Katherine S. Cunanan
August 5, 2022     |    

Go For Gold And Then Some

How do you improve on a watch so successful it won a Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2021 prize? You go for gold. In this (watch) case, Zenith is making the sporty chronograph even more appealing. They’re keeping what works and throwing in a little more color.

The Zenith Chronomaster Sport first caught our attention in 2021. It was sporty, handsome, and felt good on the wrist. The overlapping subdials in different colors was a fan-favorite aspect, and with the black ceramic bezel, the whole look was powerful without being overbearing.

It seems others felt the same way, as during the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2021, the Zenith Chronomaster Sport brought home the Chronograph Watch Prize. We described the watch back then as sleek and strong, with a cool-to-the-eye color palette.

Building on that success, Zenith CEO Julien Tornare said, “In just one year, the Chronomaster Sport has catapulted into becoming one of the most sought-after modern chronograph watches, as well as a significant pillar for Zenith that brings together our unique know-how in high-frequency chronographs with a distinctive aesthetic direction. Today, we’re pleased to expand the collection with new versions and materials that bring another dimension to the Chronomaster Sport.”


If it ain’t broke
As watch lovers know, and watch newbies will learn, a chronograph is a watch that has a stopwatch feature built into it. The pushers on the side, usually flanking the crown, are a telltale sign that the watch is a chronograph.

The three subdials do more than just add visual detail, they are integral to the chronograph function. Each subdial provides relevant information. In this case, the subdial at the 9 is for the small seconds; the 60-minute counter is at the 6; and the 60-second counter is at the 3. For the Chronomaster Sport, the subdials are even more interesting because each one had a distinct color — grey, anthracite (or dark grey, almost black), and blue.

Some features on this new watch are also familiar. Take the date window, for example. Even back in early 2021, we noted how the date window matched the dial color. These new models stay true to that and honestly, the design is so clean that you might miss seeing the date window at first (it’s tucked in at 4:30). Besides, you’re likely to be focused on the three subdials anyway. The tricolor is really eye-catching.

If you feel like having little more multicolor on your wrist, then the only two-tone Chronomaster Sport here (reference 51.3100.3600/69.M3100) is for you. The pairing of the stainless steel and 18k rose gold is a little more showy, but it is a nice look. The silver-toned sunray patterned dial is a more sedate backdrop to the tricolor subdials. The gold bezel and pushers round out this look.

Another interesting and somewhat familiar aspect is the bracelet. Back in 2021, there were more options available, but this year Zenith has chosen to focus on the 3-link metal bracelet. Good call, in my opinion, as the 3-link is a cleaner look than a 5-link style, and the metal creates a seamless aesthetic that allows the eye to focus on the dial (and those gorgeous subdials; can you tell I like them?).

Reference No: 51.3100.3600/69.M3100
Reference No: 18.3101.3600/21.M3100

The Chronomaster Sport with the black dial (reference 18.3101.3600/21.M3100) is imposing but in a very good way. The black lacquered dial seems to suggest strength and power, especially as paired with the 18k rose gold. Rose gold and black are a classic and formidable combination. Adding interest to this powerful watch is the bracelet in rose gold with two different finishes.


A little something new
Three of the four watches here are have the El Primero 3600 automatic movement. One Chronomaster Sport model (reference no. 18.3101.3600/69.M3100), the rose gold with a white dial, has the El Primero 3604 automatic movement. Both the 3600 and the 3604 movements are in-house, and are able to measure and display 1/10th of a second. The matte white dial of the Chronomaster Sport here seems a little stark, but the warmth of the rose gold evens it all out.

All models have Zenith and Chronomaster Sport on the dial along with the Zenith star logo, right beneath the 12. The cases are 41 mm in diameter, resting right in the middle of the men’s watch size range. The 41 mm might be a tad large in case a lady were to borrow one of these Chronomaster Sports.

Reference No: 18.3101.3600/69.M3100
Reference No: 03.3103.3600/69.M3100

Worth it
And if I were to borrow one, it would definitely be the Chronomaster Sport Boutique Edition (reference 03.3103.3600/69.M3100). Ironically this ‘go for gold’ plan resulted in a showstopping watch that has no gold. Remember the watch from 2021 with the black bezel? Perhaps that was an inspiration point for this model.

The Chronomaster Sport Boutique Edition is stainless steel, with a tricolor ceramic bezel. Yes, another point of tricolor interest is on this watch: the bezel echoes the colors of the three subdials, and goes smoothly with the silver-toned sunray-patterned dial. It is pure perfection and synergy. The watch is flawless for the gents; for the ladies who decide to borrow it or purchase it for themselves, it might be a bit heavy on the wrist, since ladies watches are usually smaller, but it will be worth it.


Let’s wait and see
Will these new models of the Zenith Chronomaster Sport be award-winning as well? There’s a good chance, but we’ll have to see what the watch gods and goddesses decide. With or without an award, the Zenith Chronomaster Sport is worthy of the gold.


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