Zenith partnered with British luxury automaker Land Rover in 2016, launching a limited-edition chronograph watch with design elements inspired by the brand’s Range Rover all-terrain vehicle (launched in 1969, the same year as Zenith’s groundbreaking chronograph movement, the El Primero). The second timepiece inspired by the brands’ collaboration — this week’s Watch to Watch — debuts this year: the Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Sport Land Rover BAR Team Edition.
The initials at the end of the watch’s lengthy moniker stand for Ben Ainslie Racing, the Land Rover-sponsored British challenger for the 35th America’s Cup, a team put together and captained by four-time Olympic gold medalist (and 34th America’s Cup winner) Sir Ben Ainslie. As with last year’s El Primero Range Rover Special Edition, which featured aesthetic elements and materials inspired by the vehicle, this timepiece bears the influence of the Land Rover BAR team’s America’s Cup class R1 yacht, with a rubber strap coated with carbon fiber, the same material used in the construction of the boat.
The watch’s stainless steel case measures 45 mm in diameter and 14.05 mm thick and has a domed sapphire crystal, with nonreflective treatment on both sides, over the dial. The slate gray dial has a velvet-texture finish and the tricompax subdial layout familiar to fans of Zenith’s El Primero series — 30-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock, 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock, and running seconds at 9 o’clock, along with a distinctive red central chronograph seconds hand. The date appears in a window at 6 o’clock and the dial’s flange is imprinted with a tachymeter scale.
The movement, naturally, is a Zenith El Primero — Caliber 400 B, to be precise, with automatic winding, an integrated column wheel-controlled chronograph function, a 36,600-vph balance frequency, and a rotor with côtes de Genève finishing. The wearer can watch it ticking though a sapphire caseback adorned with the Land Rover BAR Team logo. The carbon fiber-coated strap is secured with a stainless steel triple folding clasp. Limited to 250 pieces, the Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Sport Land Rover BAR Team Edition is priced at $8,100.