HANDS-ON: Zenith Elite Moonphase

Sometimes a watch surprises you when you finally see it – today is about one of those watches.

Earlier this year Zenith released a number of new pieces, of which one was this Elite Moonphase in rose gold, as part of a revamped Elite range. At the time it did not particularly grab my attention, so when I finally got to handle it, I was surprised to find that ‘in the metal’, it did.

The Zenith buzz is always about the Defy, Chronomaster, and Pilot collections, so it can be too easy to forget that they also have a range of handsome classically-inspired dress watches. This new model retains the now familiar features, with a silver-toned sunray patterned dial and featuring a large blue moon phase display (adjusted via the crown) and small seconds. The hour markers and hands are gold-plated and faceted.

Inside is the automatic Elite Calibre 692, which beats at 28,800 VPH and has a power reserve of 50 hours. It features a newly designed star-shaped oscillating weight with satin finishing.

Coming in a 36mm sized case with a diamond-set (75 VS brilliant-cut) bezel, it actually looks and sits large, again reinforcing how numbers alone can be deceptive when it comes to case sizing. It is not specifically stated as being a watch for women, and there are men who prefer dress watches to be around this size, so if you like diamonds on your bezels and your classically-inclined watches to be sub 40mm, there’s this model or a stainless steel variant with a slate grey sunray dial in the same 36mm case and which also has a diamond-set bezel.

For those who like the watch but not the diamonds and want a bigger size, the Elite revamp also includes an Elite Moonphase in a 40.5mm rose gold or stainless steel case. These are basically bigger stone-free variants of the diamond-set ones.

So what made the watch catch my attention once I got to handle it? Well it was a combination of things – firstly, that it feels and sits large, which means flexibility in terms of who might be interested in it and able to wear it. Secondly, rose gold is often used because people believe it adds a degree of ‘warmth’ to a timepiece, but there is no single uniform ‘aura’ or level of ‘warmth’ from a rose gold case – finishing (brushed or polished) makes a difference, as do the colour and case design. In this instance, the watch is a lot ‘warmer’ than photos indicate; they don’t do justice to it. Put simply, I was neutral about the watch when it was released, but upon being handed it, it made its presence known, in a good way.

Coming on a blue Alligator strap with protective rubber lining and rose gold pin buckle (you can change to another strap colour should you wish), the Australian RRP is $23,000. The 36mm Elite Moonphase in stainless steel with the slate grey dial is $12,900.

Categories: Hands-on, Sydney, Watch Profile, watches, Women's watches, Zenith


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