A collaboration between a Swiss watch manufacture and a Japanese manga and anime series is as unique a partnership as they come. But that’s exactly what Zenith did with Lupin The Third, which was so inspired by the El Primero shortly after its launch in 1969 that it decided to include it in the seminal series on two separate occasions. 50 years and two special editions later, Zenith is unveiling the third and final limited edition in the trilogy, the Chronomaster Revival Lupin The Third – Final Edition.
Press Release information with editorial commentary with additional information in italics.
Editorial Commentary with additional information.
Interesting collaboration here. Kind of a reverse collaboration. A first of its kind for the Japanese manga series to first feature an imaginary Zenith in their anime series, and realized by the brand some 50 years later. Right from the first episode of Lupin the Third released in 1971, just 2 years after Zenith released the iconic El Primero, a dreamt up watch, based on the Zenith El Primero A384 with a black, grey and gilt dial was worn by one of the main characters of the anime. Daisuke Jigen, the debonair partner of the main protagonist Lupin was depicted wearing a Zenith A384 on two occassions of the first episode. And in the final episode of the first series, Jigen appeared to be somewhat of a Zenith collector and wore a different chronograph with a different panda dial. Both watches was not existing in the Zenith catalog at the time the anime was first shown.
And in 2019, Zenith decided to do a reverse tribute watch and made the Chronomaster Revival Lupin the Third, with the the design created in the first episode. This was a Japan exclusive and was limited to only 50 pieces. In 2020, the second version in the black and white panda was released as a 200 piece limited edition on the occasion of Zenith’s opening of its Ginza boutique in Tokyo.
Zenith also made a special piece unique, which recreated the spelling errors of the manga version for charity. This watch surfaced recently, and was sold by Phillips Auction in November 8, 2020 for CHF 189,000. The piece unique, which is true to the original anime depiction is shown on the insert of the photograph below. Note the spelling errors in the original anime which is captured in the piece unique. The Z and H was blacked out, as then (1971) the rights to the Zenith brand name in the US was now owned by the watchmaker yet. Also the word Automatic is also written as Automntic.
And now, this is the third and final edition, with an unusual combination of both dials in one. This is unusual not only for the creative inspirations, but also because a dial which is diagonally polarised into black and white is rare. We think, we have never seen one before. Let us know if you know of another watch which has a black and white theme, where the dark and light is dramatically portrayed across the dial.
Zenith Chronomaster Revival Lupin The Third – Final Edition
Retail price of the Zenith Chronomaster Revival of Lupin the Third – Final Edition is SGD 14,500 inclusive of GST.
Limited to 250 pieces, the Chronomaster Revival Lupin The Third – Final Edition combines two dials, featuring two distinct and asymmetrical halves combining all the elements from both the Zenith chronographs depicted in the first and final episode of the animated series’ first season. On one side, the first Chronomaster Revival Lupin The Third edition’s semi-glossy black dial with deep grey counters and golden applied markers and hands, and on the other side, the second edition’s creamy-white dial with contrasting black counters in a “panda” configuration with beige SuperLumiNova. Whimsical, playful and certainly polarizing, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to creating such a singular dial, which presented the teams at the Zenith Manufacture with a new and unprecedented kind of challenge.
A delicate and long process, the blank dial is first finished entirely in a silvery-white colour on the right half, then the black chronograph counters are milled while the rest of the dial is protected with a layer of transparent and colourless lacquer. As the second half of the dial must be painted black, the other white half of the dial is given a protective layer. If the protection isn’t correctly applied, colours can bleed into each other, ruining the dial. Another layer of complexity is added in that a third grey colour must be applied for the counters. With each step in the process, the chances of something going wrong increases. Successfully completing one dial is challenging enough. Reproducing the dual-dial effect with perfectly separated elements for an entire series proved nearly impossible, but the uniquely intriguing result made it well worth the effort.
This truly unequalled dial is housed in a 37mm titanium barrel-shaped case that is a reproduction of the 1969 A384 case in proportions and finish. It’s paired with a titanium ladder bracelet originally designed by the famed Gay Frères company with a distinctly retro touch. Beating within it is the El Primero automatic high-frequency integrated chronograph calibre, visible through the sapphire display back engraved with a drawing of Daisuke Jigen.
For those who missed out on the first and second special editions or simply wish to complete their set and enjoy the dial’s dual personalities, The Chronomaster Revival Lupin The Third – Final Edition is available at Zenith physical boutiques and online boutiques around the world.
Zenith Chronomaster Revival Lupin The Third – Final Edition Specifications
Key points: Original 1969 case with 37 mm diameter. Automatic El Primero column-wheel chronograph movement. Split dial taking inspiration from the former 2 Editions. Limited edition of 250 pieces. Movement: El Primero 400 Automatic
Frequency: 36,000 VpH (5 Hz)
Power reserve: min. 50 hours
Functions: Hours and minutes in the centre. Small seconds at nine o’clock. Chronograph: central chronograph hand, 12-hour counter at six o’clock, 30-minute counter at three o’clock. Tachymetric scale. Date indication at 4:30 Case: 37-mm
Dial: Black & white Water-resistance: 5 ATM
Hour-markers: Rhodium-plated or Gold-plated, faceted and coated with Beige SuperLuminova ®SLN Hands: Rhodium-plated or Gold-plated, faceted and coated with Beige SuperLuminova ®SLN
Bracelet & Buckle: Titanium “ladder” bracelet and double folding clasp.