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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
PART ONE:

ZENITH RAINBOW OVERVIEW

The Zenith Rainbow is a line of robust sports watches created by Zenith in 1992.

This overview is about the Rainbows with El Primero movements.

The Zenith Rainbow was named after a famous yacht: the Rainbow was a single masted racing sailboat built to certain specifications in 1934 to win the America's Cup (which was precisely what it did).

Water transportation Vehicle Boat Sailing Sailboat


Common features of all Zenith Rainbow El Primero's:


All Rainbows have anti-reflective sapphire crystal and screw-down crown with crown protection and screw-down pushers


Text Font Line Organism Photography


All Rainbows have a screwback engraved with silhouette of the legendary Rainbow yacht.


Analog watch Watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Material property


All Rainbows are 50 to 100 m water-resistant (Rainbows with diver's bezel are 100 m water-resistant, those with tachymeter bezel are 50 m water-resistant).


All Rainbows have either a diver's bezel (unidirectional rotating) or a bezel with engraved tachymeter.


Exceptions:

- there are a few models with diamond studded bezels (instead of a tachymeter on the bezel, these have a tachymeter on the dial).

- the Rainbow fly-back is an atypical Rainbow, intended for pilots: for that reason it has a bidirectional bezel, and it doesn’t have a screw-down crown or pushers. On the back it hasn’t got the Rainbow yacht, but the name 'Rainbow Fly-Back' (and a Zenith shield).


A few more general observations:

There seem to be many different models, but it basically comes down to two important lines: those with (fixed) tachymeter bezel, and those with (rotating) diver's bezel. The rest is mainly a variation of dials (white, black, blue) and case material (steel or gold).

Early Rainbows (1992-95) all mention on the caseback 'MODELE DEP.' (registered model).

Early Rainbow models (1992-95) use luminova instead of tritium as luminescent material for the dial markers. The Zenith Rainbow apparently was one of the first watches to use luminova (since this was only invented about the same time when the Rainbow was introduced).

Later Rainbow models (1996-99) used tritium, until the use of tritium was more or less “banned” around 1999; but then around 1999 the Rainbow series also ended.

Later Rainbows (1996-99) also have a tritium lume dot in the diver's bezels. The reason for this may be that the international standard for diver’s watches, introduced in 1996, requires the diver’s bezel to be visible in the dark.


Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery



About the model numbers:

The first part (two numbers) denote case and bracelet material e.g.:

01: steel case with leather band;
02: steel case with steel bracelet;
41: steel case with 18 K gold bezel on leather band;
53: steel case with 18 K gold bezel on steel bracelet;
58: steel case with 14 K gold bezel on steel bracelet;
60: 18 K gold case and bracelet;
30: 18 K gold case on leather band;


The second or middle part of the model number (four numbers) is about the model and dial. It is important to understand here that the last number of the middle part of the model number denotes the dial colour, and that this number is only found in the catalogues, whereas the casebacks all have a "0" instead.

E.g. catalogue reference 01.0363.400 has a white dial and ref. 01.0362.400 has a black dial, but the actual watches have the same back with number 01.0360.400.


Naturally this may lead to a lot of confusion. For instance Rössler has two pages on the Rainbow Primero's, showing about 7 different models, of which at least two are different from what I found in the catalogues (the only difference being the final number in the middle section, denoting the dial colour).

There may also be confusion regarding the few production numbers which are known: these probably refer to the production numbers of all the dial colours with that model number (ending in -0).


Another example about the middle part of the model number: 01.0463.400 is almost the same as the earlier model 01.0363.400, but with the addition of a telemeter around the dial. In this way, several models underwent small changes in 1996 and accordingly received new model numbers.


In general the later models (1996-99) saw a more abundant use of telemeters or tachymeters (now often in the shape of a rehaut around the dial) and used tritium instead of luminova.


From the few production numbers that are known, it is clear that all Rainbows were made in limited numbers (at the most a few thousand were made for each model).

A good example here is one of the main models, the 01.0360.400: produced in 1992/93, only 1660 pieces were made.


Now let’s have a look at all the different models, starting with the introduction in 1992/93.


The introduction of the Zenith Rainbow: the first Rainbows (1992/93)


According to my research, the Zenith Rainbow was presented at the Basel fair in 1992.

Here is a copy of a page in a 1992 yearbook of fine watches which confirms this:

Watch Fashion accessory Watch accessory Analog watch Jewellery

The text mentions (in Italian): "A novelty of the Basel fair '92, the Zenith Rainbow ... will be available from next September onwards" (annuario or yearbook 1992)


The ‘first Rainbow’, shown in the picture above, can be identified as the 53.0375.400 (or the 58.0375.400) (see below for more information on these models).


However the text mentions that there would be three different models available from September 1992 onwards: one in steel, one in gold and steel, and one in gold.

These would be available on a bracelet or a leather strap, the dial colours would be white or black for the steel model, blue or white for the steel and gold model, and ivory or black for the gold model.


In the following yearbook of the same series (1993) I found an illustration of the steel models with white and black dial:

Analog watch Watch Fashion accessory Watch accessory Jewellery


In another yearbook which covers the period 1992/93, I found only one illustration; it is the same 'first Rainbow' as shown above (in stainless steel with gold diver’s bezel and blue dial):

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery


The Rainbow was received well. E.g. the readers of the German Chronos magazine in 1994 voted it 'the best chronograph' (before the Omega Speedmaster and the Rolex Daytona).

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery


THE EARLY YEARS (1992-1995)


Zenith soon produced a variety of Rainbow models in steel, steel and gold, or pure gold.


Stainless steel models:

01.0363.400 steel case with tachymeter bezel; leather band; white dial; 50 m water resistant
02.0363.400 steel case with tachymeter bezel; steel bracelet; white dial; 50 m water resistant

02.0362.400 steel case with tachymeter bezel; steel bracelet; black dial; 50 m water resistant

Zenith has confirmed that the 01.0360.400 was produced in 1992/93 and only 1660 pieces were made.

I could not find a 01.0362.400 (black dial with leather band) in catalogs. According to the announcement in the 1992 yearbook, it would be available, but perhaps it was never made, and the black dial only came on a bracelet.

These are catalog illustrations from a French catalog pamphlet (1993):

Fashion accessory Watch Jewellery Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery


The second page already shows a model of the next category:


Steel and gold models:

41.0363.400 steel case with 18 K gold tachymeter bezel; leather band; white dial; 50 m water resistant
53.0363.400 steel case with 18 K gold tachymeter bezel; steel bracelet; white dial; 50 m water resistant

41.0375.400 steel case with 18 K gold rotating diver's bezel; leather band; blue dial with tachymeter; 100 m water resistant
53.0375.400 steel case with 18 K gold diver's bezel; steel bracelet; blue dial with tachymeter; 100 m water resistant

58.0375.400 steel case with 14 K gold rotating diver's bezel; steel bracelet; blue dial with tachymeter; 100 m water resistant

41.0373.400 steel case with 18 K gold rotating diver's bezel; leather band; white dial with tachymeter; 100 m water resistant
53.0373.400 steel case with 18 K gold rotating diver's bezel; steel bracelet; white dial with tachymeter; 100 m water resistant

This is a 1993 German pamphlet catalog illustration of a few of these models (also including an all gold Rainbow hovering over them):

Watch Analog watch Fashion accessory Gold Jewellery

The following pages are from a French pamphlet catalog (1993):

Watch Analog watch Fashion accessory Watch accessory Tower Analog watch Watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery Jewellery Fashion accessory Watch Diamond Gemstone

In the last illustration above, we suddenly find a black model with diver's bezel, which had not been announced in 1992: it was probably made in 1993. It should have been in the previous section of 'stainless steel models':

01.0372.400 steel case with rotating diver's bezel; leather band; black dial with tachymeter; 100 m water resistant
02.0372.400 steel case with rotating diver's bezel; steel bracelet; black dial with tachymeter; 100 m water resistant

A 1994 French pamphlet catalog also shows this model, together with some further additions to the Rainbow series, which are apparently ladies models (since they feature diamonds)

Analog watch Watch Fashion Fashion accessory Material property

I will also include here the other illustrations in the 1994 pamphlet showing older models which we’ve already mentioned and seen above:

Analog watch Watch Fashion accessory Watch accessory Brand Watch Fashion accessory Font Analog watch Brand

Here are the details of the Rainbows with diamonds:

51.0369.400 steel case with 18 K gold bezel with 58 diamonds; steel bracelet; white dial with tachymeter; 50 m water resistant

(the other one is a completely gold model :)


Gold models

70.0369.400 (18 K) gold case and bracelet; gold bezel with 58 diamonds; white dial with tachymeter; 50 m water resistant

60.0364.400 (18 K) gold case and bracelet; tachymeter bezel; white dial; 50 m water resistant
60.0362.400 (18 K) gold case and bracelet; tachymeter bezel; black dial; 50 m water resistant

Zenith has communicated that there were 600 made of the 60.0360.400 between 1992 and '98. This may include both white and black dials.

We have seen an illustration of the all gold Rainbow with white dial in the 1993 German catalog (see above).

I found the black dial in the 1998 catalog, which also features the same gold models on a leather band:

30.0364.400 (18 K) gold case; tachymeter bezel; leather band; white dial; 50 m water resistant
30.0362.400 (18 K) gold case; tachymeter bezel; leather band; black dial; 50 m water resistant

Here is an illustration from the 1998 catalog:

Analog watch Watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Brand

With these we have actually reached 1998 and so we are already in:


THE LATER YEARS (1996-1999)


Stainless steel models:

01.0463.400 steel case with tachymeter bezel; leather band; white dial with telemeter; 50 m water resistant
02.0463.400 steel case with tachymeter bezel; steel bracelet; white dial with telemeter; 50 m water resistant

02.0462.400 steel case with tachymeter bezel; steel bracelet; black dial with telemeter; 50 m water resistant
(same as with the earlier version of this model, I could not find the black dial combined with leather band in catalogs: it is possible that the version with black dial only came on a bracelet).

01.0472.400 steel case with rotating diver's bezel (now with lume dot); leather band; black dial with tachymeter rehaut (instead of tachymeter on the dial); 100 m water resistant
02.0472.400 steel case with rotating diver's bezel with lume dot; steel bracelet; black dial with tachymeter rehaut; 100 m water resistant

01.0480.405 steel case with rotating bidirectional bezel with lume dot and first twenty minutes in red; leather band; black dial (with coloured minute counter) with telemeter rehaut; 100 m water resistant (note: 'Fly-back')
02.0480.405 steel case with rotating bidirectional bezel with lume dot and first twenty minutes in red; steel bracelet; black dial (with coloured minute counter) with telemeter rehaut; 100 m water resistant (note: 'Fly-back')
02.0470.405 steel case with rotating bidirectional bezel with lume dot; steel bracelet; black dial with telemeter rehaut; 100 m water resistant (note: 'Fly-back')

The first Rainbow Fly-Backs (with the colourful dial, made in 1997) came on a leather strap. It has a cal 405 and uses tritium. The black Fly-Back was made in 1999; it has a cal 405 Z and uses luminova.
Production numbers of the Rainbow Fly-Back: 900 pieces on leather band, 4850 pieces on steel bracelet and 4100 of the black version.

02.0471.400 steel case with rotating diver's bezel with lume dot; steel bracelet; mango dial with tachymeter rehaut; 100 m water resistant

There were only 470 made of the 'mango' Rainbow ca. 1999; it is a well-known model.

01/02.0461.400/01 steel case with tachymeter bezel; steel bracelet or leather band; white and grey dial; 50 m water resistant
01/02.0461.400/71 steel case with tachymeter bezel; steel bracelet or leather band; blue and black dial; 50 m water resistant
These were the last additions to the Rainbow series. For an unknown reason Zenith added numbers after the model number to denote the two different dials, instead of changing the middle part of the number (e.g. Zenith could have numbered them 01/02.0461.400 and 01/02.464.400).


Here are some catalog illustrations of the above mentioned models.

These are from a 1998 catalog, a 2000/2001 yearbook, and a 2000 catalog:


Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery Watch Fashion accessory Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Font Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Brand
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery



Steel and gold models:

These are almost exactly the same models as in the early years, with minor modifications : diver Rainbows now use tritium for the dial markers and have a tritium dot in the bezel; Rainbows with engraved tachymeter bezel now have a telemeter around the dial as well (the model with diamonds remained the same).

41.0473.400 steel case with 18 K gold bezel (rotating diver's bezel with lume dot); leather band; white dial with tachymeter; 100 m water resistant
53.0473.400 steel case with 18 K gold bezel (rotating diver's bezel with lume dot); steel bracelet; white dial with tachymeter; 100 m water resistant
41.0475.400 steel case with 18 K gold bezel (rotating diver's bezel with lume dot); leather band; blue dial with tachymeter; 100 m water resistant
53.0475.400 steel case with 18 K gold bezel (rotating diver's bezel with lume dot); steel bracelet; blue dial with tachymeter; 100 m water resistant
53.0463.400 steel case with 18 K gold tachymeter bezel; steel bracelet; white dial with telemeter; 50 m water resistant
41.0463.400 steel case with 18 K gold tachymeter bezel; leather band; white dial with telemeter; 50 m water resistant
51.0369.400 steel case with 18 K gold bezel with 58 diamonds; steel bracelet; white dial with tachymeter; 50 m water resistant



Here are a few catalog illustrations (from a 1998 catalog):

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Brand Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery


That's it.

If you have any remarks, corrections and/or further information with catalogue illustrations, you are invited to post it here!


Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery




PART TWO:

SHARE YOUR ZENITH RAINBOW


You’re all invited to share pictures and experiences of your Zenith Rainbow.

I’ll start with mine:



Zenith El Primero Rainbow ca. 1993 ref. 58-0370-400 (or taking into account the dial colour, it should be ref. 58-0375-400)


A rare, early version with 14 K bezel.


No Zenith logo inside the caseback: I take this as another indication of an early production.

Analog watch Watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery

Material property Watch Watch accessory Metal

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery
Bracelet on mine is not original, but I could not be bothered less: it looks almost the same (and I've read that the original bracelets are a bit difficult).

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery

The '.swiss made.' at the bottom of the dial indicates the use of luminova.



It still glows well, although the watch is about 21 years old (in the long run, luminova is certainly better than tritium).


Analog watch Watch Fashion accessory Watch accessory Jewellery

As I don't use it for swimming, I usually keep the pushers unscrewed!

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Cobalt blue Fashion accessory
 

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Thank you for such an informative post...The Rainbows were a great line.

To add photos of a few models that you mention, but don't show. Here are the later fixed bezel Rainbows:




And my favorite (because I own it :)), the "mango" Rainbow (which Rossler says was produced in a run of 470).






Finally, here are some price lists for the Rainbow line in 1999 and 2000:

1999:

2000:
 

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Re: Excellent write up on one of my favourite series, many thanks!

...Could you please edit your reply to not include all of the (lovely) photos? It's a bit of a hassle to load and scroll through.

Sempervivens; what a great post. One wonders what the motivation and inspiration behind the line was? My take is that Zenith wanted a slice of the Rolex Daytona cake, which they for some years had delivered the ingredients for in the first place. I find myself warming to the (a bit dated-looking) line of sporty Zeniths.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Super! Thanks for the excellent post!

:-!

Dan
You got it. I've just spent most of my weekend on this.


Thank you for such an informative post...The Rainbows were a great line.

To add photos of a few models that you mention, but don't show. Here are the later fixed bezel Rainbows:

And my favorite (because I own it :)), the "mango" Rainbow (which Rossler says was produced in a run of 470).


Finally, here are some price lists for the Rainbow line in 1999 and 2000:

1999:

2000:
Thanks Mike, also for the additional catalog information. I've added the catalog illustrations of the mango Rainbow and the 01/02.0461.400 to the original post.


Great post!

Here's my Rainbow Flyback

Thanks Ray. That is a beautiful Fly-Back !


Excellent write up on one of my favourite series, many thanks!

|>|>


Thank you! But could you please remove the repetition of the entire original post from your reply?
;-)


...

Sempervivens; what a great post. One wonders what the motivation and inspiration behind the line was? My take is that Zenith wanted a slice of the Rolex Daytona cake, which they for some years had delivered the ingredients for in the first place. I find myself warming to the (a bit dated-looking) line of sporty Zeniths.


Thanks! I agree, certain bits may have been inspired by the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona. But the Zenith El Primero Rainbow has its own, beautiful and original design, and it has
the original El Primero movement b-)

 

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Re: Excellent write up on one of my favourite series, many thanks!

Done (by the moderator).

Fantastic post, sempervivens! This deserves a sticky (I will wait until the discussion has slowed down a little). Until then, what about the "Elite Rainbows"?! ;-)

(Not that I wish to sound greedy, of course.....!)

Hartmut Richter
 

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Re: Excellent write up on one of my favourite series, many thanks!

Excellent post indeed! Thanks as well for the Sticky!

May I add a few pictures: 53.0475.400 With lume dot, cca 1997.

Analog watch Watch Cobalt blue Blue Fashion accessory

And the Black Flyback, my current favourite!

Watch Analog watch Fashion accessory Material property Glass

As You can see, the FlyBack also has different clasp.

Regards, Acme
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Re: Excellent write up on one of my favourite series, many thanks!

Done (by the moderator).

Fantastic post, sempervivens! This deserves a sticky (I will wait until the discussion has slowed down a little). Until then, what about the "Elite Rainbows"?! ;-)

(Not that I wish to sound greedy, of course.....!)

Hartmut Richter
Thanks, Hartmut!


Excellent post indeed! Thanks as well for the Sticky!

May I add a few pictures: 53.0475.400 With lume dot, ca 1997.

And the Black Flyback, my current favourite!

As You can see, the FlyBack also has different clasp.

Regards, Acme
Thank you, also for sharing that wonderful pair of Rainbows!

One should always keep learning: I have seen examples of the 53.0475.400 that clearly mention 'T swiss made T' on the dial. For yours, I don't see the 'T swiss made T'. Do you think it uses tritium or luminova? There is a simple test to determine this: tritium glows in the dark independently of previous exposure to light (but after 17 years, it must have become weak); whereas luminova will only glow in the dark after it has been exposed to light.

Another possibility is that your
53.0475.400 is actually a 53.0375.400 with a new bezel insert: because the date wheel is white, which is a characteristic of the 53.0375.400, whereas the 53.0475.400 has a blue date wheel. The back looks polished: can you still read the reference number? Your watch may be older than you thought, it may be one of the first Rainbows!

But the black Fly-Back apparently uses luminova, since it mentions '. swiss made .'. The other Fly-Backs mention 'T swiss made T', for tritium.
 

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Re: Excellent write up on one of my favourite series, many thanks!

Excellent observations!

Tha blue dial watch indeed has a replacement bezel, and the case is polished. Unfortunately I cannot read the case number.

It is tritium, but strangely enough not signed "T- swiss made -T". Maybe mine is also a 53.0375.400?

The FlyBack is definitely Luminova, but searching the Internet I found quite a number of black FlyBack not marked to use tritium. Is it possible, that these are later (post-1999) models?

By the way: can anyone confirm these production numbers on FlyBack: "The color model was delivered to 900 pieces on leather strap, 4850 pieces on steel bracelet and 4100 pieces on black steel."

Regards,

Acme


Another possibility is that your
53.0475.400 is actually a 53.0375.400 with a new bezel insert: because the date wheel is white, which is a characteristic of the 53.0375.400, whereas the 53.0475.400 has a blue date wheel. The back looks polished: can you still read the reference number? Your watch may be older than you thought, it may be one of the first Rainbows!

The Fly-Back clearly uses luminova, since it mentions '. swiss made .'. Other Fly-Backs mention 'T swiss made T', indicating the use of tritium. So apparently even after 1996, Zenith still used luminova for some Rainbows.
 

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Re: Excellent write up on one of my favourite series, many thanks!

All Rainbows are 50 to 100 m water-resistant (Rainbows with diver's bezel are 100 m water-resistant, those with tachymeter bezel are 50 m water-resistant).
Fantastic opening Sempers, concrats from that. Like to add, that the upper statement is only about Rainbow El Primeros. Elite divers are with 200m water resistance, otherways they would not be real diver's watches at all.
 

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Re: Excellent write up on one of my favourite series, many thanks!

By the way: can anyone confirm these production numbers on FlyBack: "The color model was delivered to 900 pieces on leather strap, 4850 pieces on steel bracelet and 4100 pieces on black steel."

??? I have never seen one on a black steel bracelet. Maybe the newer Defy or the new Rainbow Stratos.....?!

Hartmut Richter
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Re: Excellent write up on one of my favourite series, many thanks!

Excellent observations!

Tha blue dial watch indeed has a replacement bezel, and the case is polished. Unfortunately I cannot read the case number.

It is tritium, but strangely enough not signed "T- swiss made -T". Maybe mine is also a 53.0375.400?

The FlyBack is definitely Luminova, but searching the Internet I found quite a number of black FlyBack not marked to use tritium. Is it possible, that these are later (post-1999) models?

By the way: can anyone confirm these production numbers on FlyBack: "The color model was delivered to 900 pieces on leather strap, 4850 pieces on steel bracelet and 4100 pieces on black steel."

Regards,

Acme
Thanks Acme! I think it is a 53.0375.400, seeing the white date wheel, and since you can confirm that the bezel has been replaced. If the dial is not marked 'T swiss made T', it shouldn't have tritium, but the lume dot in the bezel probably is tritium. Did you test the dial by keeping it in the dark for a longer time?

As for the black Fly-Back, I found confirmation that it was produced in 1999. That explains why it uses luminova: around 1999 the whole watch-industry switched to luminova. I also found the source of the production numbers you mention, it is a translation of this page: https://sites.google.com/site/zenithistoric/la-rainbow. These production numbers are probably reliable, I added them to the post. Thanks again.

Fantastic opening Sempers, concrats from that. Like to add, that the upper statement is only about Rainbow El Primeros. Elite divers are with 200m water resistance, otherways they would not be real diver's watches at all.
Thanks Hessu! Obviously my post is only about the El Primero Rainbows, and perhaps it's good to mention here that the Elite Rainbows are 200 m water-resistant. Still, although 200 m is more common for a diver's watch, 100 m is enough to qualify as a 'real diver's watch' according to the international standard for diver's watches.

??? I have never seen one on a black steel bracelet. Maybe the newer Defy or the new Rainbow Stratos.....?!

Hartmut Richter
It is a poor 'google translation' of the above-mentioned French site: 'black steel' refers to the Rainbow Fly-Back version with black dial on steel bracelet.
 

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Re: Excellent write up on one of my favourite series, many thanks!

My mistake, the blue dial watch is also Luminova, only it glows much weaker than the FlyBack. According to this the blue is significantly older than the FB, so yes, mine is also an early example of Rainbow family, with a later bezel! (The bezel is also Luminova by the way).

Regards,

Acme

Thanks Acme! I think it is a 53.0375.400, seeing the white date wheel, and since you can confirm that the bezel has been replaced. If the dial is not marked 'T swiss made T', it shouldn't have tritium, but the lume dot in the bezel probably is tritium. Did you test the dial by keeping it in the dark for a longer time?
 

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Re: Excellent write up on one of my favourite series, many thanks!

Thanks Hessu! Obviously my post is only about the El Primero Rainbows, and perhaps it's good to mention here that the Elite Rainbows are 200 m water-resistant. Still, although 200 m is more common for a diver's watch, 100 m is enough to qualify as a 'real diver's watch' according to the international standard for diver's watches.
Yeah OK, just saw pics about Elite models in the adds of the thread. So I pointed out the difference between EP and Elite models, to eliminate confusion.

No, it does not. The water-resistance is specified in DIN (Deutsche Industrial Norm).
For watches there are 3 classes:
1) Water-resistant (= Water-resistant 30m) for splash protection. Watch is tested for 10 seconds in pressure of 3 atm. You can't swim with this.
2) Water-resistant 100m for swimproof watches. Watch is tested for 10 seconds in pressure of 10 atm. You swim but you can't dive with equipment.
3) Water-resistant 200m (or more) for diveproof watches.Watch is tested 30 seconds in pressure of 20 atm. You can dive with equipment. This test is usually done by watchmakers with tester like Witschi ALC 2000 with 10 atm and 60 seconds test time.

There is a huge difference between tests 2 and 3.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: Excellent write up on one of my favourite series, many thanks!

Yeah OK, just saw pics about Elite models in the adds of the thread. So I pointed out the difference between EP and Elite models, to eliminate confusion.

No, it does not. The water-resistance is specified in DIN (Deutsche Industrial Norm).
For watches there are 3 classes:
1) Water-resistant (= Water-resistant 30m) for splash protection. Watch is tested for 10 seconds in pressure of 3 atm. You can't swim with this.
2) Water-resistant 100m for swimproof watches. Watch is tested for 10 seconds in pressure of 10 atm. You swim but you can't dive with equipment.
3) Water-resistant 200m (or more) for diveproof watches.Watch is tested 30 seconds in pressure of 20 atm. You can dive with equipment. This test is usually done by watchmakers with tester like Witschi ALC 2000 with 10 atm and 60 seconds test time.

There is a huge difference between tests 2 and 3.
I know that. Like I said, I was referring to the international standard for diver's watches.

A diving watch, also commonly referred to as a diver's or dive watch, is a watch designed for underwater diving that features, as a minimum, a water resistance greater than 1.0 MPa (10 atm), the equivalent of 100 m (330 ft).
(You can read it here: Diving watch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Further on in the article, you can read:

ISO 6425 standard for diving watches

The standards and features for diver's watches are regulated by the International Organization for Standardization in the ISO 6425 standard.

Besides water resistance standards to a minimum of 100 m depth rating ISO 6425 also provides minimum requirements for mechanical diver's watches
Again, apparently 100 m water-resistance is enough as a minimum to qualify as a diver's watch according to the international standard (ISO 6425).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: Excellent write up on one of my favourite series, many thanks!

Yeah OK, just saw pics about Elite models in the adds of the thread. So I pointed out the difference between EP and Elite models, to eliminate confusion.
I'm afraid you are creating more confusion instead of eliminating it :-d

My post was only about the El Primero Rainbow's and I made that pretty clear from the outset.

The three-handed Rainbow which you see in one of the illustrations, is not an Elite.


Note that this is not an advertisement, but a page from a yearbook of fine watches '92.
The three-handed Rainbow which you see, is not an Elite, but has an ETA movement.
The "Elite" movement was only launched in '94 and in the beginning was called the "6 series" and only used for gold watches. So you'd have to wait until 1997/98, before there were any Elite Rainbows.
 
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