As Land Rover unfurled its new 2018 Range Rover Velar to the global public at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, a new special chronograph from Zenith is being displayed beside this newest member of the Range Rover family, also with the name Velar. It is not surprising though, since this special watch celebrates the launch of the new Range Rover Velar.
It is a small watch with a lengthy moniker -- “Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Range Rover Velar Special Edition.” If you are planning to the purchase a new 2018 Range Rover Velar (which comes with a starting price of $50,895), then this special watch would be the perfect complement ($8,700). Actually, it is the first time that Land Rover and Zenith had collaborated. It can be remembered that Zenith also created a special chronograph to celebrate the launch of the Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic in September 2016.
Velar is not an entirely a new moniker for Land Rover. In 1969, Rover started a project that would lead to the creation of the Range Rover in 1970. Around 26 pre-production Range Rover prototypes were created but were needed to be concealed from others by the carmaker’s development engineers. To conceal its existence, these engineers referred to the prototypes as Velar, as derived from the Latin term ‘velare’ that means to veil or to cover.
Incidentally, at the same year, Swiss watchmaker Zenith unveiled a prototype of the world’s first self-winding chronograph movement. This watch was named as the “El Primero,” which means the first. El Primero was considered to be the most accurate wristwatch by then, as it could record elapsed times down to one-tenth of a second thanks to its ‘high beat’ oscillator.
Now, a special edition of the El Primero watch is being offered, this time also bearing the Range Rover and the Velar names. The El Primero Velar -- co-developed by design and technical engineering teams – features a ceramic aluminum case as well as a beat movement of 36,000 vibrations per hour (VpH). Featuring a 42mm case finished in high contrast burnished copper, the El Primero Velar comes with a brushed slate grey dial as three chronograph sub-dials, and a date indicator at six o’clock. On the partially transparent underside, the words “Range Rover” and “Velar” have been engraved.
The El Primero Velar wraps around the wrist of its user through a strap made of sustainable rubber and it is coated with dark grey diamond-perforated calfskin – the same Scottish leather used in the interiors of Range Rover models. El Primero Velar is secured on the wrist of its wearer by a triple folding clasp made from DLC-treated titanium.