The Rolling Stones have recently partnered with Zenith to create a two hundred and fifty piece limited edition of the El Primero Chronomaster. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time a rock band, or a band of any genre, has collaborated with a high-end swiss company to produce a line of musically inspired watches.
I am a strong admirer of Zenith’s classic, both horologically and historically significant, El Primero movements. I also happen to be a major fan of The Stones and do have to admit, Keith Richards plays one mean guitar. Truthfully, it is very hard to determine the future value of such a watch. While there is the rarity aspect that may cause a slight appreciation of this watch (depending on how many produced down the road), the fact that there is a giant “Tongue and Lip” logo on the dial may cause discerning collectors to turn their up noses at this watch. If you are that person who, simply, couldn’t care less about whether you make two grand on a watch or lose five (or if you really love it), then this is a watch for you. Then again, if you want to make a wise choice, but you’re not into vintage, I advise you go to an authorized Zenith dealer or a Zenith boutique and pick out a nice looking El Primero, Captain, Pilot, or whatever else you view as becoming on your wrist. Don’t feel the need to have such a giant of a watch, so do yourself a favor and buy that quintessential El Primero. And if you do feel that, “I must have a watch more complicated than my brain and bigger than my wrist,” need, there’s a couple thousand watch guys who will happily tell you otherwise.
I can see a substantial amount of money being made on Zenith’s Pilot Montre D’Aeronef Type 20 GMT 1903 “Wright Brothers” watch, that I had written about the week of Timecrafters 2014. Unfortunately, I just do not see that potential in this Rolling Stones El Primero. On a more positive note, the movement, case, dial, and any other component you could ideate that is in this watch, is built to the highest specifications and standards. You can purchase this classic rock chrono for $9,800 or for, a significantly lower amount, you can purchase a standard El Primero.
Luke Rottman (Executive Editor: thewatchadviser.com)