A full report of the ZENITH watches at Baselworld 2013
A full report from the ZENITH booth at Baselworld 2013
When Georges Favre-Jacot founded Zenith Watches in 1865, in Le Locle, Switzerland, he probably never imagined that his finished product would become a benchmark for watch making worldwide. After a few recent and rather unfortunate years during which the brand’s original concept appeared to have “gone astray”, along with a consequent loss of devotees, the brand is now back in business and has recaptured its lustre under the leadership of Jean-Frederic Dufour, showing unprecedented product creativity. This past April, during the annual fair held in Basel, Zenith unveiled a revitalised stand, true to its renovated brand image and representative of its 150- years long tradition. We already introduced you to some of the brand's product novelties, but the time has now come for you to travel with us on a journey through time to discover how a watchmaker becomes a living legend.
Let's start with Pocket Watches, (the wristwatch was just beginning to emerge) going from left to right: a pocket watch (circa 1920) made of translucent Bakelite with a gold pendant designed by René Lalique, one of the most famous artists of the Art Nouveau period, representing a dancing scene; a pocket watch engraved with a dragon amongst foliage (circa 1910), evidence of Zenith's early presence on the Chinese market; an attractive 18K chronograph exquisitely enamelled on both sides; the first Tourbillion by Zenith, circa 1920, housed in an enamel case and featuring a beautiful finish of plates and bridges:
And what about the link between Zenith and Aviation? It all began with a historical event, the crossing of the Channel, from Calais to Dover, by aviator Louis Bleriot, in the summer of 1909. On his wrist, a Zenith watch. Then, another collector's piece, the Chronograph Cairelli, made between 1950 and 1960 by Zenith for A.Cairelli, the official supplier to the Italian Army. Sporting a round steel case and an aluminium bezel with a black lacquered matt insert and indexes treated with tritium. Fifty years later and we have the modern Pilot collection, for him and her, with a case and dial faithful to Bleriot’s original design:
George Favre was a visionary and from the very beginning he provided women with attractive collections as well. Taking the spotlight during the Art Deco period, the brand offered several ladies' timepieces with diamond-set bracelets and winding crown located on the case back for example. And the legacy continues today with the 2013 Heritage Star Open collection, where you may admire, through the enamelled dial, the prestigious El Primero calibre, an icon among automatic chronograph movements:
A step into the future, represented by the Stratos collection, made famous by Felix Baumgartner's brilliant cutting-edge vision (Zenith can now claim to have made the first "supersonic" chronograph), is the Heritage line and, last not least, the Chronomaster Bullit, featuring a ceramised aluminium case and a carbon fibre dial:
We complete this report with the introduction of the high-end Academy collection and its Cristophe Coulomb, acclaimed as Best Complicated Watch at the "Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève" in 2011:
Here is the complete HD gallery:
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter - Watches & Luxury
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