Despite its slightly divisive birth last year, the wider community now seems to have firmly accepted Zenith’s Chronomaster Sport with open arms. A few of my friends and acquaintances have picked up the stainless steel version, and the feedback has been very positive. Zenith itself seems to believe in the collection, too, as evidenced by the new releases we see before us. First, we had a steel watch with a ceramic bezel. Then, we had a gold version with a ceramic bezel. Now Zenith has decided to introduce three new models in two-tone and gold with no ceramic bezels in sight.

Personally, I felt that the ceramic bezels were the one thing that made the Chronomaster Sport feel so modern compared to the A386. The A386 is a timeless model that transcends the vintage/modern classifications. But when Zenith slapped the ceramic bezel onto it, it was a controversial move. I wasn’t sold one way or another, but I could understand some folks’ internal conflicts. The new models eschew the ceramic bezel in favor of gold bezels. By comparison, the aesthetic is a lot softer and, in my opinion, it fits better with the original A386 blueprint. I think that these new models will not struggle to find approval.

The Chronomaster Sport — Now with extra gold!

Solid gold chronographs are nothing new to Zenith. There’s a precedent that even predates the El Primero. For 2022, Zenith has chosen to craft the Chronomaster Sport from solid rose gold. This includes the case, bracelet, bezel, pushers, and crown. This is opulent sportiness for the wrist. There is a choice of two dial colors (black or white) with the signature tri-colored sub-dials that make the El Primero chronographs so instantly recognizable. Golden hands and hours markers complete the decadence. A mixture of satin-brushed and polished surfaces ensures that the gold isn’t too “in your face”. The polished surfaces form the accents, and the brushed finishes do the heavy lifting.

Which gold Chronomaster Sport do I prefer?

Of the two options, I’m kind of stuck between the two as to which I prefer. That’s not because I love them both equally. While both models are certainly rather handsome, I don’t feel that either is quite “perfect”. Gun to my head, I’m going to play it safe with the black dial. I’m pleased to say that Zenith has color-matched the date wheel at four-thirty, so irrespective of which dial color you chose, it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.

I’d love to see an anthracite-gray dial option, as I think that’d be the perfect “in-between” complementary tone. Sadly, it would clash a little with the sub-dials, and you’d lose the wonderful tri-color effect. I also think a blue sunburst dial (much to the chagrin of my colleague, Gerard) could look rather nice too, but that would suffer from the same issue. I partly wonder if the tri-color is the reason that the black and white dials don’t quite sit perfectly in my eye. I’m not sure!

Too much gold? Gimme that two-tone!

Zenith has also released a two-tone option that is more subtle in its decadence if full gold is not your thing. The brand used rose gold for the bezel, crown, pushers, and bracelet mid-links. The case and the bracelet side-links use regular stainless steel to tone down the rose gold highlights. A silver sunburst dial ties the whole watch together. While the light gray sub-dial at 9 o’clock slightly blends into the dial, the tri-color effect is not entirely lost. Thankfully, there is just enough color difference between the dial and sub-dial, but it is close! I wonder if this dial might also be a good complement for the full-rose-gold models?

Beats by Zenith

All three watches use the newest version of Zenith’s famous high-frequency chronograph caliber, the El Primero 3600. Not only does it have a high beat rate of 36,000vph, but the chronograph mechanism is also geared directly to the escapement. This allows the central chronograph hand to make a ten-second sweep, precisely and legibly measuring times to 1/10th of a second. The El Primero 3600 has an extended power reserve of 60 hours, which is made even more impressive when you consider the fact this is a 5Hz movement. As you’d hope, with a movement as stunning as the El Primero, Zenith has made it visible through the sapphire display back. Look closely, and you’ll notice a blue column wheel peeking out from beneath the rotor marked with Zenith’s signature, the five-pointed star.

Zenith Chronomaster Sport Two-Tone and Rose Gold Price and availability

It’s funny — gold watches have turned me off for a long time. That still rings true for yellow gold, but I’m finding that rose gold is slowly turning my head. These new rose-gold-infused Chronomasters have only exacerbated this. If I’m honest with you, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that. I’ve often associated “discovering” a love for gold watches as something that would happen as I aged gracefully. I’m starting to notice this transition occurring before my eyes, and along with the occasional gray hair in the mirror, it is somewhat worrying. Oh well, perhaps it’s just time to embrace the salt-and-pepper hairdo and rock out with a gold watch? If so, I don’t think I could go too far wrong with the new Zenith Chronomaster Sport additions. I think I’ll take the two-tone, please. Available now online and in Zenith boutiques.

Zenith Chronomaster Sport Two-Tone (Ref: 51.3100.3600/69.M3100) — 16,900 CHF (ex taxes)
Zenith Chronomaster Sport Rose Gold (Ref: 18.3101.3600/21.M3100 & 18.3101.3600/69.M3100) — 37,900 CHF (ex taxes)

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