Was this Zenith Manga cartoon homage the sleeper hit of 2019? Was this Zenith Manga cartoon homage the sleeper hit of 2019?

Was this Zenith Manga cartoon homage the sleeper hit of 2019?

James Robinson

Lupin the Third, ever heard of it? We hadn’t either … that is, until Zenith made this, the A384 Revival Lupin The Third Edition.

Zenith A384 Revival Lupin The Third Edition

Turns out, Lupin The Third, or Lupin III as it’s otherwise known, is a Japanese manga cartoon created in 1967 by the doyen of the traditional Japanese art form, Monkey Punch.

The cartoon follows the escapades of Arsène Lupin III, a master thief and grandson of fictional phantom thief Arsène Lupin.

The manga cartoon was quickly adapted into an anime television series, which first aired in 1971 and subsequently catapulted the popular comic onto the international stage.

Now I know what you’re thinking: “What’s this got to do with the watch Zenith has just unveiled?” Well, the protagonist, Arsène Lupin III, had a sidekick named Mr Daisuke Jigen, and in the first episode of the anime series, Jigen can be seen wearing a version of Zenith’s A384 — the first watch the Swiss marque ever produced to house the now prolific El Primero movement.

Thing is, though, Zenith never actually made a A384 like the one seen in Lupin … it was fictitious, dreamt up by the artists working on the animated series.

Zenith A384 Revival Lupin The Third Edition

But, when Zenith unveiled the El Primero A384 Revival halfway through last year, someone very clever working for the Swiss watchmaker floated the idea of bringing to life the watch that had never existed except in the world of Lupin.

Based on the standard homage piece, the A384 Revival Lupin The Third Edition, replete with its black dial, gold handset and indices and matt grey sub-dials, marks it out as a genuinely handsome timepiece.

And because the watch is technically identical to the standard A384 Revival, you’re still getting the strikingly angular 37mm stainless steel case, technically impressive El Primero 400 automatic caliber and sapphire crystal on both the front and back of the case.

Zenith A384 Revival Lupin The Third Edition

It’s a bona fide hot watch … there’s one problem though — Zenith made only 50 examples for the Japanese domestic market and, you guessed it, they’re all sold.

This is a crying shame in my opinion, because — and I know aesthetics are subjective — I think this iteration of the A384 Revival is more attractive than the regular version. However, the standard watch is still a deeply impressive thing and, rather more importantly, it’s not limited, so you can actually buy it.