Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow
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  • 1 Post By Michael Weare

Thread: Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow

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  1. #1
    Watchuseek Editor
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow

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    As all Zenith aficionados will know, El Primero, the first ever integrated automatic watch, beating at the elevated speed of 36,000 vibrations per hour with 1/10th second precision, was first introduced in 1969. To this day it is still regarded as the world’s most accurate series-produced chronograph.

    Zenith originally built the Rainbow Flyback model in 1997 based on technical specifications established for the French Air Force. The result was a rugged, high-performance timepiece capable of standing up to the most extreme conditions; a watch capable of maintaining excellent precision even in extreme conditions of use – including violent accelerations from 9 to 11 Gs, variations in pressure and temperature, as well as vibrations and magnetic fields.

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    The El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow is powered by the El Primero Calibre 405 B automatic movement built around a column wheel. The chronograph features a date display, a telemetric scale, and of course, the famous flyback function. This feature enables pilots to stop, start and restart the chronograph at a single press on the push-piece, compared with three presses required for a standard chronograph.

    The El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow is made from Alchron – a light and resistant titanium and aluminium alloy. The 43.5mm case is topped by a rotating bezel bearing a scratch-resistant aluminium ring. The movement can be seen through the transparent engraved sapphire case-back.

    On the dial, the minutes counter at 3 o’clock appears in colours enabling night-time readings in infrared-lit cockpits, as originally specified in cooperation with a fighter pilot, while the hours are displayed at 6 o’clock and the small seconds at 9 o’clock. The white superluminova hour-markers create a striking contrast with the black of the dial and case, while the chronograph sweep seconds hand stands out in red. The inner bezel ring bearing a telemetric scale creates an overall depth effect.

    This version (ref 03.2061.405/21.M2060) of the El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow comes on a stainless steel bracelet, there is no confirmation on price yet.


    Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow

    Steel bracelet

    El Primero 405B, automatic
    Calibre: 13 14’’’ (diameter: 30 mm)
    Thickness: 6.60 mm
    Components: 331
    Jewels: 31
    Frequency: 36,000 VpH – 5 Hz
    Power reserve: min. 50 hours
    Finishing: oscillating weight with
    “Côtes de Genève” pattern

    Hours and minutes in the centre
    Small seconds at 9 o’clock
    3-counter chronograph:
    – Central sweep seconds hand
    – 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock
    – 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock
    – Telemetric scale
    Date window at 6 o’clock

    Material: steel
    Unidirectional rotating bezel with black aluminium disc
    Diameter: 45.5 mm
    Opening diameter: 35 mm
    Thickness: 14.10 mm
    Glass: domed sapphire crystal glareproofed on both sides
    Case-back: transparent sapphire crystal
    Water-resistance: 10 ATM
    Dial: black with 30-minute counter in original colours
    Hour-markers: Arabic numerals in SLN C1 superluminova
    Hands: rhodiumed, faceted and coated with SLN C1 superluminova

    Visit the Zenith website
    Last edited by Michael Weare; July 8th, 2014 at 04:30.
    Brisman likes this.

  2. #2
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Re: Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow

    Thanks for showing that. It's nice to see that the Stratos models are moving closer and closer to the original Rainbows.....!

    Hartmut Richter

  3. #3
    Member D N Ravenna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Roswell, GA

    Re: Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow

    Yup. I believe that is what I saw at the factory!

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Re: Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow

    1. I wonder why Zenith does not add the weekday and month window of the cal. 410 under 12...
    2. Unifying the many kinds of different fonts (bezel, dial, sub-dials, telemeter scale and date disc) would be also a nice touch.
    3. Chrono pushers should be screw-down or even better usable underwater.
    4. A ceramic bezel, introduced on other Zenith sports model would be nice.
    5. This highly sports watch would deserve a much better bracelet clasp: single folding, double pushers, quick micro adjust.

    With this 5 improvement the new Rainbow could be the way best chrono of its category. Date-only manufacture chronos can be bought by almost all good brands: IWC, Omega, Breitling, etc. etc. A simple full calendar sports chrono with turning bezel is made today by Blancpain only, high case, no steel bracelet option, extremely high price, FP base movement are all downs. Zenith could offer here a very unique watch.

    Anyway, I like the watch style... my two cents only.


  5. #5
    Member SundayDuffer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Re: Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow

    I saw this on youtube which was posted back in 2011. What's the differences?
    Zenith El Primero Rainbow Fly-Back - YouTube

  6. #6
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Re: Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow

    The difference? The details. The one in the video is the original, late 1990s model ("Rainbow Flyback"), the one in the original post is the current model ("Stratos Rainbow Flyback"). There are some style differences: the hands, the date window, the dial font, the bezel, the chronograph pushers.....

    Hartmut Richter

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