Zenith Story

Zenith Story

Zeniith Strap

In 1865, 22-year-old businessman George Favre-Jacot set up his company named as Favre Jacot in Le Locle in Switzerland. In 1905, the company was re-named as Zenith Manufacturing Company.

George Favre-Jacot realized at a very early stage the importance of standardizing the component specifications in order to facilitate the substitution. Thus, he gathered the experts from different industries to extensively learn the expertise. As a pioneer, George combined the traditional methods of hand-making watches with industrialized production and this set a good foundation for optimizing production.  

In early 1930s, pocket watches became unpopular and this gave rise to the popularity of wrist watches. At that time, Zenith developed sports watches which were a new series of watches. Such a launch immediately aroused an intense competition among the watch industry. It was necessary for the watch factories to quicken the production process, to provide the reasonable prices and to manufacture the precise and simple watches so as to meet the need of army. The new slim and light design was actually the extension of the precise watches especially designed for navy. The newly designed watches functioned better based on the techniques for aviation industry to further enhance the durability, the distance and the speed. 

Apart from the navy, Zenith also developed the watches for dashboard for French navy. In 1940 when World War II broke out, the watches were chosen to be one of the equipments. Zenith also manufactured the complex timers which could be installed in bombs with the fly-back function. Furthermore, Zenith provided some wrist watches for Italian Royal Navy. Soon after the World War II ended, the Zenith watches which could accurately measure the time had instantly become the craze among people. In early 1950s, it was the first golden time for watches. People not only paid attention to style, but also pay attention to the quality of hand-made manual winding watches.

In 1969, Zenith produced the world’s first automatic chronograph movement with the vibrating frequency up to 36000. Its timing device was so accurate that there would not be more than one-tenth second in difference. Zenith named this movement as “El Primero”, meaning “the first” in Spanish.

The1970s were the revolutionary time for both watches industry and the market. Due to the popularity of quartz watches, a lot of watch factories had either closed or merged with the principal factories in North America or Japan. Zenith could not escape this either. In 1972, Zenith Watches was acquired by the American pioneering colour TV manufacturer Zenith Radio Chicago. Three years later, Zenith had stopped producing the automatic movement but still reserved the tools and the machinery parts.

In July 1978, Zenith was acquired by the Swiss industrialist Paqul Castella and the company was re-named as ZENITH Movado Le Locle Ltd.. At that time, it was still the prime time for quartz watches. But some watch manufacturers with foresight had predicted the traditional watch-making industry would definitely make a comeback again.

Later on, the retro of watches was getting more and more intense and Zenith received more and more orders for automatic movements. The company had finally restored the production of movements in 1984 and still kept using the traditional tools for production. Over the past 130 years, Zenith insisted on producing the highly precise and high-performance watches. They strongly believed the only way to produce quality watches was by carefully completing every procedure of production. That was why each of Zenith watches obtained COSC Chronometer Certificate.

Since 1903, the Zenith wrist watches had been the winner of precision awards by official observatory as well as the most frequent winner in Swiss watches history. Thus, Zenith watches seemed to be the representative of precision. Until now, Zenith has won 1447 first prizes and has been the champion for 88 times consecutively in international and world’s exhibitions. Zenith is actually the leading high-precision watch manufacturer in Switzerland.

In 1999, Zenith joined LVMH, the world’s biggest group of quality products. Zenith continues the spirit of innovation and enhances the development of complex watches and limited edition watches so as to satisfy the lovers of complex watches all over the globe.

**no guarantee about story is completely accurate and existed difference**