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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
On completion of my collection of the seven different case styles of the vintage Zenith El Primero last year, I set myself the goal to wear each of these El Primero's for at least three weeks.

After all, it doesn't make sense just to collect watches, they are made for wearing. Also, they are not made just to wear them for a day or two, it requires at least a couple of weeks to really wear and test a watch.

Now, more than a year later, I still have a long way to go, because I have other watches as well and am not always wearing a vintage Zenith El Primero (although that might be a goal in future).

This year has been a lot about the El Primero's made 40 years ago (1974).

More or less following the chronological order in which I acquired them, five months ago I posted a review of the ref. 20.0210.415 (goldelectroplated C):


Goldectroplated Zenith El Primero "C", produced by Zenith ca. 1973, ref. 20.210.415

Then in July I wore and did a review on the "TV" El Primero 01.0200.415:


https://www.watchuseek.com/f27/zenith-tv-el-primero-ref-01-0200-415-aka-big-blue-review-1059420.html

The goldplated "C" and the "TV" were early purchases in 2009;

then, late in 2010, I added my first steel Zenith El Primero "C" ref. 01.0210.415.

I have posted some pics before:



The box here is a period correct box which I've added myself. The bracelet is just a generic bracelet.



It is a used example and has a tiny scratch on the dial, which is one thing the seller was honest about. However he also claimed that it was newly serviced and in good running condition, but that wasn't exactly true, as it immediately required a new service by my watchmaker.

After that it worked very well and I remember shortly after the service by my watchmaker I tested it at work and it kept time to + 1 second/day.

Now, almost four years later, I've tested it for three weeks, and it still keeps very good time, gaining 9 seconds/day. I could get it regulated back to + 1 second/day, but I've decided it is not important enough. + 9 seconds/day is very good anyway, and Hartmut taught me that it is more important that it keeps stable time, than anything else. And it is very stable, gaining between 8 and 10 seconds per day during a three week period. For the overnight position I found it works best crown up.

So here are some wrist shots taken during these three weeks:

IMG_8783-800.jpg IMG_8803-800.jpg IMG_8811-800.jpg IMG_8822-800.jpg IMG_8831-800.jpg IMG_8883-800.jpg

Some thoughts: I like the polished bezel on these and the contrast with the matte brushed case. (The bezel here is a little scratched, but still nice, and it would be easy to polish it).

The grey dial and steel hands are very nice, but
legibility from a distance is not that good: reading the time is strictly reserved for the person that is wearing the watch and has it at arm's length.

The permanent seconds hand has been replaced, as it should normally have a light color at the base, as the other small hands). The darker color actually provides better visibility.

An unobtrusive and very efficient watch. It does sit high on the wrist, as it is about 13 mm thick, which compensates for the small diameter of the case (36 mm). It is the smallest, but not the thinnest of the vintage El Primero's.

When you see it in the catalog next to the "Pilot" El Primero (the biggest of all the vintage El Primero's) you will notice the difference in size:

PilotandC-800.jpg

...but in the flesh, I find the difference in size not that conspicuous:

IMG_91422-800.jpg

Or compare the 01.0210.415 with the 01.0200.415:

IMG_91412-800.jpg

It is a nice and discrete style, of course not as beautiful as the Pilot and TV El Primero's, but it gets the job done.

Dolle Dolf wrote a very nice review about it recently: https://www.watchuseek.com/f27/new-late-early-el-primero-c-case-1071028.html

Also Andsan and VinDefy posted some very nice samples: https://www.watchuseek.com/f27/zenith-el-primero-vintage-998229.html

Kubama also posted lovely pictures: https://www.watchuseek.com/f27/zenith-el-primero-01-0210-415-a-583552-2.html#post5401729

Those are actually all looking better than mine, but I already got compensation when I bought a second 01.0210.410:



Some more dimensions to mention: lugsize is 19 mm.

It looks good on a black lizard leather strap (as seen in the catalog), but it works very well on an original bracelet as well, or even on a generic bracelet like mine here.

IMG_8938-800.jpg

The original crown is a handsome 6 x 2 mm

IMG_8848-800.jpg

When I bought this watch, I got a nice (but period incorrect) box with it, and the correct instructions booklet:

!B6JJFBw!mk~$(KGrHqUOKiUEyZBdWQFHBMw(6QQuww~~_12.jpg

... and pics of the innards:

!B6UU4!w!2k~$(KGrHqV,!iEEycLIp7coBM)CsikeEQ~~_12.jpg !BTWm62wBWk~$(KGrHgoOKigEjlLm,etkBKH+1WMw2!~~_12.jpg

That's it for now. Some more pics and comments you may find in the https://www.watchuseek.com/f27/over...tainless-steel-models-1969-1975-a-586997.html and https://www.watchuseek.com/f27/vintage-zenith-el-primero-seven-cases-864940.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks guys.

A couple of weeks ago, Andsan posted a question about the instantaneous date change, for future reference here's a link: https://www.watchuseek.com/f27/question-about-date-1073224.html

Just for the record, the date change in this El Primero "C" works very well , it snaps over within two minutes after midnight.

 

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Thanks guys.

A couple of weeks ago, Andsan posted a question about the instantaneous date change, for future reference here's a link: https://www.watchuseek.com/f27/question-about-date-1073224.html

Just for the record, the date change in this El Primero "C" works very well , it snaps over within two minutes after midnight.

I bought an A 385 and the shifted not the date that it would so I have sent it back to the seller.
a new spring can be purchased on E-bay for about $ 20

But my other ZEP which I posted in this thread switches exactly at 24.00 :)

Anders
 

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Wow I missed this review, great job, and what a great collection!

And thanks for the compliment about my own thread.

As an update, I got my crown issue resolved super quick, thank you Rich of Timetitans on the bay, I literally got my watch back in 3 working days, with a now working crown!

 

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What, you've got two of them?!! Really, when I see people like you depleting the market, it makes me want to cry for those who have to go without.....

Seriously, I know that I'm too lazy and broke to hunt around anyway. Wear it for the rest of a hopefully long life and enjoy!

Hartmut Richter
 
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