It’s not necessarily our MO to report on every new color addition that makes its way to the market. However, when a watch is in the form of the legendary A386 El Primero, it always catches our attention. The latest version of the Zenith Chronomaster Original “completes” the collection by bringing a logical option for buyers. Namely, there’s now a black dial with the familiar three-colored sub-dials.

I must admit that I was truly excited to write up the Zenith Chronomaster Original models when they came out back in July 2021. As an A386 owner, I always couldn’t help but wonder why Zenith had largely ignored its most famous classic watch. Sure, there were plenty of limited-edition models, and modern renditions also used the basic form. But still, this was the brand’s opus, and why shouldn’t it exist as a regular offering? Thankfully, the Chronomaster Original models go a long way towards satisfying us. Now, roughly two years later, there’s a slight update that comes in the form of a black-dialed take on the classic Chronomaster Original.

The Zenith Chronomaster with a black tricolor dial

Quite simply, the newest Chronomaster Original is the negative of the most traditional version of the A386. While the tricolor sub-dials keep the same blue, dark gray, and light gray palette, everything around them reverses. Essentially, the eggshell white changes to matte black. The outer 1/10th-of-a-second and “decimal” scales have also changed accordingly. Happily, Zenith also addressed the four-thirty date window by making its background consistent with the dial color, something that many brands seem to overlook. The result is a sharp-looking chronograph that gives off a slightly dressier vibe. It may also make the watch appear smaller on the wrist. Fans of the brand will note that this brings the Chronomaster Original options more in line with the Chronomaster Sport models as there are both black and white-dialed versions.

As far as the specifications, everything remains the same, including the 38mm stainless steel case. It also means that the new black-dialed Chronomaster Original will be available on either a bracelet or leather strap. This model’s strap is black calfskin and comes with a folding buckle.

Zenith Chronomaster Original black dial

The El Primero 3600 movement

Inside, Zenith uses the El Primero 3600 caliber, which predictably cranks away at 36,000vph, hacks, and has a 60-hour power reserve. It’s always wise to remind would-be buyers that while this dial looks like a traditional chronograph setup, it’s a tad deceiving. The 9 o’clock sub-dial shows running seconds, the 6 o’clock register shows minutes, and the 3 o’clock sub-dial counts seconds up to 60 once the movement is engaged. The red central chronograph hand traverses the dial every 10 seconds. So yes, this is a different type of movement that places a strong emphasis on being able to visually measure times to 1/10th of a second.

Zenith Chronomaster Original black dial

Pricing and final thoughts

Pricing for the black-dialed tricolor Chronomaster Original is set at €9,900 on the strap and €10,400 on a bracelet. That pricing is consistent with other serial-production models in the lineup. The watch is available on the official Zenith site and at authorized dealers (i.e. it is not a boutique-only special). As far as my thoughts, I can only support the move to add another attractive variant. These days, we tend to focus on new releases and forget about great watches that are available without a wait. If nothing else, this latest colorway reminds us about the Chronomaster Original and how good it is that Zenith has made it a regular-production watch. As always, we appreciate you sharing your thoughts below.

Watch specifications

Chronomaster Original (black tricolor dial)
03.3200.3600/22.M3200 (bracelet) / 03.3200.3600/22.C908 (strap)
Matte black with blue, dark gray, and light gray sub-dials, applied indices, date window
Case Material
Stainless steel
Case Dimensions
38mm (diameter) × 47mm (lug-to-lug) × 12.9mm (thickness)
Domed sapphire with antireflective treatment on both sides
Case Back
Stainless steel with sapphire exhibition window
Zenith El Primero 3600 — self-winding 1/10th-second chronograph, 36,000vph frequency, 60-hour power reserve, 35 jewels, column wheel
Water Resistance
Stainless steel three-row bracelet (19mm width) with folding clasp or black calfskin leather with folding clasp
Time (hours, minutes, small seconds), chronograph (60-minute and 60-second counters with central 1/10th-second hand), date
€10,400 (bracelet) / €9,900 (strap)
Two years (plus three additional years after online registration)