By Ryan Walsh
From the time cars were produced, there has been competition between others, where time was the judge. Timepieces and automobile racing always have and always will go hand in hand. On February 18th, Zenith and the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) launched their partnership together. The event was aptly held at the Manhattan Classic Car Club and brings two tried-and-true names together. The SVRA is in its 38th racing season and has more than 5,000 drivers participating from around the world.
Amidst the fanfare of the classic and exotic cars and the big announcement, Zenith revealed the El Primero Chronomaster 1969 SVRA which displays the SVRA logo to celebrate their partnership and commitment to vintage racing. Zenith –being a brand that has been around for more than 150 years –knows a thing or two about vintage and how to propel the past into a visionary future. The brand has been a forerunner in creating chronometers with extreme accuracy; in fact the brand has 2,333 chronometry prizes to prove their capabilities.
The piece that was unveiled at the event to celebrate the partnership is a 1969 revival, with aperture to allow for visibility of the movement directly from the dial. The self-winding movement is mesmerizing thanks to its 36,000 vibrations per hour and El Primero chronograph accuracy down to the nearest 1/10th of a second. The movement used in this watch has been inspired by the original El Primero. The caliber 4061 (first introduced in 2012) has, of course, been redesigned and updated to offer a silicon escape wheel and COSC-certified chronometer status.
We are happy to see this watch and this partnership come into play. It gives the El Primero another chance to turn heads, which is exactly what SVRA does. The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association is the El Primero of vintage racing in the United States. SVRA is a club that focuses on historic and vintage cars, who, like the El Primero, get to live their heydays once more by racing across the country at 16 different racetracks. As time and technology moves on, cars and timekeeping do,too. But there is still a larger group of people in the world who feel the past times and vintage lifestyle is second to none.
Since Zenith’s heritage is never forgotten, the decision to partner with SVRA is a no brainer, after all, the group is one that is focused on nothing other than the heritage of racecars that have morphed today’s racecars. With SVRA by Zenith’s side, there will be no doubt that “Legends live forever.” Just 100 pieces of the El Primero Chronomaster 1969 SVRA Edition will be made, and each will retail for approximately $9,000.