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For more than 150 years, Zenith has been developing luxury watches at affordable prices. Where many brands focus on extravagant extras, Zenith puts its focus on the most important feature of a watch: Precision on the extreme.

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The history of Zenith

In 1865 Georges Favre-Jacot founded his eponymous watch brand. This year not only describes the year of birth of the company, but it also revolutionized the production of watches. Favre-Jacot put all watchmaking professions in one house for the first time and invented the first watch manufactory. Due to the close cooperation of the various professions and processes, watches of the highest quality could be produced early on. In 1899, the brand's first pocket chronograph was introduced, which helped Favre-Jacot to win the gold medal at the Paris World's Fair just one year later. In order to strengthen the positioning among the famous and stars of watchmaking, in 1911 the company name was changed to "Zenith" and the logo was given a shiny star.

Zenith was called “The manufactory with the 2000 golden and silver hands" after the company had exceeded the mark of 1000 employees in 1925. These industrious hands produced numerous novelties in the next few years. Among other things, the legendary caliber 135, which helped with its small second and a diameter of just 29.3mm the company to win more than 235 awards. Zenith watches convinced in many ways; They were built small at an extremely high quality. Also larger clocks such as aircraft instrument chronographs, train clocks and car clocks were, due to their precision, in the portfolio until the recent past.

Zenith made a breakthrough in 1969 with the automatic chronograph "El Primero". The movement was swinging at a frequency of 36,000 half swings per second and measures precise to a tenth of a second. This makes it the most accurate series movement in the world today. Between 1975 and 1984, Zenith decided to limit its production to quartz watches and abolished all tools and plans for mechanical watches. Fortunately, the watchmaker Charles Vermot took some records and components with him and hid them. So in 1984, when the demand for mechanical watches rose again, the production of the popular El Primero could be resumed. At that time, other watch companies realized how outstanding this movement was and also equipped their watches with it.

Always oriented towards innovation, Zenith did not rest on the success. In 1994, a new revolutionary caliber was awarded with the title "Movement of the Year": the automatic movement Elite. It combines extreme flatness with robustness, making it possible to design ultra-slim watches. The final incorporation into the world of luxury watches took place at the turn of the millennium and in 2000 the brand became part of the luxury group LVMH. Since then, many people gained knowledge about the excellent accuracy of the watches of the brand, but few people know how such a highly complex movements really work. Therefore, in 2003, Zenith developed again a novelty an “Open-Concept”, giving the wearer a glimpse into the ticking interior of the watch. On the dial, an opening is installed that exposes the mechanical high-frequency movement and provides a fascinating insight. Even today, this design can be found on many models and gives the Zenith watches an unmistakable recognition value.

In the next few years, Zenith produced more and more prestigious watches, including the "Academy Christopher Colomb Equation of Time," which in 2010 and 2011 won the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève for the best complication. When in 2012 Felix Baumgartner was the first person to break the sound barrier in free fall, he wore a Zenith Stratos Flyback Striking 10th on his arm and Zenith was also the official timekeeper of the event. Through this cooperation, the brand again made its pioneering spirit clear. This was reinforced in 2013 when the watch was awarded in the Sports Watch category at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève. One year later, Zenith was able to achieve this success with the Chronomaster El Primero Lightweight, which was awarded in the same category. A striking feature of this model was that it was dispensed of all extra weight without losing precision.

For the 150th anniversary of the brand Zenith in 2015 considered something special. There were 150 copies of a limited edition of the Zenith El Primero: Chronomaster 1969 published to commemorate the masterpiece of the 70s. Aspects of the original watch were paired with modern details to create a contemporary yet classic watch. Zenith promises highest quality and exceptionally precise accuracy. Nonetheless, it became the company's philosophy to offer luxury watches cheaply and make them accessible to more people. So the brand became equally popular with collectors and newcomers.

The 4 most popular Zenith modells

  • The Zenith Elite with the reference number 03.2010.681.01.C493 is a beautiful white automatic watch with a sub-dial at 9 o'clock. Hands and stick indices are silver colored and give the watch a minimalist look. It is very thin and simple, making it a very unobtrusive yet an extremely high-quality timepiece.
  • Another particularly beautiful model is the Zenith El Primero 03.2170.4613 / 01.C713. The bright colors make the watch look friendly and elegant, but the watch's unique open concept makes it a real eye-catcher. Between 9 and 12 o'clock you will find an opening in the dial, below which it presents the filigree movement.
  • The Zenith Defy Xtreme Open Chronograph 96.0528.4000 / 21.R642 immediately catches the eye for its size of 46mm. In addition, it has three totalizers, which are combined as usual for Zenith with the Open concept and disclose the ticking inside. Not only does it look sturdy, it is also extremely durable thanks to its PVD / titanium housing and water resistant up to 100 m.
  • The Zenith Pilot Montre d'Aéronef Type 20 GMT 03.2430.693.21.C723 is a pilot's watch with a distinctive crown and extremely well readable indices. It has a GMT function which is indicated by a red hand. The case is made of stainless steel and the bracelet is made of classic leather.

The 5 best reasons to buy a Zenith watch

  • High-quality, filigree art of watchmaking
  • Exceptional precision
  • Robust and durable watches
  • Versatile designs by e.g. “Open Concept”-Design
  • Watches with many years of history and lasting value

The most popular series from Zenith

  • Zenith Elite is an ultra-flat and simple series. The caliber of the same name was awarded with the “Movement of the Year”-Price in 1994 and promises the highest precision. It is the perfect companion for everyday life, unobtrusive, it completes every outfit perfectly.
  • The flagship of the brand is the legendary El Primero. The automatic chronograph is still the most accurate series movement worldwide and available in numerous variants. Many models incorporate Zenith's open-concept technology, revealing the wearer a view inside the watch.
  • The Zenith Defy series is a very eye-catching and massive series. It has a sapphire crystal bottom, which gives insight into the interior. In addition, many models also have a skeleton dial, through which you can watch the movement from the front.
  • Used by the Italian military in the 1960s the Zenith Cairelli is a popular vintage model of the brand. At that time the Italian middleman A. Cairelli delivered the watches in Rome to the armed forces of Italy. Hence the name and the inscription "A. Cairelli Roma ". It has a simple bezel with a 60-minute countdown, two totalizers at 3 and 9 o'clock and simple fluorescent Arabic indices. Particularly well-preserved models with minor traces of wear prove to be excellent investments.

Buy used and vintage Zenith watches

Investment in a certified, used luxury watch should be well thought though and above all it is important how stable in value the brand and the model are. Vintage watches from Zenith are a great way to make a low-priced investment. If for example, one looks at the increase in value of the Zenith A. Cairelli, one finds a steadily growing price. Of course, the values vary depending on the model. In order not to leave you by your own, our service team is happy to assist you to find the best Zenith prices for you.

Buy Zenith Watches - easy and fast

You have found a used Zenith watch and want to wear it as soon as possible on your arm, but do not know yet which type of financing fits best for you? At Watchmaster you have numerous options to finance your Zenith. Simply by credit card or, if you prefer to invest on a longer term, the installment purchase could be a suitable option. Paying is also easily possible with a few clicks through PayPal. Do you have any questions and need advice to find the perfect watch especially for you? Feel free to call our Watchmaster customer service, relax and let us do the work for you.
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