El Primero Heritage 146 - Thoughts/Experiences?
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  1. #1
    Member Brovsko's Avatar
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    El Primero Heritage 146 - Thoughts/Experiences?

    Hello Gents,

    I've always been enamored with the El Primero but have never found a model that ticked all the boxes for me. Recently I tried on the Heritage 146 blue dial and was very impressed by the clean, simple design and beautiful finishing. Does anyone else have experience with this model? How has it held up in your collection over time?

    Thanks!


    - Brovsko

  2. #2
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    Re: El Primero Heritage 146 - Thoughts/Experiences?

    I didn't buy it, but I tried it on several times. I find the blue to be sharper than the brown version. It's a really nice watch and if I didn't have my tricolor I probably would've bought one. That model has also been discontinued by Zenith, so it might get harder to source one down the line. Good luck!
    tempus fugit.

  3. #3
    Member issey.miyake's Avatar
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    Re: El Primero Heritage 146 - Thoughts/Experiences?

    I looked at this watch and passed because of the cost in AU. The blue is definitely the colour I’d go for.

    If you like it then pull the trigger!


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    Re: El Primero Heritage 146 - Thoughts/Experiences?

    Pics?


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    Re: El Primero Heritage 146 - Thoughts/Experiences?

    I owned the Zenith Heritage 146 for a time. I ended up selling it. The case dimension/design/workmanship was flawless. It appears to be the same case as the El Primero 38.5. And the blue color of the dial was sublime.

    But in the end, the watch is undermined by very poor legibility. Obviously I knew this wasn't going to have pilot watch legibility, but I found the watch almost unusable most of the time.

    Check out the picture below (not mine); this is precisely what I saw about 80% of the time I looked down at the watch. The hour and minute hands are simply too small and thin, and they have no lume or coloring to make them stand out from the dial. With the AR from the crystal, the chromed hands tended to blend into the dark blue dial under most lighting conditions.

    Every time I looked down at the watch, I found myself rotating it back and forth on the wrist, just to try to read the time. And it goes without saying, those legibility issues make the chrono function (with its even smaller hands) almost useless. In the end, it's a beautiful piece of engineering and design, but if you cannot really read it, what's the point.

    Name:  146.png
Views: 65
Size:  1.13 MB
    Last edited by Mark.W; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:30.
    issey.miyake and thisisjlai like this.

  7. #6
    Member issey.miyake's Avatar
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    Re: El Primero Heritage 146 - Thoughts/Experiences?

    That’s too bad because as you said it is a beautiful piece!
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  8. #7
    Member Brovsko's Avatar
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    Re: El Primero Heritage 146 - Thoughts/Experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark.W View Post
    I owned the Zenith Heritage 146 for a time. I ended up selling it. The case dimension/design/workmanship was flawless. It appears to be the same case as the El Primero 38.5. And the blue color of the dial was sublime.

    But in the end, the watch is undermined by very poor legibility. Obviously I knew this wasn't going to have pilot watch legibility, but I found the watch almost unusable most of the time.

    Check out the picture below (not mine); this is precisely what I saw about 80% of the time I looked down at the watch. The hour and minute hands are simply too small and thin, and they have no lume or coloring to make them stand out from the dial. With the AR from the crystal, the chromed hands tended to blend into the dark blue dial under most lighting conditions.

    Every time I looked down at the watch, I found myself rotating it back and forth on the wrist, just to try to read the time. And it goes without saying, those legibility issues make the chrono function (with its even smaller hands) almost useless. In the end, it's a beautiful piece of engineering and design, but if you cannot really read it, what's the point.

    Name:  146.png
Views: 65
Size:  1.13 MB
    thanks for the input. It does seem like legibility is poor on this model. I'll have to test it out a bit more at my AD before making a decision.

  9. #8
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    Re: El Primero Heritage 146 - Thoughts/Experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brovsko View Post
    thanks for the input. It does seem like legibility is poor on this model. I'll have to test it out a bit more at my AD before making a decision.
    Yeah, I've added a few more photos from the net to illustrate this phenomenon, below. I've included photos of both dial variants (and one is of the limited edition Hodinkee version). As you can see, the issue is really the hands, not the dial. Most of these photos were professionally taken with every reason to make it look as legible as possible. The last image, as you can tell from the reflections, was under direct fluorescent lights.

    These photos represent about the "best" you'll get legibility-wise, and was about as good as it ever got for me when I owned the watch. I could always make out the time by rotating the watch on the wrist, but it is not the type of watch where you just look down and, bam, you know the time.

    But please be careful about looking at it at the AD, I didn't see the legibility issue when I bought mine because the AD had recessed ceiling halogen spotlights directly above the watch case, and under that specific lighting, it looked not great but acceptable. I didn't think to take it outside and look at it in the sunlight to get a better test of its legibility. Had I done that, I probably wouldn't have bought the watch. (Zenith if you're reading this (as I've been told you guys sometimes scan these forums), please do something about those hands! This is otherwise a stunning and incredible watch, and no one in the market even comes close to making an elegant dress chrono at this price point.)

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    Last edited by Mark.W; 3 Weeks Ago at 20:34. Reason: More photos

  10. #9
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: El Primero Heritage 146 - Thoughts/Experiences?

    Maybe they were influenced by J-C Biver, the inventor of the all black Hublot - since "you don't wear such watches to tell the time, you wear them to know that you have a piece of craftsmanship on your wrist" (or words to that effect)!!! The designers toned that all black watch down a little at the time, providing facetted hands so that you could at least read the time in some positions.....

    Hartmut Richter

  11. #10
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    Re: El Primero Heritage 146 - Thoughts/Experiences?

    before i knew the brand, there was a silver dial model like this that was the first zenith i ever loved. glad i didn't buy it b/c my now older eyes would be f'd trying to read it at a quick glance.

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