The first Range Rover was drawn up in 1969, the same year the Zenith El Primero chronograph movement came to market, claiming the title of the world’s first self-winding chronograph movement. Now the two are united with the El Primero Range Rover Special Edition, the first wristwatch resulting from Zenith’s recently inked partnership with Land Rover.
Like its namesake SUV, the Zenith Range Rover wristwatch is intended to be functional rather than flashy. The dial is a restrained dark grey with vertical brushing, with “Range Rover” in diminutive script at 12 o’clock. Another subtle detail that alludes to Range Rover is the open tail of the centre seconds hand, a form that mimics the motif of the SUV’s.
The case is classic El Primero, 42mm in diameter and 12.75mm high, with the narrow bezel as well as angular and sloped lugs characteristic of the design. What makes it unusual is the material: ceramised aluminium. This means the material boasts the lightness of aluminium – the watch weighs just 40g or so – with the scratch-resistance of ceramic.
Essentially aluminium covered with a ceramic layer created via chemical process known as electrolytic oxidation, ceramised aluminium is the same material Panerai named Composite.
While Zenith has used ceramised aluminium in certain components of past models, including for the inner case of the El Primero Lightweight. The El Primero Range Rover Special Edition, however, is the first instance where the entire case is made of ceramised aluminium.
Inside the ceramised aluminium case is the El Primero 400B, the classic Zenith automatic chronograph movement that is high-frequency, meaning it runs at 36,000 beats per hour. One feature distinguishes it from the ordinary El Primero: both the Zenith and Range Rover logos on the rotor.
The El Primero Range Rover Special Edition is fitted to a rubber strap covered with ivory or blue perforated calfskin, the exact same hide used for Range Rover interiors.
The El Primero Range Rover Special Edition is the first watch in the Zenith-Land Rover tie-up, with more watches inspired by the automaker’s vehicles expected in the coming years.
Price and availability
The El Primero Range Rover Special Edition (ref. 24.2040.400/27.R797) is priced at US$7700, or €7900 including 19% value-added tax.Back to top.