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Zenith Introduces the El Primero A386 Phillips Limited Edition

A retro pair
Zenith Introduces the El Primero A386 Phillips Limited Edition

In a first for watchmaking, an establishment watchmaker has collaborated with an auctioneer in creating a pair of limited edition wristwatches, resulting in the El Primero A386 designed by Phillips.

The tie-up has resulted in a pair of watches, one in steel with a “tropical” dial, and the other in striking black and gold – with the total number made being just 69, a nod to the year of the El Primero’s launch. The two watches are actually part of the same creative process that spawned the platinum El Primero A386 One-Off that will soon be sold for charity.

Aurel Bacs and Alex Ghotbi of Phillips were responsible for conceiving the look of both watches. According to Phillips, the duo imagined being designers of the brand-new El Primero in 1969, rather than looking back from today and creating a modern remake.

The yellow gold El Primero is consequently a combination that was common back in the day – think Rolex Daytona “John Player Special” though never produced by Zenith.

And the steel version is not actually a “tropical” dial, rather it is a reference to the brown colours fashionable in design and apparel during the 1960s. Hence it has its sub-dials in three shades of brown, a riff on the “tricolour” registers of the original A386.

And the steel watch comes with a bonus: a steel “ladder” bracelet with straight end links that’s a replica of the same found on the original A386.
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