When it comes to styling a sports timer for the wrist, Zenith have perfected the art and theirs is a portfolio which is rich with handsome yet functional timepieces which would not look out of place beneath a tailored cuff. You can hardly blame the company for taking advantage of the marketing opportunity offered up when Felix Baumgartner leapt from the heavens wearing one of their Stratos models, but the brand have also continued to nurture other partnerships. Their latest Stratos models have been created in honour of their relationship with the Spindrift Racing Team who have high hopes for their Maxi Trimaran Spindrift 2 when it lines up for the start of the solo transatlantic race the “Route du Rhum” on November 2nd 2014.
This new addition to the collection has been styled with endurance sailing in mind and therefore it is ultimately legible, wearable and durable. It is however also incredibly stylish, and it offers something which is new for the Stratos collection – a dial opening which provides a glimpse at the vivid little silicon heart of its El Primero calibre.
Two variations of the Zenith El Primero Stratos Spindrift watch will be offered, each with case sizes of 45.5mm. The rose gold edition features a titanium crown and pushpieces. Its all-black dial contrasts superbly with the warmth of the precious metal and the gold plated faceted hour markers and hands are styled to catch and reflect the light by day while their liberal coating of SuperLuminova promises readability after dark.
Zenith El Primero Stratos Spindrift – The Spirit of the High Seas
Those with a penchant for edgy styling will perhaps prefer the DLC-coated steel case edition which has the added kudos of a carbon fibre dial. The black nickel faceted hour markers have been coated with black SuperLuminova in line with the overall stealthy character of this model while the faceted hands have been given a coating of grey SuperLuminova – subtle detailing which ensures stand-out clarity.
In order to accommodate the dial opening which allows a view of the silicon lever and escape wheel, the dial has a two-counter chronograph arrangement with 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock. The small seconds is contained within the aperture opening at 9 o’clock leaving the central seconds hand to serve as a chronograph timer.
Although this model has been designed with Spindrift Racing in mind, the branding has been kept to a minimum, and you would have to look closely to notice the inscription “Spindrift Racing” on the inner bezel ring at 12 o’clock – a wise decision which ensures that this model will also appeal to Zenith’s mainstream customers for its aesthetics and not simply because of its association with sailing.
Inside is the Zenith in-house calibre El Primero 4061 beating at 36,000 vph with a power reserve of 50 hours. Purists will appreciate the movement’s column-wheel mechanism – the marque of a high quality chronograph movement, but its silicon components will no doubt have an affinity with fans of cutting-edge micro-mechanics – all the better that its colourful techy components are on view at all times. A sapphire caseback allows for a view of the calibre and its rotor which has been inscribed with “Spindrift Racing”.
The Zenith El Primero Stratos Spindrift comes presented on a black rubber strap covered in fabric with a black PVD steel triple folding clasp. Price for the DLC Stainless Steel is $9,100 and the Titanium and Gold will go for $22,600.