Rolex Daytona vs Zenith El Primero | Watchfinder & Co.

Watchfinder & Co. presents:

The Daytona comes up a lot on this channel, and for obvious reasons: it’s one of the best-known watches ever made, from perhaps the best-known watchmaker in the world. It’s also the last Rolex to ever use a movement that hails from outside of the Rolex family—the calibre 4030, based on Zenith’s El Primero 400. That was in the Daytona 16520, the model that gave us this new, sleek and oh-so popular shape. 1988 it came out, and it’s become very collectible since Rolex discontinued the calibre 4030 in favour of the in-house 4130. Why then, should you want one when you can quite simply walk into a shop now and buy an El Primero straight from Zenith for a fraction of the price?

Featured Watches:
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 16520
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero 03.2150.400/69.C713

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Milan Zivkovic says:

legendary el primero

manu acharya says:

Can you review *The Swatch Sistem51* ! I know it is a budget watch but it is the most affordable swiss mechanical watch.

Rob P. says:

Interesting point of view. I think it’s also important to consider the design and purpose of both pieces. Rolex watches are designed as tool pieces. They are meant to be worn by the active sportsman, on the racetrack, and into adverse conditions. While Zenith would likely argue the El Primero offers the same sportiness, I think most watch enthusiasts see the piece differently. The design is bolder in styling but more delicate in appearance with a hint of dress watch appeal. The updated movement in the Rolex jives with the brands heritage; allowing for more practical creature comforts in the field. Surely, the sportsman is going to be more interested in accuracy and longevity than beats per minute. But, what about the El Primero? It seems to me one buys an El Primero because of the history, the iconic design, the class of the piece — and with that one wants to feel the honest heritage of the watch. So, the “if it’s don’t broke” saying has some merit. Updating the movement would do little to change the heart of the piece, in fact it might detract from it. Nor would it dissuade Rolex buyers from the Daytona or Zenith buyers from the El Primero. They may have shared a movement but these are very different pieces, meant for different buyers, and truly more dissimilar than alike. I appreciate both for what they are, as they are, and hope both remain on their own path rather than callously middling with the collective like so many other brands.

DRUNKbeats says:

the daytona is a great watch but its design is so common nowadays ( the external tachymeter and over all size)whereas the zenith has a much more elegant and beautiful design .

Memmnarch1981 says:

both are equally awesome.

ollebollebus says:

Pleas do a video about maurice lacroix masterpiece with a Square Wheel!!!

Oozywolf says:

Too much going on with the Zenith. I much prefer the look of the Daytona. Clean, classy, and focused. The Zenith looks like a painter’s palette. Rolex looks 200x more expensive. And while I can appreciate some horology, at the end of the day the thing that’s most important to me is how it looks. And to me, the Rolex looks better in quite literally every single way.

J Lo says:

We don’t wear watches for other people, but zenith would make laymen ask, “I didn’t know zenith made watches besides tvs.”

Rocket Man says:

There’s no comparison here really. Zenith pioneered the automatic chronograph movement, while Rolex simply put it into a shiny new case.

Toothy36 says:

Zenith all day long. Rolex stood on the shoulders of giants to get into the chrono game, and did an “IWC” with some refinishing and added parts from Breguet in my view. Cars get better and faster but I still want a 275GTB4 over a 488. Omega haven’t moved on the original Moonwatch either because it’s no longer the original. Besides Zenith have moved the movement on with new variants like the striking 10th and EP21 running at 50hz! Tudor is the Rolex brand pushing the boundaries.

john doe says:

Your videos are tremendous. Thank you for doing this.

As to which watch is better, I think they both have a place in the pantheon of great watches. I am more likely to choose the lesser known brand, Zenith, but in this case, the 40mm size is perfect on the Daytona. The Zenith is too small and the dial is too crowded for me at 38mm; too large, lug to lug, in the 42mm version. If Zenith makes a 40mm version, I would probably snap it up.

gmshadowtraders says:

Daytona, no question. It’s the shittier watch but men who are posers will want to big note themselves with it.

Suresh Obhan says:

I follow a lot of horological channels but I must say you have the best narrative skills…!!!

R Jensen says:

The Zenith El Primero actually did beat Heuer Leonidas and Breitling to the post, by few months, back in 1969. It was Jack Heuer who managed to convince the world press at Basel, that his cal.11 in Carrera was first, purely because he had 15 watches with cal.11 on his stand …. whilst the Zenith had on their stand only one El Primero. That said, I had Carrera 1158 with cal.11 inside, that I bought in 1971. I had worn the watch daily for 4 years and then stored it for 40 years, wound it perhaps 10x during that period and when I took it out of safe, prior to selling it, it was accurate to +3 /-8 seconds in 5 positions, with the beat error between 0.2 and 0.4 ms. So Jack Heuer must have done something right.

Jaber Jaber says:

Rolex for the show off. Zenith for the originality and history… Zenith of course.

Archer says:

I think that both watches are really cool, for their own reasons.
I’d love to see you compare the Speedy Pro with the El Primero.

Magnus Thor says:

Can you do some unboxings of the watches you review?

Larry Banda says:

Awesome review!!! Thanks

Fresh Legend says:

Can you make a video about the gyrotourbillon movement and why it exists if a ‘normal’ tourbillon movement already cancels out the effects of gravity on all the 6 points.


Hilarious video made for rich morons. Seiko 5 is all ANYONE needs period.

algorithm007ify says:

Zenith wins

gaeleus says:

Fantastic review as always! As much as Zenith has the history and pedigree, Rolex has carved an entire industry all its own. It created “ necessary luxury”. An aspirational watch for both the general public and WIS collectors alike. It has also become the masters of simplicity and robustness that no one is able to match in quality and reliability. It arrived much later to the watch game and has practically eaten everybody else’s lunch.

giwr says:

Zenith! And btw it has just presented new innovative movements…

Chris says:

If they were the same price I’d probably lean towards the Rolex, but considering you can get two Zeniths for one Rolex it’s a no brainer. Zenith all day.

Duke of the Vly says:

Thank you for the video. Great information. The El Primero is so so good looking.

BigDeerave says:

fantastic video yet again!!

Maxim Basinski says:

Zenith of course!!!

Marco ocraM says:

Rolex = overrated, Zenith = underrated

Francis C says:

A Rolex with a Zenith movement remain a Zenith.

Max Wicked says:

I bet there is a lot of crypto guys here that are looking for a Rolex from all the gains we’ve been making 😀

James Williams says:

Great content as always. It would be really interesting if you all might do a video on the new “entry-level”Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Date 1548530. Maybe could compare to some similar watches for the value like an Omega Seamaster Aqua terra/IWC Ingenieur.

Tompie913 says:

Please do a video about the Lange 1. It’s a watch that I haven’t been able to find enough info about on YouTube, and your extremely informative videos and detailed macro shots would surely rectify that completely.

krbcrwlr says:

Fuck this noise – just wind it up and get a speedy pro!

World of Tanks:Jaegerkorpset says:

Best watch reviews on youtube..keep em coming!

Evan says:

Thanks for taking suggestions into consideration!

DRUNKbeats says:

please do a video for rolex cellini moonphase

G1234 X says:

Circa 7:32 – congrats on pursuing excellence. Very well spoken.

steven wilder says:

Both are excellent choices.

scrapethebottom says:

great video

Epiha says:

I prefer watches with a date

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