Did you know that the reference A386 was not the only watch in the El-Primero replica watch family with the tri-color dial? There was one other, less well known cousin to the ref A386, which has a more interestingly designed tri-colored dial: the Zenith El Primero reference A3817 replica watch.
Before everything else, this Zenith El Primero reference A3817 replica watch is a sizeable watch. While not on the level of modern Zeniths, the A3817 measures 37 mm excluding the crown but is 47 mm from lug to lug because of the design of the case. It is slightly smaller in width than the ref A386, which measures 38 mm excluding the crown, but having worn both I feel the Zenith El Primero reference A3817 replica watch actually feels more substantial on the wrist. This is a watch that is sizeable, especially by vintage standards, yet it sits very well on the wrist and fits under the cuff with no issues at all.
The case of the Zenith El Primero reference A3817 replica watch takes elements from both the ref A386 and ref A78x family. It is still somewhat tonneau shaped, but is a lot more angular than the ref A78x. The edges on the Zenith El Primero reference A3817 swiss replica watch case are distinct and sharp, similar to the ref A386. The surface of the steel case also has a brushed finish, which lends it an interesting look.
The case design was an unexpected, but pleasant surprise. It departs from a ‘typical’ case design, which usually has a circular and symmetric center that envelops the dial. At the same time, the Zenith El Primero reference A3817 replica watch is not too funky, in comparison to the case design of the ref A781/2/3 family. The Zenith El Primero reference A3817 replica watch is a nice balance between the two: innovative, different, but still sleek; retaining a classic elegance with a dash of eccentricity.
The darker hand of the Zenith El Primero reference A3817 replica watch is also slightly thinner, and some of the examples I’ve seen with the darker hand have the set of all three sub-dial hands just slightly thinner than its counterparts with the lighter blue hand – which again might suggest that the hands are not individually replaced, but rather come as a set.
This Zenith El Primero reference A3817 replica watch would have originally come on a Zenith ladder bracelet. In comparison, I have to say the strap felt a lot more comfortable. While wearing the A3817 on a bracelet is probably the “original” way to wear the watch, I honestly preferred the leather strap just from a comfort perspective.