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Zenith 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 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 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 company won renown for introducing the world's first automatic chronograph movement, the El Primero. Oscillating at 36,000 alternations/hour, the El Primero was able to measure short time intervals to a tenth of a second, an unsurpassed world record. In 1995, Zenith launched a new generation of ultra-thin chronographs, the Elite, 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.
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