The King family proudly announces the opening of the Zenith watch boutique at King Jeweler’s Aventura watch salon. Founded in Le Locle in 1865 by a visionary watchmaker, Georges Favre-Jacot, the Manufacture Zenith earned swift recognition for the precision of its chronometers with which it has won 2,333 chronometry prizes in a century and a half of existence: an absolute record in terms of pocket watches, onboard timers and wristwatches. Having earned fame thanks to its legendary El Primero caliber – an integrated automatic column-wheel chronograph movement launched in 1969 and endowed with a high frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour that ensures measurements accurate to the nearest 1/10th of a second – the Manufacture Zenith has since developed over 600 movement variations. All Zenith watches are fitted with an in-house Zenith movement and are developed by the Manufacture in Le Locle. The latter currently stands at the exact spot where its founder built the first company workshop, thus physically embodying a continuity that is a rarity in itself.
The founder proved he was daring right from his first year in business. This visionary man had enormous light-filled workshops built in Le Locle, a small town in the Swiss canton of Neuchatel, with the goal of bringing all the skilled watchmaking trades together under one roof. The very first integrated watchmaking “Manufacture” was born, and has remained there since. It enabled him to develop and produce all of the components and control the entire manufacturing process – for the movements, of course, but also for enameled or painted dials, and even cases. He lost no time in teaching his craftsmen about his calling: continually inventing watches unlike any other, with complete creative freedom, and building them from start to finish.
In fact, innovation was to become a Zenith tradition – to such an extent that over its history, the Manufacture has registered more than 300 patents, created over 600 movement variations, and set the absolute record for chronometer prizes with 2,333. The first integrated automatic chronograph movement, launched in 1969, operated at the exceptional frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour, and the El Primero chronograph continues to set standards to this day. It is also still the world’s most accurate series-produced calibre.
Such extraordinary feats would have been impossible without the men and women who performed them. While the company has, most of all, the talent and passion of its craftsmen to thank for its reputation that has endured generation after generation, it also owes its renown to the amazing projects it has supported over time, undertaken by some extraordinary personalities from among aviators, explorers, and adventurers. From Louis Blériot in 1909, through Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who discovered the South Pole in 1911, to Felix Baumgartner in 2012, Zenith’s history is replete with figures that epitomize its legacy of nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit of those who brave conventions to find freedom and fulfillment.
Within the watchmaking context, brands have to set themselves apart. This is primarily accomplished through the creation of distinct “worlds.” A long-established brand such as Zenith holds fast to its founding values, with which everyone – customers and employees alike – can identify. According to Jono King, President of King Jewelers, “We’re honored to partner with Zenith timepieces here in the South Florida market. Zenith has long been known as one of the finest and most historical Swiss watch manufacturers. Their technology, quality, and price points are unbelievable, not to mention the new Pilot and El Primero collections are outstandingly handsome.”
REAFFIRMING THE BRAND VALUES
King Jewelers shares the integrity and history with Zenith watches with more than 100 years of experience in the luxury watch and jewelry industry. As an integral part of a brand’s heritage, values enable the brand to construct a “moral framework,” a guideline that underlies all of its external and internal discourse. Zenith’s values have always clearly shown through in its decisions, actions, and collections. They are now stated explicitly.
Authenticity is a value that links the heritage of the past with the promises of the future. The word also implies that the brand is one of the very few manufacturers that design and develop their own movements. It is a reminder, if one were needed, that Zenith is a credible, legitimate brand. Manufacturing a Zenith watch and its components involves a total of 80 specialist trades, in a process lasting nine months on average. All of our craftsperson, regardless of their technical or artistic specialty – from miniaturization through working with shapes and materials, or prototype manufacturing and logistics, to timekeeping – share this passion for excellence and love to dedicate their talents to making timepieces they know will endure.
Daring is fundamental to the Zenith spirit – the spirit of innovation – which has been a deeply rooted part of its heritage since the very beginning. This value is tied to the kind of vision Georges Favre-Jacot showed in the early days of his company when he created the first integrated Manufacture in the history of modern watchmaking. Some of the company’s many inventions have been a part of this never-ending quest. Examples include El Primero, the first series-produced integrated automatic chronograph movement, which operates at the exceptional frequency of 10 vibrations per second, i.e., with tenth-of-a-second accuracy; the Gravity Control system, which counteracts the effects of gravity and which Zenith is the only manufacturer to offer; and finally the Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane, a world first that not only brings together these two guarantors of absolute accuracy, but also provides an answer to the loss of isochronism as the watch winds down. The daring that Zenith has always shown can be equated with that of aviation pioneers such as Louis Blériot and Léon Morane, or of those who push back the limits of impossibility, such as Felix Baumgartner.
Finally, the last and probably the most subtle of the three values – pleasure – is to be understood in the sense of accomplishment, the satisfaction of having nothing to prove yet giving oneself the means always to forge ahead, with one’s watch as a companion. It is a value that implies recognition that scorns ostentation but savors the present moment, and in itself justifies the fact that Zenith has always supported the wildest and craziest of projects. Watchmaking complications continue to fire the imagination, despite the spread of virtual reality and the Internet. Today, more than ever, Zenith is still a constant companion of dream chasers.
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