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Zenith watches was founded in 1865 by Georges Favre-Jacot, who, at the young age of 22, was one of the first watchmakers to understand the importance of the principle of interchangeable parts.
It is said that one night after Georges Favre Jacot finished a movement he considered almost perfection, he went out and looked at the stars and he felt the cosmos almost speak to him, he saw the gigantic constellation turning around the Pole star similar in the complexity to the movements of the pivots and the wheels on their axes, he decided then to call his new Zenith movement and its manufacture after the word that designates the highest point in the universe, ZENITH, the star was adopted as a brand symbol as it is still today.
By the time Jacot retired in 1929, Zenith had made watch history, winning grand prix medals for timekeeping precision at international expositions in Geneva, Paris, Barcelona, and Neuchatel. In 1969, the Zenith company won renown for introducing the world's first automatic chronograph movement, the Zenith El Primero. Oscillating at 36,000 alternations/hour, the Zenith El Primero was a high frequency automatic intergrated column wheel chronograph movement able to measure short time intervals to a tenth of a second, an unsurpassed world record.
During the quartz crisis, Zenith became one of the brands Rolex bought calibers from for their chronographs because of their quality and accuracy. El Primero is a suitable name for not only the first automatic chronograph but the first integrated column wheel chronograph. Today you can get the Zenith El Primero Chronomaster, a more modern version of the Zenith El Primero which uses the same proportions as the original 1969 version which had a 38mm case size. The Zenith El Primero Chronomaster revival gives you a win-win situation with the best of both eras. You can have a modern looking case of the El Primero Chronomaster with the same case size and trusty high-beat chronograph caliber. The Zenith Chronomaster El Primero series is available with a stainless steel case, a combination of stainless steel and rose gold, or a solid 18kt rose gold case.
The Zenith El Primero recently got more complicated. Zenith even made a high-complication El Primero Tourbillon. The advent of the Zenith El Primero Tourbillon brought this collection into a whole new class of horology. Adding a high-complication to an already well made chronograph made the Zenith El Primero Tourbillon an object of remark with enthusiasts and collectors all over the world.
Recently, Zenith has gone above and beyond with the famous El Primero with the introduction of the Zenith Defy El Primero. What makes the Zenith Defy El Primero so special is its ability to time things with a new unprecedented precision of up to 1/100th of a second. The central chronograph second's hand on the Zenith Defy El Primero makes a full revolution per second with a split seconds track that allows you to view up to a hundred split seconds. The Zenith Defy has clearly defied all odds.
In 1995, Zenith watches launched a new generation of ultra-thin chronographs called the Zenith Elite. The Zenith Elite watches was recently voted best mechanical movement by the professional press. Since its beginning, Zenith has been recognized with more than 1,565 first observatory prizes in chronometry, making it the Swiss brand most rewarded for precision.
Zenith's go-to collection for aeronautical professionals is known as the Zenith Pilot which has several series within such as the Zenith Pilot Chronograph, Zenith Pilot Type 20, Pilot Montre d'Aeroneuf Type 20 GMT, and the Pilot Type 20 Chronograph. This collection is distinguished by its vintage roots with an enlarged crown. This collection gave birth to a limited edition paying tribute to The Rolling Stones which comes on a Diamond Like Carbon-coated (DLC) ultra lightweight, yet durable titanium case. This limited edition has a dial which depicts the band's famous tongue logo. Other watches in this collection come on either a bronze, stainless steel or titanium case.