Strap Guide written by @rob_hayes92. Thank you Rob!
The Zenith A384 Revival, a watch that to the seasoned collector need no introduction. But a watch that very much deserves an introduction anyway. Back in 1969, Zenith, a then little known watchmaker from Le Locle unveiled an integrated chronograph beating at 36,000vph – the El Primero. The watch that was first to wear this ground-breaking movement was the Zenith A384. We could have almost lost the El Primero altogether in the 1970’s had it not been for Charles Vermont – and I’m sure we’re all grateful history turned out like it did!
Fast-forward 50 years to 2019, and Zenith faithfully recreated a modern version of this iconic watch. The A384 Revival took everything that made the original so special – the El Primero calibre, the Panda dial, the 37mm tonneau case. But augmented this with tweaks to suit the 21st century, swapping the plexi crystal for a sapphire domed one, and a sapphire crystal on the case back to expose the beauty of the El Primero beating away inside.
About the Watch & Wrist
Today’s guide is featured on a 6.1” (15.5cm) wrist. As a smaller wristed fellow, I thank Zenith for their decision not to scale up the watch to fit larger modern tastes. While on paper, 37mm sounds like it would be small, the tonneau case helps to elongate the case across the wrist, and make wear closer to a 39mm circular watch. The combined dial and tachymeter is an ingenious piece of design, increasing the visual presence of the watch on the wrist, while keeping the dial size compact. This also has the added benefit of removing the need for bezels, and allow for an elegant domed sapphire crystal, which seamlessly transitions into the complexly curved, faceted, and chamfered case – giving the watch a 3-dimensional depth and visual display on the wrist that cannot be truly captured in photos. It is a watch to see in person to get the true experience!
The watch has a 19mm lug width, which is proportionally balanced for the smaller case and short 46.6mm lug-to-lug.
On my wrist, the small (105/65) straps are a perfect fit with the lug-to-lug. Placing the buckle right in the middle. I, time and again, return to Delugs for my straps for this reason. I have tried many straps over the years but often find it is difficult to get off-the-shelf straps that fit when you have small wrists, with the majority being too long!
Many of us find ourselves returning to some normality after a difficult couple of years, with more opportunities to dress up, be it for work or for fun. For today’s strap guide, I wanted to capture some of this positive energy with a selection of straps that bring out the character of the Zenith A384. The A384 is a bit of a blank canvas and can easily go from smart casual to really making a show just with a simple strap change. Straps are our ability to accessorise our watch, add flare to our outfit, and really capture and embody our personality.
Navy Saffiano Signature Strap - The Statement Choice
Let’s get down to business. That’s the statement you make when you wear the Navy Saffiano Signature strap. You’re here to make an impact, close an important deal, and you’re on your A-game. Paired with the Zenith A384, this oozes class and sophistication. While the A384 doesn’t have any blue accents (unlike some of the other El Primero models), the Navy Saffiano congruently ties together all the other colours – leading to watch eye candy for days. The strap is soft and supple on your wrist thanks to the Zermatt lining, and the Saffiano gives an element of texture and tactility, perfect for matching with a textured dress shirt.
Black Epsom Slim Strap – The Vintage Choice
This is a strap that surprised me with how well it pairs with the Zenith A384 and makes it live up to its revival status. This might be a watch from 2019, but with this strap on it could very well be 1969 again. The contrast stitching sets this apart as a thing of beauty, and really brings the panda dial to life.
Jean Grey Babele Slim Strap – The Summer Choice
Coming from a relatively hot climate, it is no surprise that I am a fan of linen suits and pastel shirts. But as you find when you wear linen and pastel colours, you need to choose your strap material carefully to avoid clashing or overpowering – this means muted colours and textures. Normally I’d reach for a mid-brown suede to complement, but when you want to stray from a brown pallete, this Jean Grey Babele strap is just the ticket.
Color 8 Chromexcel Signature Strap – The Casual Choice
It’s 2022, and we might have left the suit and boardshorts firmly back in 2020 with our Zoom meetings, but that doesn’t mean every day is a dress to the nines day. This is for those days you’re rocking the smart casual attire. Color 8 is a classic burgundy tone that pairs well with dark jeans and a slightly funky shirt. For me, this is one of my favourites as it matches my wallet, belt, and shoes
Red Chevre Slim Strap – The Unique ChoiceSometimes you need to stand out from the crowd. Maybe it's the first meeting with an important new client, maybe it's a job interview. You want to walk away with the other person remembering you – and nothing quite makes an impact like a bright red strap!
This is where I reach for the Red Chevre Slim Strap. Paired with the Zenith A384, it brings the red accent of the chrono-hand to life. The overall package is a strong, dynamic, visual display. However, Chevre has an austere quality about it, it doesn’t feel ostentatious like a red exotic strap might. You make an impact, but in a subtle way.
- Reference: Zenith El Primero A384 Revival
- Case Size: 37mm
- Thickness: 13mm
- Lug-to-Lug: 46mm
- Lug Width: 19mm
If you enjoyed this Strap Guide, be sure to check out the rest of our Strap Guides for more inspirations!