INTRODUCING: The Zenith Elite 6150

The story in a second:

If the El Primero is the most significant movement in Zenith’s history, the impressive new Calibre 6150 represents their step into the future.

If I asked you, dear reader, to picture a Zenith watch, I’d be willing to bet that 99% of you would imagine a sporty chronograph, powered by the brands famous El Primero movement. The El Primero was a pioneering movement – one of the first (Zenith would argue the first – hence El Primero) automatic chronograph movements developed. Zenith’s marketing department know they’re onto a winner with the El Primero story and have run with it hard over the last few years. But Zenith is more than the chronograph. They’re busy expanding into other market segments, as the elegant Elite 6150 demonstrates.

The Elite 6150 is a deceptively simple watch. At face value it’s a slim, simple and super restrained steel dress watch, 42mm wide and 10mm high – with steel, long baton hands and a silver dial. Basically everything is steel, which might make legibility an issue in the wrong light. The Elite 6150 is a classic dress watch, bordering on vintage, but only in the way timeless designs inevitably do. The indices are a nice touch – rather than being applied to the dial as you’d expect, they’re etched into the dial. And speaking of dials the Elite’s is wonderfully pared back. Zenith have resisted the urge to add extra text or flashy finishing and it pays off. On the wrist the Elite is unobtrusive – exactly what you want from this sort of watch.

But the real unexpected joy of this watch is the movement. Zenith could easily have put an entry-level automatic (or manual) movement into the watch and no one would have batted an eye. Instead they’ve used their impressive new Calibre 6150.The double-barrelled 6150 is slim for an automatic movement, at 3.92mm thick, but the real standout is the minimum of 100 hours (or 4 days) of power reserve. Every brand is busy developing entry level in-house movements that free them from Swatch Group supply constraints, and the 6150 is one of the most impressive of this new breed. Based on a movement developed in 1994 the 6150 is an excellent base for Zenith continue building on in coming years.