The New Zenith El Primero Range Rover Watch is Refreshingly Understated

A soft-spoken contender among so much flash

When manufacturers collaborate with watchmakers, the resulting wristwatch is launched usually in conjunction with a high-dollar, high-horsepower sports car, as both companies ache to cash-in on their over-moneyed clientele. It seems Range Rover is breaking this tradition, teaming up with watchmaker Zenith for a new tie-in watch.

It's called the Zenith El Primero Range Rover, and considering the company Range Rover keeps, it's not as glitzy and gaudy as you might imagine. The $200,000 SVAutobiography LWB might rub shoulders with the Bentley Bentayga, but the Zenith is refreshingly understated compared to the glitzy Bentley Breitling watches.

The distinctive name comes from the "El Primero" movement, housed inside the handsome 42mm ceramized aluminum case. In the late 1960s, Zenith was embattled in a race with other watchmakers to bring to market the first automatic (self-winding) chronograph movement. The Zenith arrived in 1969 around the same time as offerings from Seiko and Heuer, but offered a stunning 36,000 vibrations per hour (vph), a frequency still considered impressive today. The El Primero's movement was technically advanced; it powered the venerable Rolex Daytona chronograph in the late 1980s through 2000.

Mirroring the demure appointments of the SVAutobiography, the Zenith carries a dark gray dial with a brushed finish, accentuated by simple stick markers. Sapphire crystal caps both the front and the back of the watch, allowing a clear view into the fabulous El Primero movement.

The watch arrives on a rubber-and-leather strap, connected via a titanium clasp. If you break the regular band, or you're in the mood for a change, the Zenith comes with an extra band in navy as well. Each watch is delivered in a special box constructed from the same brushed wood as the SUV counterparts, and is lined in the same leather as you might find on the SVAutobiography

No word yet on pricing or availability, but given the special branding, we imagine it will be at the top-end of the four-figure range.

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