Affectionately nicknamed the “Cover Girl” by vintage watch collectors and El Primero aficionados, following its appearance on the cover of a book about Zenith history, the A3818 was introduced in 1971 for a brief time and in limited quantities, making it one of the most elusive and sought-after vintage El Primero watches. Today, Zenith is bringing back this sporty-chic chronograph icon in a limited-edition Revival series of 100 pieces.
One of the most distinguishing features of the original A3818, compared to other early El Primero watches, is its dial. Instead of the signature Zenith tri-colour chronograph sub-dials or high-contrast “panda” dials, the A3818 featured a textured blue dial – something of a rarity back in 1971. In the Revival series, the satin-brushed finish and petrol blue tone of the dial have been preserved, as have the “pyramid” seconds track and alternating grey and black colours on the sub-dial rings. Giving a uniquely modern twist on this historical reference and turning up its legibility in the dark, the pyramid track, tachymeter scale, logo and text are done in Super-LumiNova®. On the reverse side of the case is another welcome evolution from the original A3818, with a sapphire display back exposing the El Primero calibre.
Each part of the A3818’s 37mm faceted stainless-steel case, including the pump-style pushers, is faithful to the original 1971 model. Completing the vintage look and feel of the watch, the A3818 Revival comes on a steel “ladder” bracelet, a modern remake of the Gay Frères bracelets that became emblematic of the early El Primero watches.