ZenithAnother Swiss watchmaking company to have established its name in the world of luxury brands is Zenith. This brand is popularly known for its authentic and bold approach in creating high-quality timepieces.

Zenith’s list of achievements is too many when compared to the brands of its competition. This manufacturing company holds an outstanding record of more than 600 movements created, 300 patents and more than two thousand awards in the area of chronometry.

Let us go through Zenith’s rich history of innovative watchmaking and some fascinating facts about the brand.

Interesting Facts About Zenith

  • The company’s founder, Georges Favre-Jacot has always been in love with watchmaking since the very young age. When he was nine years old, he left school to learn about the watchmaking trade
  • The famous Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi had also owned a silver Zenith pocket watch
  • As mentioned earlier, Zenith has received an incredible amount of recognitions that no other well-known companies were able to surpass
  • The company has created the very first integrated automatic chronograph movement in the world
  • The company is also among the first in-house manufacturers in the world
  • This world-renowned brand is operating in 50 countries worldwide

Zenith History Timeline

1865: The Zenith founder, Georges Favre-Jacot invented the concept of manufacturing by uniting all watch professions under one roof

1899: The company’s first pocket chronograph was launched

1900: Georges won the gold medal at the Universal Exhibition in Paris

1911: The company adopted the name Zenith

1917: Georges Favre-Jacot died

1920: The brand’s first wristwatch models were introduced

1925: The company has employed 1,000 people which also earned them the nickname “ Manufacture with 2,000 gold and silver hands”

1948: The iconic Calibre 135 was launched

1960: The record-breaking Calibre 5011K was launched. It was also the same year when the company took over Martel Watch Co.

1969: The first integrated automatic chronograph movement, El Primero was launched. It was also the same year when Movado and Mondia merged with the brand which raised the Mondia-Zenith-Movado holding company

1970: The company launched the Cronometro TIPO CP2 aviation chronograph

1971: The American Zenith Radio Corporation based in Chicago took over the company

1975: When the American Zenith Radio Corporations that owned Zenith decided to limit the watch productions to quartz only, Charles Vermot hid the plans, tools, and parts needed to create mechanical calibres in the manufacture’s attic

1978: The brand was sold to Swiss Dixi Group and continues to produce watches using the movements of Ebel

1984: Vermot gave Zenith back all tools he kept safe, and El Primero’s production was again started

1988: Rolex purchased Zenith movements to power the brand’s famous Daytona watches

1990: In celebration of the brand’s 125th anniversary, they presented a new collection with for distinct models

1991: The company introduced two valuable collections which use the calibre 400 and 410 at the Baselworld

1994: The ultra-thin automatic elite movement which is the brand’s first calibre to be developed with the use of Computer Assisted Design technology was launched

2000: Zenith became part of the LVMH Group

2002: Thierry Nataf became the company’s president

2003: The Open concept based on a dial opening which reveals the escapement of El Primero calibre was invented

2009: The El Primero celebrated its 40th anniversary, and an entirely new collection bearing its name was launched. It was also the year when the town of Le Locle where Zenith built their very first manufacture, was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage

2010: The El Primero Striking 10th, a model which sweep seconds hand displays tenths of a second was introduced

2011: The brand won an award at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix

2012: Three new versions of the brand’s Pilot Collection was presented, the Pilot Doublematic, Pilot Big Date Special, and Pilot Montre d’ Aeronef Type 20

It was also the same year when the Zenith Manufacture’s central building renovation was completed

2016: The company launched five new watches from their Academy, Elite, El Primero and The Pilot Collections at the Baselworld

2017: The brand continues to develop high-quality timepieces and has recently launched their newest watch model at the Baselworld 2017, the Zenith Defy El Primero 21

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