At the Zenith boutique in Le Bon Marché, George Bamford presented the latest Zenith collaboration to a selection of VIP clients.
As the first watch brand to adopt a bespoke approach in partnership with the leading watch customizer, Zenith and Bamford Watch Department have come together to unveil a collaborative special edition available exclusively for Zenith boutiques: the Chronomaster El Primero Radar.
The Chronomaster El Primero Radar, limited to 50 pieces, draws inspiration from Zenith’s archive pieces, while looking steadfast to the future. During one of George Bamford’s first visits to the Zenith manufacture, he stumbled upon a pocket watch from 1916 that left a lasting impression on him. It featured striking red accents all over the dial, and would become the main source of inspiration for the Radar series. But rather than simply recreating the past, Bamford took this design cue to create a Chronomaster El Primero with a distinctly retro-futuristic aesthetic.
The Radar reimagines the signature Zenith chronograph in a striking new manner, keeping the essentials while introducing new design codes. For one, the stainless steel case is given a matte finish all over, including the crown and pushers. The El Primero tri-compax dial with oversized counters is revisited with a few unique twists, fashioned in a burnt brown hue that darkens towards the edge for a striking visual impact. Sharply contrasting around its periphery is a white tachymeter scale, with a radial design, featured in numerous historical El Primero watches.
Each of the three chronograph subdials is different, further highlighting the uniqueness of this collaborative series. On the left, the small seconds display features concentric circles that recall the design of some of George Bamford’s favourite vintage Zenith watches. The chronograph hour totalizer at 6 o’clock features a more traditional Chronomaster design, while the minutes counter at 3 o’clock befits the Radar name with its bold red register that glows in the dark with SuperLuminova for a “night vision” effect. As George Bamford puts it, “the little lines inside the subdial represent the negative of the star, the missing elements of a star, as if a star was sitting in the middle. This is something that really inspired me”. In this way, the subdial creates a pattern that subtly evokes the Zenith star.
The finishing touch that truly sets the Chronomaster El Primero Radar apart and emphasizes the theme is the strap, made of rubber with a cordura effect on top. With a vintage vibe yet modern construction, the strap features double stitching with red threads, something of an obsession for George Bamford.
Available from November at Zenith boutiques only. Complimentary first maintenance service.