Zenith releases the latest update to its ‘Open Heart’ collection with the new Chronomaster Open. The new model comes on a stainless steel bracelet and a 1/10th of a second movement.
Review: Zenith’s 2022 El Primero Chronomaster Open
The Case and Dial
In 2003, Zenith introduced the Chronomaster Open with the aim of making the high frequency balance wheel of its El Primero calibre as prominently visible as possible. The Chronomaster Open was an instant hit, lauded for its daring design that is often imitated but never matched. For Zenith, the partially open dial has remained a prominent feature in many of its Chronomaster references for the past decade.
Revisiting the iconic tri-colour dial, the latest iteration of the Chronomaster Open retains the same with an additional transparent disc subdial. The transparent hesalite crystal element that serves as a readable sub-dial allows more of the dial to be open to view the silicon star-shaped escape wheel while keeping the 60 second markers.
The opening itself has also been reinterpreted, foregoing the former version’s applied frame and instead opting for circular openings with chamfered edges, revealing the movement with more straight bridges and a more contemporary grey tone.
Catering to the prevalent demand for watches with more modest proportions, the round case now measures 39.5mm wide compared to the previous 42mm model, with slimmer lugs and more pronounced polished bevelling. The steel bracelet option follows the contours and mixed polished and satin-brushed finishes of the case.
Visible through the sapphire display back, the El Primero 3604 1/10th of a second automatic chronograph movement is a modified version of the 3600 that debuted in the Chronomaster Sport, featuring an open base plate and bridges that allow for a clearer view of the high-frequency 5Hz escapement with lubricant-free silicon escape wheel and pallet lever. The automatic winding mechanism with an open star-shaped oscillating mass efficiently delivers a power reserve of 60 hours.
The key improvement in this iteration is the downsizing from 42mm to 39mm. But the tachymeter is now at the rehaut, and the applied indices and logo seems more cluttered than before. The loss of size does come at the loss of space on the dial which makes the open heart design seem less balanced.
Pricing and Availability
Sold at all Zenith boutiques and authorized retailers around the world, the Chronomaster Open is available in steel with a white or black dial, with either a steel bracelet or cordura-effect rubber strap. A rose gold version featuring a white dial with a blue cordura-effect rubber strap is also introduced in the new line, along with a boutique-exclusive edition in steel with a blue dial and steel bracelet.
The watch is priced at CHF 9,900 for steel.