Zenith is back, fresh off of their success with the A384 Revival, the watch I called the best new chronograph of 2019. But whereas the A384 Revival was a painstakingly accurate recreation of the ’69 classic, this new watch, aptly called the Chronomaster Revival Shadow, is an homage to an entirely different watch.
I don’t have any photos of that watch, but apparently it’s an ultra-rare, even to Zenith, 1970 prototype. The original “Shadow” was a hand-wound chronograph with a rare-for-the-time black coating, hence its title. We don’t know what case it was using, but one imagines it might have been fairly similar to the A384, if not identical, since that would be a case they had available to them already in ’70.
So what we have here is not the perfect recreation of the A384 Revival, but rather a total re-imagining of the prototype. That seems entirely reasonable to me, as the watch was never finished in the first place. Among the improvements, at least according to me, over the original version is that it no longer uses a black coating. Instead, Zenith is using what they’re calling “microblasted titanium.” It sure sounds cool, but it also seems to produce this dark gray coloration that looks great, and will presumably last a lot longer than your usual PVD coating.
Another change is written proudly on the dial. Gone is the original hand-wound chronograph, now replaced by the iconic El Primero automatic. We actually made the same change when we did our own limited edition nod to the A273 and no one complained. I don’t think anyone has ever complained about their watch having an El Primero, come to think of it.
The watch does remain very tastefully sized at 37mm, although now it should be incredibly light thanks to the titanium case. The microblasted titanium technique, buzzwords aside, combined with the high-contrast black dial, give the watch a newfound tool watch look and a totally different feel than the vintage A384 Revival. The price is estimated to be $8,200 USD, and you can see more here.