By bringing together all the watchmaking métiers under one roof, Georges Favre-Jacot revolutionized the watch manufacturing model for good. His visionary intuition gave the Zenith Manufacture a permanent place in history and paved the way for breakthroughs in production techniques. Since 1865, the Manufacture has crafted wristwatches and pocket watches, but also flight instruments that boast extraordinary timekeeping performance and combine technical prowess, innovation and emotion.
El Primero, a remarkable and now-legendary movement which the House’s craftsmen spent seven years developing, captures the magic of these beautiful mechanisms, a high-frequency magic that makes 10 vibrations per second. With over 300 patents filed, the House has built up an impressive bank of savoir-faire honored with over 2,300 awards for timekeeping precision. Year after year, these awards reward the level of excellence shared by the 80 métiers that come together to manufacture a Zenith watch and its components.
First automatic chronograph movement in history with an accuracy of 1/10th, El Primero movement was released in 1969 and became an emblematic milestone in watchmaking that has won countless awards. Over forty years later, Zenith timepieces are still equipped with this caliber and its extraordinary mechanism.
The first industrial watchmaking Manufacture in the modern sense of the term, the Zenith Manufacture, located in the region of Le Locle, the cradle of Swiss watchmaking, looks out over the mountains of Neuchâtel. In a place steeped in history, the Manufacture has used a revolutionary workflow system based on the vertical integration model since it was founded in 1865. From design to production, each Zenith watch contains a movement that, once assembled, contains between 150 and 1,000 components. This daily feat depends on close cooperation between craftsmen and specialists, all working together under one roof in the interests of efficiency but also the House’s independence. Its characteristic architecture boasts a distinctive facade of red and white-painted bricks that proudly spell out the name of the brand with the star symbol, and the letters G.F.J., the initials of its founder. A Manufacture of international renown that has stepped firmly into the 21st century and today boasts 18 buildings on the same plot. Faithful to its origins and its values, the House has never left the premises in which it was founded.
Faithful to the creative daring that has defined it since 1865, the Zenith Manufactures celebrate its 150th anniversary. From Louis Blériot to Felix Baumgartner, from Mahatma Gandhi to Roald Amundsen, throughout the course of its long history the House has contributed to some of the greatest human adventures. For a century and a half, Zenith’s driving inspiration has been nurtured by these daring visionaries who decided to follow their star.
- 2,333 Timekeeping precision awards won since 1903. An all-time record
- 600 movement variations
- 300 patents filed