Countries :

WATCH REVIEW Zenith Elite Ultra Thin

Editor's opinion
69.5 / 100
The great come back of the classic and ultra thin Zenith watch is announced. Excellent news ! But will the Elite Extra Thin measure up our expectations ? Review in details.
Straight to the Point

Zenith Elite Ultra Thin

Ref.: 03.2010.681
$3,500.00 US retail price June 30th, 2010
  • slenderness and elegance
  • a manufacture caliber
  • the display balance regarding the dial
  • a lost caliber in the casing regarding the back
Brand Zenith
Model name
Elite Ultra Thin
Case material
Case diameter (without crown)
40 mm
Case diameter (crown included)
42 mm
Movement type
Zenith Elite 681
Base Caliber
Zenith Elite 681
Dual-face crystal with anti-reflective coating
Power reserve
Transparent back
Lug width
19,87 mm
Length from lug to lug
47,91 mm
Case thickness
7,60 mm
Strap material
Clasp type
Pin buckle
Clasp material
Total weight
30 grammes
Retail price USA at June 30th, 2010
Comfort (/15) 14
Movement (/20) 10
Movement Optimisation / Garnishment (/5) 3
Ease of handling and adjustment (/5) 4
Movement control proceeded by the Manufacture / horlogical awards (/3) 1
Power reserve (/2) 1
Complications (/5) 1
Finishing (/20) 14
Dial finishing (/6) 5
Case finishing (/6) 4
Quality of garnishment / caseback engraving quality (/2) 1
Crystal quality (/4) 3
Clasp finishing (inner and extern) (/2) 1
Functionality (/20) 12.5
Diurnal legibility (/5) 5
Night legibility (/4) 0
Water resistance (/3) 0.5
Strap : ease of size adjustment + ease of substitution (/4) 3
Clasp : quality and safety (/4) 4
Additional items (/10) 4
Limited edition (/3) 0
Watch delivered with several straps (/2) 0
Quality of the watch box (/1) 1
Portability with shirtsleeves buttoned (/2) 2
Goodies included (/1) 0
Understandability of the brochure (/1) 1
Value for money (/15) 15
When to wear it ? Smart and sober : with a pair of jeans or a suit !
Users opinion
like this watch
Do you like this watch?

An elegant and dressy watch

The first glance reassures: the adventurous times of Zero-G in the manner of Star Trek fed with Zenithium seem to be outdated !
At least for this collection…

The traditional values are back : a watch, which aim is to give time.
Moreover, in an elegant way !

Since it is related to the old tradition of the ultra thin watches, object of an unrestrained race between the watch making manufactures before the quartz war.
The ultra thin being considered at that time as a complication…


A construction representative of the Elite movement

Let’s stare at this new comer : facetted hands, hand worked markers, the Zenith star in relief !

Nice work, following the footsteps of the new collection.
And the little second is positioned at 9 o’clock, as on a Lépine caliber.
This type of construction for a modern movement is rare and remains typical of the caliber from the Elite manufacture.
The legend tells that this positioning should allow subsequent developments (calendars, moon phase…). But in the end, those have been reserved to the other Zenith’s flagship caliber, the famous chronograph movement El Primero, the Elite being then very unblessed.

An atypical and endearing format

Whatever, it gains thus an atypical and rather endearing format.

But why this little second is so close to the central axis, and not to the periphery, where the dial rounds in a pleasant way, unveiling painted markers?

And watch carefully : in the continuation of the applied marker for the hours, appears a second marker that inserts itself inside of the seconds railroad !

Double markers ? What a rarity ! What is the reason of this ?

The answer to both questions can be found behind the watch, behind the transparent sapphire back.

The Elite caliber is indeed small compared to the total diameter of the case.

The shifting of the second axis being impossible, the dial has been worked according to the caliber’s dimensions, in order to give the most pleasant visual aspect.
Hence the double markers.


But is it really an ultra thin?

Then comes the following question : with a 7,60 mm thickness, is it really an ultra thin?
Is it still correct to call an automatic caliber an ultra thin, as it is obliged to house a rotor somewhere ?
The general proportions let think so.

The mystery and the technical cleverness of Zenith remain there : the generous 40 mm diameter allows displaying slenderness and flattering lines, considering the thickness – while answering the actual male fashion criteria in terms of size.

What to remember

With the Elite Ultra Thin 681, Zenith invented the ultra thin of the future, the one that is not so to speak, but keeps the codes as adapting with its environment : the one of the men whose average height grows from decade to decade.

A beautiful achievement that marries soberness to elegance…

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Zenith articles
Editor's opinion
75 / 100
Editor's opinion
65.5 / 100
Editor's opinion
75 / 100
Editor's opinion
65.5 / 100