensure the watch lives up to modern expectations.

Now is the time to jump into the dial, and fear not, because the historical references aren't slowing down. The first and most obvious nod is through the sub-dials, as the color scheme and size of the A386 match, thereby embodying the soul of the A386. A constant bone of contention is the date window, and love it or hate it, Zenith insists on the 4:30 position. This may come as a shock to some of you, as balance and symmetry are usually my thing, but I actually like 4:30 dates.

I think it works really well, partly because there's enough going on on the dial so it doesn't stand out. Thanks to Zenith's attention to detail to ensure its proportions are right, it blends in nicely and shapes the overall mood of the dial. We've always seen date windows added to watches that look out of place, as if they were an afterthought. That's not the case with this Zenith at all.

There are obvious hints of older models here, but make no mistake, this is a modern watch and nothing says it better than the movement that powers this beast...  

El Primero 3600 movement
Things start to get exciting when you flip the case over and we are greeted by the new in-house El Primero automatic movement 3600. First, this is a 1/10th of a second chronograph, and instead of the chronograph hand moving around every 60 seconds, it actually makes a full circle in 10 seconds. This is where the bezel comes into play, as you can now be precise to the tenth of a second.

If we delve into the subdials, we can learn a lot more about the movement, because on the surface of things, we don't really know what's going on. A subdial at 9 o'clock tracks running, continuous seconds. The 6 o'clock dial shows the elapsed minutes of the chronograph, and the last blue sub-dial is the 60-second chronograph, which means that the sub-dial advances 10 seconds for each revolution of the chronograph hand around the dial.

Essentially, the last subdial is doing the work of a traditional chronograph hand. By now, you're probably starting to realize that this is far from a "normal watch." Not only does this movement boast all this impressive watchmaking craftsmanship, but it also offers a power reserve of 60 hours, vibrates at a frequency of 5 Hz (36,000 vibrations per hour), and is housed in a case that is only 13 mm thick middle.

How to use Zenith Chronomaster Sport?
Here's an example of how you can read your watch. You can see below that the chronograph has stopped just before the "03" point on the bezel, however, if we look at the blue sub-dial on the right, we can see that the chronograph has run for over 10 seconds, which is Meaning this reads 12.9 seconds.

Interestingly though, this isn’t the first time Zenith has created a watch like this. Back in 2010 they released the El Primero Striking 10th, and just a year later a Statos version with a rotating bezel.

Crucially, however, the Stratos version is 45.5mm wide and is limited to 1,969 pieces, while the Chronomaster Sport has no restrictions and extremely approachable proportions. It was an essential part of the Chronomaster Sport's creative path and made way for this more modern and accessible creation.

Zenith Chronomaster Sport on your wrist
It should come as no surprise to hear in person that this is a stunning watch.
The first thing that strikes me is the finish and those little details that really matter. The bracelet is brushed with polished center links, but the ends of the bracelet are also polished to match. The hour markers act like a flashlight when illuminated by light, and I'm not talking lumens. These details are complemented by an addictive contrast, which is always a winning formula. It creates drama while also helping to prioritize the different design elements.

It's something DeLuca was aware of back in the '80s, so it's understandable that Zenith knew what they were doing here. There are actually three points of contrast here, from the stark white dial to the rough black ceramic to the sub-dials. Initially, I thought the mix of colors would come across as sloppy or poor, but after using the watch, I absolutely love that it not only adds historical weight to the design, but also showcases the Chronomaster Sport's relaxed side.

The movement of this watch is nothing short of miraculous. Again, this shouldn't come as a surprise since we're talking Zenith and El Primero here. The novelty of the 1/10th of a second chronograph simply doesn't go away, and if you start to think it will, just turn the watch over and admire it in action through the display case back. Not long after using the Chronomaster Sport, I knew going back to a traditional 60-second chronograph would be tricky.

Now for sure, I have no illusions that Zenith didn't know what they were doing when they released this watch. Considering that the DeLuca was created in the 80s as a Daytona rival watch, I think it's a pretty fair assumption that Zenith sees the Chronomaster Sport as the second round of this battle. But in my opinion, this offers something very different from Daytona. Yes, they share a visual similarity with many watches. If any brand can offer something similar to Rolex and get away with it, it's Zenith.

Final thoughts on the Zenith Chronomaster Sport

Over the past few years, the real focus of the watch world has been on the modernization of timepieces. A remarkable evolution from Swatch and Sistem51, to Oris and Caliber 400, and now Zenith and the iconic El Primero. It seems more important than ever to ensure that mechanical watches can keep up with modern expectations. Thankfully, brands know this and are taking action today.

Like it or not, Zenith has sent a strong reminder to the world that they are truly the kings of the chronograph. Something makes me think this watch is going to remain a hot topic for a long time.

Edited by OceanBreeze
removed many spam links
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Once all the spam links are removed, what remains is an interesting post about a fine example of applied mechanical workmanship.

I must admit, being both a mariner and a pilot, I have a weakness for such a beautiful chronograph, and I feel it rightfully belongs in this section on engineering and applied science.

I welcome further discussions about other examples of fine workmanship like this one, but please refrain from posting spam links as that just creates work for me to remove them.

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