Movado Datron HS360 Sub Sea NOS, el primero

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Movado Datron HS360 Sub Sea NOS, el primero


Movado Datron HS360 Sub Sea, New old stock
Sunburst finish champagne dial with black registers
Movement Movado 3019phc/Zenith El primero, date at 12
Case size 37x42mm
Works perfectly, accuracy 1s/day
Year circa 1969
Rare to find in this condition

The Datron Engine: A Story of its Own

Powering the Datron is the base Caliber 319 PHC movement. However, you’re probably more familiar with its alias, “El Primero,” as marketed by Zenith. The two are virtually identical. As “the first automatic chronograph,” attempts to discuss its merits in a thousand words or less is a challenge. Still produced to this day, it’s best remembered for its 36,000 beats per hour that are capable of measuring speed up to a 1/10th of a second.

As partners, Zenith sought to leverage Movado’s experience designing complications from the forties, and their more recent development of the Kingmatic HS 360 (36,000 bph) as building blocks that would become integral for the Primero’s production. Several generations later, the Primero’s design served as the foundation for the Rolex Daytona.
This Datron utilizes a variant movement (3019 PHC) where the date window is located at the “12” instead of the typical location between the “4” and “5” markers. It’s exclusive to Movado; you’ll never see this consideration for balance incorporated into Zenith’s line-up from the era. The movement’s overall height is 6.5 mm, exceptionally flat considering its complications (for its day). As with the other triple register chronographs, the continuous running seconds is on the left subdial. The minutes are documented at the right (thirty-minute cycles), with up to twelve hours recorded at the bottom.

The second hand sweeps with an uncommon fluidity you’d expect from a high-beat movement. Some owners might tell you, “When pressure’s applied to the top pusher, there’s a noticeable difference in less force required to start the timer. This is an integrated column-wheel chronograph—where unlike the modular Calibre 11 Heuers—the mechanics here are more fluid and deliberate.”