Zenith El-Primero TV screen Big Blue



Introduced in 1972, this TV screen El Primero model, ref. 01.0200.415 was made in a limited series of 4950 pieces in total till 1978. The watch nickname is “Fernseher”, for the “tv set” due to this particular shape between square and tonneau-shaped. The model is also called “The Big Blue” among collectors. An additional 50 “TV” Primero’s were made with black dial , ref. 01.0201.415, in 1978, to mark the end of the model,  bringing the total production to 5000 pieces. These black TV’s were the last Zenith El Primero’s of the ‘70s.

This watch drawing has been used as theme for Zenith-Movado SA headed paper (see picture on the right). Trained eyes will notice that the model was delivered on two different bracelets, the first original massive integrated for a massive look (see adverts with Chatelain bracelets). These large link bracelet were made by a company called Chatelain and when Chatelain was bankrupt, Zenith had to resort to the NSA bracelets, made by Novabit SA, such as the present watch. However, this second generation bracelet is more lighter, well refined and much more comfortable, thanks also to its special bracelet spring-loaded patented locker.

With its heavy and robust 43 mm stainless case, the watch has a muscular look. At the time, Zenith quoted “A new elaborately styled model with larger, easy to use press levers, replacing the usual push buttons” (see picture on the right). The case back is still deeply engraved “SURF STAINLESS STEEL” with reference number “01.0200.415”. Under the special cut mineral glass, a very attractive blue dial with three subsidiary silvered ring dials (high lighting the case design) for the constant second, 12-hour and 30-minute registers, an aperture for the date at 4, a 1/5th division, surrounded by a blue tachymeter. The watch is powered by the famous caliber El Primero, cal 3019PHC, beating at 36’000 alt/hour.

The model is illustrated and described in Zenith, Swiss Watch Manufacture, by Manfred Rossler, page 252.

A very typical 1970s wristwatch, massive, full of the 70s spirit. Like every 1970s watches, the more you wear them , the more you love them!

Condition: 8/10, some small scratches and signs of wear in places, overhaul recommended

Brand: Zenith

Model: TV set El Primero, aka “Fernseher”, also called “The Big Blue ”

Year : circa 1975

Reference: 01.0200.415

Movement no. : –

Case no.: –

Material: Stainless steel

Dial: blue, tachymeter scale

Movement: cal. 400, rhodium plated, 31 jewels, column wheel, monometallic balance, shock absorber, blued steel screws

Bracelet: stainless steel Zenith bracelet with spring loaded deployant clasp, approx. overall length 180 mm.

Functions: chronograph, self-winding, date


Dimensions: 38.20 x 44 mm wide with pushers. Thickness 14.35 mm.

Accessories: –

Ref. ICO: 99-19-015C