Updated: Jun 1, 2021
As soon as the images for the new Zenith Chronomaster Sport (Ref 03.3100.3600/21.M3100) came out a lot of people started criticizing the watch for looking like a homage of the Rolex Daytona (Ref 116500LN).
It even garnered its own nickname: Zaytona!
But, does it really deserve the criticism, or is there more to this new watch than just a resemblance to hottest Rolex watch ever made?
Let's take a look.
At a quick glance, I can understand why one might accuse the NEW Zenith Chronomaster Sport of being a homage watch, but the longer you look at it the more differences you start to see.
The 1/10th of a second timer on the ceramic bezel on the Zenith vs. the Tachymeter Scale on the Daytona's bezel.
Colorful and filled subdials on the Zenith vs. hollow and identical-in-color subdials on the Daytona.
The date on the Zenith vs. No Date on the Daytona.
No screw-down pushers on the Zenith vs. screw-down pushers of the Daytona.
Polished edges on the new Zenith bracelet vs. standard Oyster bracelet.
Although this new Zenith looks great in pictures and on paper, I believe that it's still leagues behind what makes Daytona truly great.
It's not truly waterproof, unlike the Daytona which has screw-down pushers to prevent accidental activation of the chronograph function underwater.
With 41mm dial and 14mm thickness it's a quite chunky watch (similar in size to the Black Bay!), unlike a Daytona which is thin and light.
Although the high-beat function of the new movement makes it sound advanced, there's a reason why when Rolex used Zenith's movements they slowed them down. That's because high-beat comes at a cost of more wear and reduced power-reserve.
The new clasp: although it looks very similar to the Rolex clasp, it lacks the kind of Easylink 5 mm extension that makes Rolex clasps so amazing.
The new open back puts the Calibre 3600 on full display. Although this seems like a big deal, anyone who knows anything about movements knows that there's actually nothing impressive to see there. It's not like they've got Caliber CH 29-535 PS in there that's been hand polished by a master watchmaker.
So, what are my thoughts on the new Zenith?
- I think it's a great new addition to the wrist-watch world, with many technological advancements on display.
- This is NOT a replacement for the Daytona. If you thought that you can buy this as an alternative, I can assure you, you will not be satisfied.
- I think that the existence of this watch will actually make the Daytona name even stronger, because of the assumed homage-ness of this watch.
- I think that this watch will force Rolex to continue to improve the Daytona even further, in order to keep the competition even further behind.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below, because I'm really interested.