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Review: Zenith Elite Moonphase

To the moon
by Chester Lau on May 16, 2020
Reviews
Overview
Brand

Zenith

Complication / Type of Watch

Moonphase

Recommended Retail Price

S$9,900 stainless steel
$19,900 18 K rose gold

Zenith revamps the Elite collection of unisex watches. The classic line now comes with a new dial and case design. The Elite Moonphase is available in two sizes, 36 mm and 40.5 mm, understandably the equivalent of two sizes for ladies and men.

The Case and Dial

In this article, we feature the larger 40.5 mm variant. Available in stainless steel slate dial and rose gold white dial, the watch has a simple seconds subdial and moonphase design. It uses multi-faceted appliqué indices, a sector minutes ring and an embossed sunburst pattern dial. This sounds a little like Grand Seiko’s formula.

Zenith uses dauphine style hours and minutes hands, and accompanied with the tapered elongated hours indices reminds us of Vacheron’s Patrimony and Traditionelle.

The Elite Moonphase displays the moonphase at 6. A midnight blue circle on the lower half of the sunburst pattern dial takes on the same tone as the moonphase disc.

The Elite Classic and Elite Moonphase models are available in 40.5mm and 36mm case diameters, in stainless steel or rose gold. Besides the choice of dial colors, the wearer can give his or her Elite a more personal touch with a wide choice of straps in numerous materials and colors. The 36 mm variants are also available in a diamond bezel.

The Movement

Using the Elite Calibre 692, the watch keeps a clean thin side profile. The automatic movement beats at 28,800 VpH and has a 48 hours power reserve. The moonphase indication is adjusted via the crown. An open caseback reveals the decorated movement, a skeleton rotor bears the brand’s star logo and the collection name. Finishing is adequate at its price point, with machine assisted finish on the plates and bridges.

Final thoughts

We like the modern, flatter, straighter case of the new Elite, but have our reservations on wearing this model for men. As with Speedmaster to Omega, the El Primero will still be the first thing that comes to mind with Zenith. The A384 revival is the Zenith to get currently, unless one is only considering getting a dress watch. In terms of design, fit and function, the Elite Moonphase is a good-looking all rounder. It might also interest those who are looking for a couple watch. Otherwise, the small movement larger case – same movement on both 36 mm and 40.5 mm might be of concern for those who subscribe to the 1 movement 1 case fellowship.

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