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The Swiss watch brand Zenith is renowned for its prestigious watches and its history rich in innovations. Here are 12 surprising facts you probably didn’t know about this company:
1. Humble beginnings
Founded in 1865 by Georges Favre-Jacot, then just 22 years old, Zenith started small in a workshop located in Le Locle, Switzerland. The company grew rapidly and today is one of the most respected watch brands in the world.
2. A revolutionary approach to production
Georges Favre-Jacot was the first to adopt a revolutionary approach to watch production, bringing together all watchmaking-related trades under one roof. This innovation allowed it to control the entire manufacturing process, thus guaranteeing unrivaled quality for its products.
3. A name inspired by the stars
The name “Zenith” comes from the Latin word meaning “apogee” or “high point”. It was chosen by Georges Favre-Jacot to symbolize the incessant quest for excellence and know-how which has characterized the company since its creation.
4. The most precise watch in the world
In 1969, Zenith introduced the El Primero caliber, an automatic chronograph movement that beats at an incredible 36,000 vibrations per hour (A/h). This performance ensures accuracy to a tenth of a second, making the El Primero the most precise mechanical watch in the world..
5. A heroic rescue of the El Primero
When production of the El Primero was halted in 1975 due to the advent of quartz watches, Zenith employee Charles Vermot took the bold step of hiding the plans and tools needed to make this caliber legendary.
Thanks to his act of rebellion, Zenith was able to restart production of the El Primero in the 1980s and continue its legacy.
6. The conquest of space
Zenith watches have also been part of numerous space missions. In 1997, Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier wore a Zenith watch during his mission aboard the American space shuttle Atlantis. More recently, in 2012, the El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th accompanied Felix Baumgartner during his parachute jump from the stratosphere.
7. A prestigious collaboration with Range Rover
Zenith has teamed up with luxury automotive brand Range Rover to create a series of special watches. These exceptional pieces are notably equipped with the El Primero caliber and reflect the emblematic design and technical excellence of the two brands.
8. A presence in motor sports
Zenith is also involved in the world of motor sports, as official timekeeper of numerous prestigious competitions such as the Tour Auto Optic 2000 or the Classic Days. This association is part of Zenith’s desire to promote precision and performance in all areas.
9. The influence of Mr. Biver
Jean-Claude Biver, a key figure in the watch industry, was appointed President and CEO of Zenith in 2017. Under his leadership, the brand has renewed its image and launched new collections, such as the Defy Lab, which pushes the limits of mechanical precision.
10. A commitment to the environment
Zenith is actively committed to environmental protection and received ISO 14001 certification in 2006, rewarding its efforts to reduce its ecological impact. Among the initiatives put in place, we can cite the use of recycled materials and the limitation of waste during production.
11. A dedicated support service
Zenith offers a support service to its customers, giving them peace of mind when purchasing a watch. This service includes maintenance advice, repairs and personalized support throughout the life of the timepiece.
12. A place of choice among watch brands
Despite fierce competition, Zenith has managed to stand out and assert itself as one of the main Swiss watch brands. Its rich history, constant innovations and commitment to excellence make Zenith a key player in the world of luxury watchmaking..