Zenith Elite Ultra Thin

Par Florian Matrion, le 20 juillet 2010
Elite Ultra Thin
Elite Ultra Thin
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.
Exclusive! review of the Elite Ultra Thin. Manufacturer data, photos, editor's opinion and watch retail price on thewatchobserver.co.uk
L'avis de la rédaction
Note des internautes

An elegant 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The first glance reassures: the adventurous times of Zero-G in the manner of Star Trek fed with Zenithium seem to be outdated !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 El Primero, the Elite being then very unblessed.


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 ! 

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.



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...


The + :

  • slenderness and elegance
  • a manufacture caliber


The – :

  • the display balance regarding the dial
  • a lost caliber in the casing regarding the back


Further information :

  • the advertised price in the Manufacturer Data sheet is the watch's official retail price in France at the time of this review's publication
  • reviewer/Tester's wrist size = 17.5 cm
12 Photos pour voir cette montre sous toutes les coutures
Cliquez sur une Photo pour ouvrir le diaporama.
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Données constructeur

Référence constructeur
Boîtier (matière)
Diamètre boîtier (hors couronne)
Diamètre boîtier (avec couronne)
Base calibre
Capacité de la réserve de marche
Fond transparent
Longueur corne à corne
Hauteur boîtier
Bracelet (matière)
Boucle (type)
Boucle (matière)
Poids total

L'avis de la rédaction 69.5/100

Confort / Agrément (/15)
détail Mouvement (/20)
Optimisation / Décoration du mouvement (/5) 0
Agrément de manipulation et de réglage (/5) 0
Contrôle du mouvement par la Manufacture / distinctions diverses (/3) 0
Capacité de la réserve de marche (/2) 0
Complications (/5) 0
détail Finitions (/20)
Finitions cadran (/6) 0
Finitions boîtier (/6) 0
Qualité du travail de déco° / gravure du fond de boîte (/2) 0
Qualité du verre (/4) 0
Finitions de la boucle (interne et externe) (/2) 0
détail Fonctionnalité (/20)
Lisibilité diurne (/5) 0
Lisibilité nocturne (/4) 0
Etanchéité (/3) 0
Facilité de réglage et de changement du bracelet (/4) 0
Sécurité / solidité de la boucle (/4) 0
détail Bonus (/10)
Série limitée (/3) 0
Montre fournie avec plusieurs bracelets (/2) 0
Qualité de la boîte et de la sur-boîte (/1) 0
Portabilité avec manches de chemise fermées (/2) 0
Présence de "goodies" (/1) 0
Intelligibilité du booklet (/1) 0
Rapport qualité / prix (/15)
Pour quelles occasions ? Quand la porter ?

Note des internautes 79/100

Confort / Agrément (/15)
Mouvement (/20)
Finitions (/20)
Fonctionnalité (/20)
Bonus (/10)
Rapport qualité / prix (/15)
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