By Zahra Al-Kateb
Swiss watch makers Zenith and iconic British car manufacturer Land Rover have come together in a joint venture to launch El Primero Range Rover Special Edition.
Unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, the El Primero Range Rover chronograph watch pays tribute to the first luxury SUV with the brushed dial bearing the inscription “Zenith Range Rover”. Featuring a streamlined, subtly curved and inimitable design, Zenith’s latest timepiece is clothed in an aluminium “bodywork” – a delicately understated nod to the Range Rover chassis – that surrounds the 42mm-diameter matte black ceramic casing.
The intricate design accommodates both fashion and function, as its high frequency mechanism boasts water-resistance of up to 100 meters, while being topped by a cambered sapphire crystal bearing the “El Primero Range Rover / Special Edition” engraving.
At the heart of this special Range Rover edition is the automatic El Primero 400B movement. Beating at 36,000 vibrations per hour enables it to power a tenth of a second display, allowing its “engine” to be a worthy heir to the world’s most accurate series-made chronograph developed by Zenith in 1969.
“The Zenith El Primero is one of the most distinctive watch designs ever produced, in my view. Therefore it has been imperative to honor and respect this iconic design. It had to remain unmistakably an El Primero, but allude to Range Rover DNA,” says Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Chief Design Officer.
“We looked to the reductive nature of a modern Range Rover interior and the Zenith team translated that into the dial of the watch, keeping it simple and unfussy. The matte finish simultaneously suggests understatement, sophistication and durability – like a Range Rover, it’s an object you look at and immediately feel an emotional connection,” adds McGovern.
The legendary partnership aims to celebrate 1969 – a year that witnessed important milestone launches for both brands. For Zenith, it presented the famous El Primero chronograph movement – the most accurate in the world; while the British car maker Land Rover famously launched the first luxury four-wheel drive, the iconic Range Rover.
Aldo Magada, President and CEO of Zenith said: “The match between our two brands is very strong. Zenith and Range Rover are both pioneers in our respective industries, and we both create unique, innovative products. Through timeless design, both brands express authentic luxury. The Zenith team is very excited to start this long-term partnership with Range Rover, another superb brand and kindred spirit.”