El Primero 400 Accuracy
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  1. #1
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    El Primero 400 Accuracy

    As someone new to this movement I wanted to get a good sense of its accuracy. It would be really appreciated if forum members could offer specific measurements in seconds per day. If anyone put this on a timeographer and had some numbers it would be great. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: El Primero 400 Accuracy

    All I can say is that on-the-wrist accuracy of my Cal. 410 over several months was only 2.5 seconds deviation between lowest and highest daily rate. Better than a Rolex Daytona (4 seconds over two weeks; figures from a test in a German watch magazine around the same time).

    Hartmut Richter

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    Re: El Primero 400 Accuracy

    Mine is running from +1,3 to +2,8 sec/day on average.





    Sent from Maxwell Smart's shoe.

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    I called Zenith today at the NJ USA service number to ask what their official accuracy specification for this movement was. They told me that since it's not COSC rated that their specification for this was between -10 to +20 seconds per day guaranteed accuracy. In a state of disbelief I clarified my question (yes was this an El Primero 400 they were quoting for?) and to repeat. But that's what they said. Comments and clarification from forum members gladly appreciated.

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    Re: El Primero 400 Accuracy

    well I received a NOS rainbow flyback and it was running -22 s/per day and had poor amplitude...needless to say it is in for a service! watch should be much closer tolerances and my watch maker felt that was not problem but it needed service.

  7. #6
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    Re: El Primero 400 Accuracy

    If they guarantee something, they are bound to fix it if it's out. So they set themselves somewhat low standards. Of course the movement can perform much, much better (and most of them out of the factory do so). But if it runs at -9 or +19 seconds, they can still claim to be within their standards.

    Furthermore, this raises the question of what exactly these values relate to. Most people would measure accuracy by the amount that the watch gains or loses per day. However, as I always state, fixing this is a matter of pushing a lever or turning a screw. If my Zenith had such large deviations around the mean daily rate (i.e. if it was running at an average of ±0 seconds but some days, it gained up to 20 seconds, others it lost up to 20 seconds), I'd be pretty disgusted! But noone ever asks about that - they are happy if the watch is running at an average of ±0 seconds.....

    Hartmut Richter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    If they guarantee something, they are bound to fix it if it's out. So they set themselves somewhat low standards. Of course the movement can perform much, much better (and most of them out of the factory do so). But if it runs at -9 or +19 seconds, they can still claim to be within their standards.

    Furthermore, this raises the question of what exactly these values relate to. Most people would measure accuracy by the amount that the watch gains or loses per day. However, as I always state, fixing this is a matter of pushing a lever or turning a screw. If my Zenith had such large deviations around the mean daily rate (i.e. if it was running at an average of ±0 seconds but some days, it gained up to 20 seconds, others it lost up to 20 seconds), I'd be pretty disgusted! But noone ever asks about that - they are happy if the watch is running at an average of ±0 seconds..... [IMG class=inlineimg]https://forums.watchuseek.com/images/smilies/rollingeyes.gif[/IMG]

    Hartmut Richter
    Your point is well taken, but in measuring timepiece accuracy manufacturers such as Rolex and Omega look to minimize both positional and average rates intraday day, not interday as you mention (although that should be the result of minimizing the former). COSC measures daily rate each day over 15 days. That Zenith won't make the same guarentee as those manufacturers do, or guarentee COSC standards (I personally wouldn't care if they didn't send it in for a certificate) given the price point is unfortunate. Proper regulation, which consists of adjusting the watch in multiple positions and for isochronism and temperature requires a lot of work. Rolex for example spends a great deal of money to automate that to superlative chronometer standards.

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    Re: El Primero 400 Accuracy

    i think it is a typical answer from NJ service center...since they seem to have issues. i would likely make a call to the headquarters in Europe and ask the same question.....

  10. #9
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: El Primero 400 Accuracy

    Yes, but they (Rolex) have to - they've committed themselves to it by their COSC testing and certification. And they also get the money back off the customer - their watches are about as expensive or more and they have the advantage of mass production (3/4 of a million watches a year to Zenith's 30-40000) to cut overall costs. The same goes for Omega.

    I know, I've heard of some Zenith owners complaining that their watch gained or lost a fair amount rather than running at near ±0 seconds. I never had that experience with mine: it always ran at a touch in the positive and the deviations (I actually monitored them several times daily, i.e. intraday) were minimal over a period of several months. From what I gather, most Zeniths run the same (several people report extreme accuracy and few complain about vastly off the mark daily rates).

    While I sympathise with people whose Zenith is rather off the mark, I would expect that - if this point is of such extreme importance to them - they learn about watch "accuracy" before they buy one and, during the sale, ask the vendor to demonstrate how accurate the various specimens of the watch they want to buy are (with an electronic timing machine) so that they can choose the most accurate one. If the vendor doesn't have one or doesn't want to put it into action in the presence of the customer, there are usually other stores to test before you make a final decision. In Germany, Wempe as an example have a "behind the counter" Witschi machine (plus a demagnetising machine) so they can test the watch on the spot.

    Hartmut Richter

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    Re: El Primero 400 Accuracy

    Quote Originally Posted by palletwheel View Post
    As someone new to this movement I wanted to get a good sense of its accuracy. It would be really appreciated if forum members could offer specific measurements in seconds per day. If anyone put this on a timeographer and had some numbers it would be great. Thanks!
    Do you own one or just researching? -10/+20 is close to the accuracy of Seiko SKX, not to be confused with some of the best movements in history - El Primero From my limited sample of 5 through the recent years... One ran about -8 sec/day consistently. That watch was the Chronomaster Triple Calendar Moonphase I believe Hartmut owns(410Z) from 1990's and has never been serviced. Was a catch and release for me. All the rest ran at or better than COSC. The best one I'm wearing today:

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    Hope this helps and let me know if you have any more questions.

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