Zenith El Primero Buying Advice
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  1. #1
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    Zenith El Primero Buying Advice

    I'm in the market for a used El Primero.
    I've done the basic research, but is there anything about these watches that I should particularly look for or know?

  2. #2
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    Re: Zenith El Primero Buying Advice

    1. There is no hacking
    2. Crown position '0' is for winding, position '1' sets time, position '2' sets date
    3. Two sizes 38 and 42
    4. The overlapping dials were changed back in 2016/17 (not sure exactly when)
    5. If buying used, the 38mm has two types of sub-dials that vary in size
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  3. #3
    Member Akendal9's Avatar
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    Re: Zenith El Primero Buying Advice

    I would also ensure you try one on. I was dead keen on the classic 38mm, but was disappointed how it wore. A little undersized for me. This was such a bummer as I had researched and chosen a dial colour, only to be let down by the size. I’ll stick with the Speedy as my historical chrono for now.


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    Re: Zenith El Primero Buying Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Akendal9 View Post
    I would also ensure you try one on. I was dead keen on the classic 38mm, but was disappointed how it wore. A little undersized for me. This was such a bummer as I had researched and chosen a dial colour, only to be let down by the size. I’ll stick with the Speedy as my historical chrono for now.


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    This was exactly my experience. Lusted after one for some time but once I picked one up I just Derek like it is too small for my 7” wrist. Fantastic piece though..
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  6. #5
    Member denmanproject's Avatar
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    Re: Zenith El Primero Buying Advice

    Don’t pay retail

  7. #6
    Member transporter305's Avatar
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    Re: Zenith El Primero Buying Advice

    +1 on all the previous advice. Size is a matter of personal preference. I’m perfectly happy with the 38mm on my 7.5” wrist.

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  8. #7
    Member Fantasio's Avatar
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    Re: Zenith El Primero Buying Advice

    When I was buying my EP I tried both 38 and 42 mm models. 38 felt a little bit too small, but 42 felt way too big and didn't look right to me. I went with 38 and very soon it felt just perfect. In my opinion 38 mm is what it's supposed to be, same size as original A386.

    Quote Originally Posted by Akendal9 View Post
    I would also ensure you try one on. I was dead keen on the classic 38mm, but was disappointed how it wore. A little undersized for me. This was such a bummer as I had researched and chosen a dial colour, only to be let down by the size.

  9. #8
    Member Kilograph's Avatar
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    Re: Zenith El Primero Buying Advice

    For reference I'm posting my 42mm on my 7" wrist. I'm sort of back and forth on the size. After wearing a Panerai, this seems small. After wearing an Explorer it seems too large. Overall though I couldn't get the 38mm because the dial proportions look off to me and I hate the date at 4:30.

    Some things I noticed after finally getting one:
    The start and stop pusher needs more force than my Speedmaster. Its still satisfying but I was unprepared and thought I'd break it.
    The reset pusher by contrast is very, very soft. A little odd but nice.
    Mine is running consistently at about +4spd.
    Starting the chrono function from 0 jumps a little at the start.
    The chrono minute subdial ticks over at exactly 0. Not before or after but right on the nose. You might notice sort of charge before it ticks over though.
    Date seems to change on mine between 12:08 and 12:10 am.
    And lastly, if you haven't tried one on yet, the day it arrives you'll lose about 2hrs of your day checking the time, taking it off to look at the movement, and timing just about everything. Plan accordingly.

    Oh, and don't rush into a purchase, buy the seller, etc etc etc :)

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    fskywalker likes this.
    Amateur warch junkie.

  10. #9
    Member jhauke's Avatar
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    Re: Zenith El Primero Buying Advice

    Been contemplating one of these for myself as well, but have only tried on models with leather strap. Anyone have feedback on one with a SS bracelet and its quality?

  11. #10
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    Re: Zenith El Primero Buying Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jhauke View Post
    Been contemplating one of these for myself as well, but have only tried on models with leather strap. Anyone have feedback on one with a SS bracelet and its quality?
    I have one with a bracelet as well as a spare one. I really like it, the clasp is great. No pinching of skin or pulling of hair. Brushed on the side, polished in the centre. It is bloody expensive to buy it standalone so I recommend getting it with the timepiece. Forgot to mention that the polished links will easily pick up scratches

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    Last edited by TAG Fan; November 4th, 2019 at 21:01.
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