Zenith's new El Primero model, a resonance watch, and a vintage re-edition from Bulgari.
It’s been two years since Zenith celebrated the 50th anniversary of its lauded El Primero movement – but the brand is not done with the throwbacks. The El Primero A384 Revival was part of a trilogy of modern reissues launched last year, and this year’s model is coming out in a micro-blasted titanium case and black dial. The Chronomaster Revival “Shadow” got the inspiration for its dark livery from an obscure 1970 prototype and, unlike the A384 Revival, it uses the calibre 4061, which essentially removes the date window of its predecessor. The sombre palette might give the impression of bulkiness, but it is a surprisingly reserved 37mm.
Resonance watches are so rare that only a handful of watchmakers bother to produce them. Among them, F.P. Journe’s effort is easily the most famous example of our generation. His Chronometre a Resonance has enjoyed 20 years of well-deserved praise, and he marks its anniversary year with a brand-new model and calibre 1520, which, most noticeably, uses a single mainspring barrel (instead of two) and adds a one-second remontoir d’egalite (constant force) mechanism in each going train. The dial layout is largely unchanged, though the differential can now be seen in the centre of the dial. It’s available in 40mm or 42mm and a case crafted from platinum or rose gold. Being only 2mm thicker than its predecessor is remarkable in itself, considering the precision-enhancing additions.
Vintage re-editions are almost always a safe bet for watchmakers since it’s hard to criticise a tried-and-tested design updated with new tech. This is why the Bulgari Bulgari Cities Special Edition 2020 will no doubt do well – and possibly better than the original Cities collection from 1993. Not only is the black case now rendered in black DLC- coated steel instead of plastic with rose gold indicators and crown, each of the nine city editions – one for every metropolis Bulgari has a major boutique in – also comes with a set of 12 art prints inspired by the destination. The brand commissioned nine different young artists from each so the art style will vary, while the city’s name can be found at the bottom of the watch case.