ZENITH Calibre 400 El Primero Automatic Chronograph Watch Movement

800 CHF

Out of stock

800 CHF


Zenith automatic watch movement El Primero 400.

The movement is a very rare automatic “in-house” ZENITH Le Locle Watch Manufacture.

The Zenith El Primero 400 is a highly regarded mechanical watch movement known for its precision and high-frequency oscillation. Here’s a technical description of its key features:

Movement Type: The El Primero 400 is a self-winding, automatic movement. This means it is powered by the motion of the wearer’s wrist rather than requiring manual winding.

Caliber: The El Primero 400 is often referred to as Caliber 400. It is one of the most iconic and historically significant movements produced by Zenith.

Frequency: One of the standout features of the El Primero 400 is its high frequency. It operates at 36,000 vibrations per hour (VPH), or 5 Hertz (Hz). This high frequency allows for greater accuracy in timekeeping, as it can measure smaller increments of time.

Chronograph Functionality: The El Primero 400 is a chronograph movement, meaning it has the capability to measure elapsed time. It typically features a central chronograph seconds hand, 3 registers for chronograph minutes and hours and current time small seconds, and a date complication.

Column Wheel Mechanism: The chronograph mechanism in the El Primero 400 is controlled by a column wheel. This type of mechanism is prized by watch enthusiasts for its smooth operation and precise feel when starting, stopping, and resetting the chronograph function.

Integrated Design: Unlike modular chronograph movements, where the chronograph module is added on top of an existing movement, the El Primero 400 is an integrated chronograph movement. This means that the chronograph function is built into the movement from the ground up, resulting in a more compact and efficient design.

Jewels: The movement contains a number of 31 synthetic jewels, which reduce friction at key points of the movement and contribute to its durability and longevity.

Power Reserve: The El Primero 400 typically has a power reserve of around 50 hours when fully wound. This means it can continue to operate for approximately two days without needing to be worn or wound.

Finishing: Zenith movements, including the El Primero 400, are known for their high level of finishing. This includes polished bevels, perlage (circular graining), and Geneva stripes on visible surfaces, showcasing the craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Overall, the Zenith El Primero 400 is celebrated for its precision, reliability, and historical significance as one of the first high-frequency chronograph movements ever produced. It remains a cornerstone of Zenith’s legacy in the world of horology.


The movement looks new and is working but it was never tested for precision.

No Stem!

The article is sold as isWYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) – any other parts that are not visible in the photos, or not mentioned in the description, are considered as not included with this article.

All the movements in our offers are original service or replacement parts meant to be used by professionals for watch servicing. The movements are handled and stored in different boxes or containers, operations that may affect their accuracy. These movements are supposed to be cleaned, oiled, timed or adjusted by a professional before fully corresponding to the manufacturer specifications.


Additional information


36000 A/h



Power Reserve

ca. 50 hours


Chronograph, Self-Winding, Small second, Swiss Made

Overall Condition

As Good As New

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