Zenith El Primero A384 Cal. 3019 PHC


The Zenith A384 is a vintage timepiece from the renowned “El Primero” collection of chronograph watches by Zenith. Due to its historical relevance and unique appearance, it is highly sought-after by collectors and aficionados alike. Zenith announced the impending release of the first completely integrated, high-frequency, automatic chronograph movement at a press conference on January 10, 1969.

The movement, formerly known by its codename of 3019 PHC, was renamed “El Primero,” which is Spanish for “the first.” Despite the announcement at a press conference held on January 10, 1969, the Zenith El Primero didn’t go on sale until September of that same year, allowing other rivals to launch their automatic movements at the Basel Fair a few months earlier. In our opinion, deciding who won the race is not especially crucial, as all three movements that claim that particular crown had functioning prototypes in the field much, much earlier. So, who knows?

The iconic El Primero automatic chronograph movement is what makes these watches so collectable, oh, and its fabulous design too. One of the earliest automatic chronograph movements ever made powers the Zenith El Primero A384. It is renowned for its high-frequency escapement (36,000 vibrations per hour (take that Rolex!)), which enables precise timing and highly accurate measurement of elapsed time, down to 1/10th of a second! We have fully serviced the movement, and it is ticking away as it is designed to do.

In contrast to the more typical round cases of the time, the El Primero A384 has an unusual and diminutive tonneau-shaped case. Only made for a short time and purportedly, only 2600 produced, it looks great on both men’s and women’s wrists because it has a “golden” diameter of 37mm. Our example is in a comfortably worn state; the edges of the case are crisp and look unpolished. There are micro-scratches pretty much all over the case and case back, but nothing untoward on a watch of this age. As I say, comfortably worn.

One of the most recognisable features of the El Primero A384 is its colourful and bold “Panda” dial design. The dial on this El Primero has taken on a lovely cream-toned hue, with the 5-minute marker’s lume showing foxing. The hands perfectly match the dial, showing similar ageing. It is perfect “for its age,” as they say. The sub-dials display the chronograph functions, 30-minute counter, 12-hour counter, and running seconds, and there is a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock. The well-balanced dial, is encompassed by a black with silver-printed tachymeter, which pulls it all together very nicely indeed. The crystal is similarly in fine fettle.

So, there you have it: a stunning El Primero A384, presented on a brand new “Strap Taylor” Moss Green Suede Strap, ready for its next custodian. Will that be you?


We work hard to ensure you are pleased with your purchase, both before and after the sale. Contact us to request any additional information.


We aim to dispatch items within 1-2 days receipt of payment.

The delivery method can vary depending on the value of the watch. All watches are sent fully insured usually using UPS.

All watches sold without an original box will still be dispatched with a high quality presentation box.


All timepieces purchased from us come with a guarantee of authenticity and our 12-month time-keeping warranty. Please note that accidental damage or damage to the item resulting from third-party repairs, improper handling, or liquid damage will void our warranty. We do not guarantee any of our watches to be waterproof.