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ZENITH El Primero Pilot Diver Automatic Chronograph 3019PHC RARE Vintage 1972

£5,500.00Price
The ZENITH 
El Primero 
Automatic Chronograph 
PILOT DIVER 
Calibre 3019PHC
 
ALL ORIGINAL & Full Service 2018 
Bakelite Bezel 
 
Ref. 01-0190-415
  • Full Spec

    A Near Legendary Iconic Watch of The Early 70s Abeast of The Depths and The Air
     
    The ZENITH 
    El Primero 
    Automatic Chronograph 
    PILOT DIVER 
    Calibre 3019PHC
     
    ALL ORIGINAL & Full Service 2018 
    Bakelite Bezel 
     
    Ref. 01-0190-415
     
    One of Only 2500 reported Pilot Divers ever produced and 1/800 black dial Divers bezel configuration 
    Making the Zenith PILOT DIVER a "Rare Bird" indeed.
     
    This Zenith Pilot/Diver was produced from 1971/1972 to 1975 and production numbers are still debated; some sources talk about 2,500 pieces, while others state numbers as low as 1,000 pieces in different variations. The variations in question had mainly to do with different bezels: a diver’s bezel with a 1-55 graduation and an aviator’s bezel with numerals 1 through 12. The Pilot/Diver was introduced by Zenith in order to compete with the other well-known, high-class chronographs of the time, namely the Breitling Navitimer, various Heuers (Autavias & Carreras) and the Omega Speedmaster. The Zenith Pilot/Diver was strategically pitched to the market as a sport chronograph. 
     
    Its main characteristic included firstly its enormous size: at a time when 40mm watches were considered huge, the Pilot/Diver measured 44mm in diameter and 13.9mm in thickness – undoubtedly a big and hefty chronograph. Its second main feature was its twofold character. The different bezel transfigured the usage of the watch from a pilot to a diver chronograph. Thirdly, and most important, was its heart. The El-Primero 3019PHC, something that we will touch upon later.
     
    The Case 
    On the wrist, its size dominates one’s first impression; however, it is balanced by the excellently constructed tonneau-shaped case. From this perspective, it can be compared to the Heuer Autavia, although that one has a smaller diameter. The robust case features polished and brushed finish.
     
    The case is 44mm in diameter 45mm lug tip to lug tip and with a 22mm lug spacing. 
     
    The Bezel
    Black Bakelite Original 1972 bezel, bi-directional 60 click classic divers count up bezel, 
    Tritium lume triangle at 12 and it's easy to spot an original bezel with a later service replacement the earliest bezels have rounded edges whilst latter tringles are sharper points. 
     
    The Dial
     Like any other diver dial read apparatus or pilots dashboard instruments (and in this case both!)The Tool watch is designed to give maximum read clarity at a glance. 
    The crisp white detail on the stark black backdrop achieve this excellently, 
    with subsidiary dials for the 12-hour and 30-minute register and the constant seconds. Around the dial is a chapter ring with markers for the minutes, seconds and 1/5th seconds. There is an outer tachometer scale and finally, the aperture for the date is positioned between 4 and 5. Despite all this information, the dial is not cluttered at all. 
     
    All this visible under the original Saphire glass crystal. 
     
    The Band 
    Original ZENITH "Big Link" bracelet, one of Two variation bracelets originally sold with the "Pilot Diver" the most common being the Gay Freres "lobster" band Rarity aside I prefer the Zenith Bracelet 
     
    The Movement 
    The El Primero
     
    It was in 1962 that the basics of the El Primero movement first took shape on the drawing board. The idea was simple: to create an iconic watch that would be launched in time for the centenary of the Manufacture in 1965. The idea was simple, but the technical specifications were not. It was to be the first automatic chronograph ever. Better still, the caliber was to be fully integrated and designed as an inseparable whole. There would be no additional module, but instead a construction built around a column wheel and a central rotor mounted on ball bearings. It would also need to beat at a high frequency in order to be the world’s most accurate chronograph. To complicate matters still further, the movement was to be miniaturised and equipped with a date mechanism. All these factors amounted to an equation so complex that it would take seven years to solve it – four years past the anniversary date.