Zenith is mostly known as an in-house movement maker and producer of the famous El Primero family of high beat automatic movements that operate at 5 Hertz (36,000 beats per hour). The El Primero is a base for most of their chronographs and is also the base for a chronograph with a minute repeater in this very uncommon Caliber 4043 El Primero movement that I recall from a rare model back in 2009. The 4043 caliber is back in a much more attractive piece that gives new life to the movement and theme.
What I like about the 461 part caliber 4043 movement is its practicality and beauty. It is also a fully integrated movement that seamlessly combines time, 30 minute chronograph, and minute repeater functions. It also features an admirable 50 hours of power reserve and is an automatic. Look how beautiful it is as well. It is truly an exceptionally designed and finished movement fitting for the Zenith El Primero name. There is just a slight amount of skeletonization in the 2012 Academy Minute Repeater Chronograph model around where you can view the minute repeater hammers through the dial of the replica watch. The 2009 piece with the 4043 movement was a bit more strange looking with more extensive dial skeletonization.
It is easy to love the silvered guilloche engraved dial on the face of the replica watch. On the face are also 18k rose gold hands and Roman numeral hour markers. The chronograph and subsidiary seconds dials don’t really intrude on the hour markers as much as you’d think they might. I personally quite like minute repeaters with visible hammer and gong displays on the dial This piece does that well, but also preserves legibility for both the time and chronograph functions.
The Zenith Academy Minute Repeater Chronograph Replica is actually a rather large timepiece. The case is 45mm wide in 18k rose gold and it is almost 17mm thick. That should however lead to a lot of space in the case for the gongs as well as air space for sound to reverberate. I have a feeling the minute repeater sounds lovely in this replica watch. Hopefully I will find out some day soon.