October 12, 2012

Manufacture
Zenith

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The story of the Manufacture Zenith began in Le Locle, Switzerland in 1865 when Georges Favre-Jacot, at the age of 22, began his quest to create the most accurate and reliable watches of his era. He soon realized that he would need to revolutionize the production process in order to achieve this vision.

Inspired by the "vault of heaven" he named his watchmaking firm after the highest point in the universe, Zenith. And thus the Manufacture Zenith was born and Georges Favre-Jacot’s dream began to take shape.

For the very first time, he brought watchmaking craftsmen together in a single facility. Previously, these artisans had been scattered between various isolated workshops – a configuration that made it difficult to foster progress. Reunited under one roof, the artisans were able to appropriately test all the components and the complete mechanism.

The Manufacture is a temple of the watchmaker’s art, subtly melding craft and industry. The buildings feature a resolutely modern design, while the workshops are constantly updated. Up until recently, the parquet floors were fitted with rails that allow the artisans to glide around the shop while remaining seated.

Everything is designed to avoid the slightest speck of dust. There are plenty of waters sources and ample daylight thanks to large, strategically located windows. During the winter months, electric lighting allows employees to work "just like in daylight".

Thanks to this revolutionary production technique, Zenith soon attained international recognition for its remarkable and unrivaled precision. The most extraordinary movement to come out of the Manufacture was the El Primero in 1969. Today, it still remains the fastest and therefore most accurate automatic winding chronograph in the world.

The Manufacture, which embodies the pioneering spirit of the brand, is still located in the exact spot where Georges Favre-Jacot built his first workshop. And its newly restored façade shines brighter than ever in the firmament of the luxury watchmaking.

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