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ZENITH WATCHES BUYING GUIDE

Zenith has long been a brand known for pushing horological boundaries. Since it was founded in 1865 the brand has continued to take strides in creating truly breathtaking timepieces, with accuracy and style firmly at the heart of each model since the very beginning.

Celebrated for remarkable craftsmanship for more than 150 years the brand holds a special place in the heart of collectors, with Zenith timepieces earning a beloved place in luxury watch collections around the world.

 

Zenith Buying Guide

 

 

History

Founded in 1865 by Georges Favre-Jacot, Zenith changed the world of luxury watchmaking forever. Born in 1843 a young Jacot began his career in the world of Haute Horlogerie as an apprentice, harnessing the skills and timeless crafts that would see him establish the now iconic brand in Le Locle at the tender age of just 22. It was his passion for watchmaking and understanding of exactly what made an impeccably crafted timepiece tick that encouraged him to combine all of the elements of watchmaking under one roof for the first time – creating the Manufacture.

In 1899 the brand unveiled its first chronograph pocket watch while in 1909 it was one of the first to produce a wrist watch – filing a patent in this year. In fact it was in 1909 Louis Bleriot, the first to fly across the Channel, took on the historic feat wearing a Zenith pilot watch. However, it wasn’t until 1911 that Zenith adopted its name – opting for a moniker that referred to the highest point reached by a heavenly body in the sky, symbolising the heights of excellence to which the brand with the guiding star has been aspiring to ever since.

By 1925 things were continuing to grow from strength to strength for the brand and this year saw Zenith hire 1,000 people in Le Locle and La Chauz-de-Fonds which was nicknamed the manufacture with 2,000 gold and silver hands. Over the decades success continued to tick along slowly for Zenith, but in 1969 it proved its mastery of Swiss craftsmanship with the iconic El Primero – the world’s first ever integrated automatic chronograph movement. The El Primero movement, which remains one of the most accurate series-made calibres to this day, is the only one capable of measuring short times to the nearest tenth of a second thanks to its balance oscillating at a frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour.

The world of luxury watchmaking found itself in crisis in 1975 as more brands pushed production of quartz watches, limiting production of mechanical timepieces. However, it was thanks to the foresight of a man called Charles Vermot that Zenith’s future was secured, as the watchmaker hid the plans, parts and tools required to make mechanical calibres to save them from deconstruction. When mechanical watches were back in vogue once again in 1984 Vermont gave the brand back the tools he’d kept hidden and production of the El Primero began once again.

Fast-forward to 2015 and Zenith was proud to celebrate its 150th anniversary with the launch of the El Primero Chronomaster 1969 – paying homage to the timepiece that changed the course of its future. Limited to just 150 pieces the limited edition model paid its respects to the original style of the iconic El Primero watch whilst featuring bold contemporary style – epitomising Zenith’s daring attitude. The El Primero was in the spotlight once again in 2017 then the brand introduced the Zentih Defy El Primero 21 – heralded by Zentih as the ultimate embodiment of innovation the watch is accurate to 1/100th of a second – an average of 0.3 seconds every day. Zenith took a further leap in performance and design in that year with the launch of the Defy Lab. Combining centuries old craftsmanship with modern materials the Defy Lab challenges the foundations of watchmaking with its slim monocrystalline silicone oscillator unaffected by the magnetic fields of gravity or temperature.

 

Zenith Buying Guide

 

Craftsmanship

Precision has been at the heart of Zenith since the very beginning and the brand continues to take the lead as a pioneer of modern watchmaking. Still working in the Manufacture blesses Zenith with the independence to continue to push horological boundaries – recruiting the best artisan designers and watchmakers to ensure continual evolution of the brand.

No stranger to its commitment to innovation – Zenith has registered more than 300 patents over the course of its history from on board instruments to wristwatches – the brand has scooped a staggering 2,333 chronometry prizes to date with the El Primero being the jewel in the crown.

It is this passion and relentless quest for precision that has secured the brand’s reputation for an unrivalled accuracy. In fact, 10 of Zenith’s patents relate to the index or regulator – a small component that serves to extend or reduce the active length of the balance spring in order to achieve best possible timing precision. While the ‘gravity control’ gyroscopic module is heralded as being a true 21st century breakthrough. This component features a self-regulating system that exceeds the performance of a tourbillon mechanism by keeping the escapement in a constant horizontal position and free from the variations in rate resulting from wrist movements. Over the years Zenith has created an incredible 600 movement in its Swiss Manufacture – from the simple to the complex.

 

Zenith Buying Guide

 

 

 

 

Iconic Models


Chronomaster
Capturing a sense of eternity in the humble wristwatch Zenith Chronomaster watches are champions of craftsmanship and style. Accuracy is key for every technical masterpiece in the range which is proud to make every minute count.

Defy
Looking to the future of watch design and manufacture Zenith Defy timepieces are shining examples of the brand’s commitment to forward thinking design and its investment in modern craftsmanship skills.

Pilot
Heritage is at the heart of Zenith, with the brand continually paying homage to its rich history whilst continually looking to the future. The brand’s Pilot watches honour its history of creating impeccably crafted aviation watches past and present – taking manufacture to new heights.

 

 

 

Events

ROX was thrilled to add Zenith to its luxury watch portfolio in November 2017 – introducing truly remarkable timepieces to the world of Diamonds & Thrills.

Officially launched in our flagship Argyll Arcade boutique in Glasgow by then Zenith CEO and President of LVMH Watch Division, Jean-Claude Biver, the brand was unveiled with an exclusive question and answer session with the watchmaking legend. From his early days in the industry to the importance of remaining innovative as we move further into the technological age, Mr Biver spoke openly to invited guests at the VIP event. In his first and only trip to Scotland, the horological legend offered a witty insight into the mastery behind watch design and craftsmanship in a truly inspiring evening for all.

Since the launch we have also been delighted to join the brand at the annual Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride – a global fundraising initiative to raise awareness and cash for the Movember foundation as well as a special Land Rover Experience Day for valued clients.

 

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Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride 2018

The annual world-wide event revved into Kelvingrove Art Galleries as part of a ride to raise cash and awareness for prostate cancer and mental health programs on behalf of The Movember Foundation.

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ROX Presents... Zenith Launch

We were honoured to welcome the legendary Jean Claude Biver to our Argyll Arcade boutique for the official launch of Zenith in Scotland. The trip was Mr Biver's first visit to the nation and his first client facing event.

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Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride 2017

Dressed to impress, participants rode into town on classic and vintage motorcycles with sponsorship from Zenith Watches and Triumph Motorcycles.

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ROX Magazine

Named after the highest point reached by a heavenly body in the sky it is hardly surprising that Zenith has proudly pushed the boundaries of mechanical watch design since it was established in 1865.

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What's the frequency, Zenith?

Future proof innovation makes Zenith tick.

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Defying Gravity

Remember those old NASA films of Apollo astronauts training for weightlessness and disorienting g-forces while strapped inside man sized gyroscopes? Well this is the watch for them.

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