Time piece # 9
The Zenith Watch Company was created by Georges Favre-Jacot in 1865. He brought all the artisan watchmakers in his area that worked out of their homes to work together in a factory to cut down manufacturing times.
Since its inception the company has won over 1,500 watch industry awards. In 1969 the company created the legendary “El Primo” chronograph movement. Not only was the El Primo the fastest movement in the world it was the first automatic chronograph created. The movement was able run at 36,000 beats per hour in comparison to what is still today’s industry standard of a premier watch at 28,000 bph. The El Primo was also the only mechanical watch that could measure short time intervals of 1/10 of a second. Zenith began supplying the movement to Rolex to be used in its famous Daytona watches.
If you have read the “Timepiece” posts prior to this one you know that the quartz movement forced many of the swiss watch industry Giants out of business. Sales slowed dramatically for Zenith and in 1978 the company was sold to the Swiss Dixi Group. Due to the takeover movements by Ebel were used to cut costs but in 1984, Zenith movements and watches were once again sold to the public. The luxury giant Louis Vutton Moet Hennessy purchased Zenith in 1999 and the popularity of the brand has increased.
Zenith sells a wide variety of watches at different price points. They can start from about $4,000 up to well over 150k with the average price “new” in the mid teens. The good news is that you can buy some versions of these watches used under 3k.
A co-worker was kind enough to let me borrow his watch overnight. He got it for a great price on the used market. This project has been fun but I don’t know if I will make it to 30 :-). I did get a new item from the Orient Watch company last night and I must say I am very happy with it and will blog about that piece shortly.