Zenith El Primero 'Cover Girl'

SKU AS03310
SKU AS03310

Why We Love it

Why We Love It


Easy...breezy...beautiful Cover Girl.

The histories behind 'nicknamed' watches is sometimes pretty unusual and obscure...and other times, its pretty much right on the nose.

The Reference A3818 is known as the 'Cover Girl' simply because it was featured as the cover image of Manfred Rössler's brilliant book, Zenith: Swiss Watch Manufacture Since 1865. Yep, that's it.

Except it is also so much more.

The Reference A3818 features the same tonneau shaped case as popular the A384/A385 models (the former of which was just reissued for 2019), but is fitted with a brilliant sunburst blue dial with exotic chapter ring that positively jumps off the wrist. Powered by the legendary Calibre 3019 El Primero automatic chronograph movement, this is one of the rarest and most desirable executions from the 1970s.

This particular example is in untouched, unpolished condition with a lightly patinated dial featuring richly aged luminous indices and hands. Best of all, it comes fitted to a Gay Freres 'ladder' bracelet with correct (and virtually unobtanium) ZKM end links.

In short, this is the one you want.



The Story

For many years, the words El Primero held little meaning outside of high-intensity watch enthusiast and collectors groups.  But a few year ago, Zenith brought those words back into the fore with the release of their heritage piece, the El Primero Striking Tenth chronograph.  The piece was a success in it's own right and got a lot of attention in industry publications.  But it also marshaled the growing body of watch enthusiasts, urging them to look back at the history of the movement and the pieces produced around the legendary movement. 

The El Primero was high-beat automatic chronograph movement that debuted in 1969, challenging Seiko's Reference 6139 and Project 99's Calibre 11 for the title of world's first automatic chronograph.  The advent of the automatic chronograph was a huge technological feat and it changed the face of the industry, opening the door for many companies to offer their own models.  But while the Calibre 11 found its way into a slew of watches, Zenith made their El Primero movements available to only a handful of other manufactures.

 And for good reason.  Of the three movements that were released that year, only the El Primero was high-beat, offering significant added accuracy.


A:S Guarantee


Our Pledge

Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.


Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.


We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.

International Buyers

Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

Shipping & Returns


All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.

Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.

We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.

Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.

We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

Zenith El Primero 'Cover Girl'

Zenith El Primero 'Cover Girl'

Zenith El Primero 'Cover Girl'


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