Zenith puts 1969 El Primero Icons up for sale online and at its new Le Locle boutique


Zenith is drawing attention to the recent opening of a retail boutique within its factory and headquarters facility in Le Locle, Switzerland, with the promotion of three additions to its Icons family of vintage watches.

Icons are sourced, authenticated and fully restored by the company’s Heritage Department.

They will be on sale at the Le Locle boutique, but also online at Zenith’s estore in the USA.


The three models are among the earliest examples of “Mark I” El Primero models from 1969, the birth year of Zenith’s automatic chronograph calibre.

Zenith El Primero G581

Part of the very first Zenith references intended to house the El Primero automatic high-frequency chronograph calibre, the G581 was ordered into production shortly after the movement’s launch in January 1969.

Crafted in 18ct yellow gold, the slim watch has the “panda” configuration of sub dials with golden applied markers.

Produced in a single batch of 150 pieces, the G581 is considered one of the rarest and most coveted pieces of El Primero lore.

Zenith El Primero G582

Launched alongside the G581 in 1969, the G582 has a golden dial with black counters and introduced features what would become signatures of the Zenith El Primero models including the date window at 4:30, the tachymeter scale surrounding the dial, the luminescent filled indexes and the red paddle-shaped chronograph second hand.

This “Mark I” example is from the very first production batch in 1969.

Zenith El Primero A386

Arguably the most significant of all the early El Primero stainless steel models, the A386 from 1969 set the tone of the design language that continues to influence Zenith to this day.

The tri-colour dial with decimal scale, the bezel-less round case and the pump-style pushers all made their El Primero debut in the A386.

What makes this particular example even more rare is that it was among the very first production batch of the model, which featured slightly different seamless lugs and a flat case back.

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