Zenith watches – a history

Zenith has an extremely interesting history. The love of watches and craftsmanship had already appeared in the mind of nine-year-old Georges Favre, who dropped out of school at that age to learn the craft of watchmaking. He was a true visionary because, a few years later, he was the first to run company in such a way that production of Zenith watches from start to finish was possible under the roof of a single building, something that had not been seen before.

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Zenith watches – early days

It all began in 1865, when Georges Favre-Jacot (he took one part of his wife's surname), founded Zenith in the town of Le Locle. Just five years later, he began exporting to global markets, with a particular predilection for Russia, as evidenced by the first Zenith watches with an ornate dial bearing the name in Cyrillic. 

Initially, the manufactory produced pocket watches, but in the early 20th century, it became one of the brands that promoted a new trend – the wristwatch.

Zenith brand name and logo

The name Zenith first appeared on a watch in 1897, but the company only officially adopted it in 1911. It all reportedly began with the founder taking a walk under a starry sky. The beauty and radiance emanating from the stars were said to herald the brand's imminent success. The brand's initial greatest achievement was very surprising.

An 1891 railway disaster in the USA, caused by a fast watch of one of the train drivers, contributed to the very rapid growth Zenith. At the time authorities in numerous countries as well as railway managers became convinced that accurate and trouble-free watches were essential for train drivers. Zenith watches satisfied these requirements, making the brand a major supplier of watches to the railways of many countries throughout the years.

Zenith watches and their reliable movement

Known for their precision, Zenith watches made an impact where accuracy, reliability and impeccable quality counted. The El Primero movement is recognised by watchmakers as one of the most reliable and one of the best. Zenith watches, however, are not only about fantastic quality, but also about a timeless, minimalist form with a distinct hint of elegance.