At Baselworld this year, one of Zenith’s headliners is a new automatic watch with a new caliber. The Elite 6150 highlights the brand’s ability as a manufacture and will also be the basis for its future developments. Here’s a look at the watch and the movement within it.
A lot rides on Zenith’s history as a maker of movements. The most notable among them is the El Primero chronograph caliber, which has been a horological hallmark for decades. Another is the original Elite movement: Zenith introduced it in 1994, and it earned a “Best Movement of the Year” award at Basel. The new Elite 6150 movement is a reworking of that caliber, updated for contemporary watch design.
Although just 3.92 mm thick, the 6150 is an automatic movement. It is 13 ¼ lignes, or 30 mm in diameter. It beats at 4 Hz and runs in 35 jewels. In total it has 195 components. Its minimum power reserve is 100 hours, made possible by two mainspring barrels. This energy store and the increased diameter are the significant updates Zenith has undertaken in order to highlight the caliber for 2015. (The ’90s version of the Elite had a 55-hour power reserve and a width of 11 lignes.)
Based on its press release, the Elite 6150 looks like it will become a prominent base for Zenith to work from in the future. We may expect to see lots more watches with a 100-hour power reserve.
The watch housing this caliber shares its name. The Elite 6150 has a 42-mm case in stainless steel. It is 10 mm thick. There is a domed sapphire crystal with nonreflective coating above the silver-toned dial; and the dial itself slopes down towards its edges, echoing the crystal’s shape. Silver-colored hour markers are applied to the dial in narrow grooves; baton-shaped hands for hour, minutes and seconds are mounted at center. The caseback has a window to reveal the movement and the oscillating weight, decorated with côtes de Genève.
Polished lugs match the case’s finishing. The watch comes on a black strap made of alligator with a rubber lining. It has a tripe-blade folding clasp, also in stainless steel. The watch is water resistant to 30 meters. Price: $8,300.