Just a few weeks ago, we broke the news here about Zenith’s collaboration with Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo for a one-of-a-kind platinum Zenith El Primero watch. The one-off watch is to celebrate the brand’s 50th anniversary of the legendary movement — and it went up for auction this past weekend at the Geneva Watch Auction X. When the hammer finally hit, the watch had sold for a record high for the brand: $250,650. Proceeds went to benefit the Zoe4life charity that is part of the Childhood Cancer International network.
“The first and only Zenith A386 reference to be made of platinum, this unique El Primero was designed by Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo. The event crowns the Zenith El Primero 50th Anniversary celebrations throughout 2019, which included a World Tour across 5 continents – culminating in a gala show on the eve of the auction – to celebrate the first automatic integrated chronograph in watchmaking history introduced by Zenith in 1969.”
Gala Unveiling Of The El Primero Designed By Phillips
At the gala, Zenith presented a film that depicted a host of important events in the year 1969, from the moon landing to the pop-culture Woodstock festival and more. Naturally, for the watch world, the culmination was the unveiling of the world’s first automatic integrated chronograph, El Primero. (Note: We will be bringing an in-depth story to the forefront about the El Primero in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back.)
Julien Tornare, CEO of Zenith, recounted some memorable anecdotes collected by him from some of the people involved in the making of the El Primero, and Michel Vermot, son of Charles Vermot (one of the engineers involved in the making of the El Primero, and in saving it during the quartz revolution) was also in attendance, as well. Additionally the women founders of Zoe4Life told their story to the audience and paid tribute to Zenith for the charitable donation. Phillips even waived the traditional auction commissions.
“All of us at Zenith are so proud to be part of the still unfolding legend that began 50 years ago with the first (El Primero!) automatic integrated chronograph in watchmaking history,” says Tornare.
Two other versions of the El Primero were designed by Phillips, check back tomorrow for that story.