In a first for watchmaking, an establishment watchmaker has collaborated with an auctioneer in creating a pair of limited edition wristwatches, resulting in the El Primero A386 designed by Phillips.
The tie-up has resulted in a pair of watches, one in steel with a “tropical” dial, and the other in striking black and gold – with the total number made being just 69, a nod to the year of the El Primero’s launch. The two watches are actually part of the same creative process that spawned the platinum El Primero A386 One-Off that will soon be sold for charity.
Aurel Bacs and Alex Ghotbi of Phillips were responsible for conceiving the look of both watches. According to Phillips, the duo imagined being designers of the brand-new El Primero in 1969, rather than looking back from today and creating a modern remake.
The yellow gold El Primero is consequently a combination that was common back in the day – think Rolex Daytona “John Player Special” though never produced by Zenith.
And the steel version is not actually a “tropical” dial, rather it is a reference to the brown colours fashionable in design and apparel during the 1960s. Hence it has its sub-dials in three shades of brown, a riff on the “tricolour” registers of the original A386.
And the steel watch comes with a bonus: a steel “ladder” bracelet with straight end links that’s a replica of the same found on the original A386.
Key facts and price
El Primero A386 Phillips Limited Edition
Ref. 30.P386.400/27.C841 (yellow gold)
Ref. 03.P386.400/07.C840 (steel)
Material: 18k yellow gold or stainless steel
Water resistance: 50m
Movement: El Primero 400
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph, date
Frequency: 36,000 beats per hour (5Hz)
Power reserve: 50 hours
Strap: Calfskin with pin buckle, additional steel bracelet for steel model
Limited edition: 49 in steel, 20 in 18k gold
Availability: Only at Phillips
Price: 9,900 Swiss francs in steel, and 19,900 francs in gold
For more information, visit Phillips.com.
Correction November 28, 2019: The price of the watch in steel and gold is 9,900 and 19,000 Swiss francs respectively, and not 8,000 and 20,000 Swiss francs as stated in an earlier version of the article.Back to top.