Zenith and Phillips Watches created a one-of-a-kind Ref. A386 El Primero in platinum with a Lapis Lazuli dial for the ZOE4LIFE foundation charity, that we wrote about last month, and that sold for CHF 250,000 at the Geneva Watch Auction X on November 9.

Following the presentation of the unique piece, Zenith and Phillips announced a second collaboration, limited to 69 pieces (which is the year the El Primero was born). Using the Ref. A386 design, two editions were created, one in gold (20 watches) and the other in stainless steel (49 watches).

Zenith and Phillips A386 El Primeros

Aurel Bacs, Senior Consultant at Bacs & Russo and Alex Ghotbi, Head of Watches Continental Europe & Middle East for Phillips provided their input to design these two special timepieces.

Zenith and Phillips A386 El Primeros

For the yellow gold El Primero model, they chose a black dial with gold subdials and gold print. With the stainless steel version, they chose brown terracotta subdials, a brown chapter ring, and white dial. Both versions have a classic look that takes you back to 1969, and accordingly, all were quickly sold.

Zenith and Phillips A386 El Primeros

Considering the success, even though the number of watches sold was relatively small, this could mean future new watch collaborations will happen between Zenith and Phillips, and perhaps other companies as well. It’s already been happening with sites like Hodinkee now for years, and Revolution to a lesser extent. Of course, with a plethora of design options, the results can vary widely, but the styling choices on these were clearly tasteful and resulted in a successful sellout. What’s so attractive to me is that they really look like vintage timepieces, not poorly done re-issues.

Zenith and Phillips A386 El Primeros

Jason Pitsch
Posted by:Jason Pitsch

Editor, writer, and photographer. View his archive here.