ZENITH announces the promise of a stunning future


Zenith is writing its future… and the future of Swiss watchmaking. Yes, the brand with a guiding star is creating nothing short of a galactic explosion in the watchmaking universe with the launch of a whole new dimension in mechanical precision!


Such was the thrust of ZENITH’s Baselworld 2018 kickoff press conference on March 21st, hosted by the President of the LVMH Watch Division, Jean-Claude Biver; ZENITH CEO, Julien Tornare; and attended by friends of the brand including recording artist and producer, Swizz Beatz, along with the well-known photographer, biker and enfant terrible, Dimitri Coste.


The event was held on the booth which has evolved in a new and more design forward direction. Visitors were immediately struck by a bold outsized visual of the Defy El Primero 21 movement featuring dark modern tones evoking the new collection and the brand’s fresh future-driven momentum. In addition, a dedicated Defy Room invited them to enter an extremely dark universe featuring six portholes with a fast-rotating mechanism creating luminous graphics. For anyone approaching to within 1.5 metres, the sequence stops and one of the six different models thus presented lights up to become clearly visible in startling detail. This powerful sensory experience instils a distinctively dynamic and on-trend atmosphere that sets an effective stage for these charismatic and resolutely upbeat timepieces. The Defy Room sound track has been specially designed by Swizz Beatz to match the resolutely experimental, contemporary urban atmosphere of this Baselworld must-see.


Emphasising the brand’s new beginnings, Julien Tornare said: “ZENITH has been bringing style and substance to the wrists of watchmaking cognoscenti all over the world for more than 150 years. In the third millennium, based on this same DNA, but with renewed energy, the brand has blazed the trail for fascinating new vistas in time measurement with the launch of the Defy El Primero 21 and the Defy Lab. The former opened up the world of hundredth of a second timing, a quantum leap in terms of performance and engineering, impressively combining the historic heritage of Zenith with the future of watchmaking; while the latter, winner of the Innovation Prize at the 2017 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, challenged the very foundations of traditional watchmaking with the most accurate mechanical watch ever made.”


He continued: “In 2018, we continue to reach for the stars. Leveraging the entrepreneurial spirit so firmly entrenched in our brand, the focus is firmly on expanding on our iconic Defy and Pilot collections. This year, the futuristic DNA of the DEFY line will appear in a full-fledged collection featuring several degrees of mechanical complexity, ranging from three-hand to Grand Complication models. While the three-hand plus date Defy Classic in ultra-light titanium propels casual chic elegance into a whole new dimension, the new Defy Zero G defies the laws of gravity with its downsized and optimised gyroscopic ‘Gravity Control’ module, in the first embodiment of futuristic Haute Horlogerie. Fans of pilot watches can also look forward to a number of new iterations of our highly popular PILOT Type 20 watches. These include a relaunch of the PILOT Type 20 Chronograph Ton Up as well as a new special edition that is the latest result of our partnership with cult cigar brand Cohiba.”


Swizz Beatz capsule collection

The Baselworld kick-off also provided the ideal occasion to announce the launch of Swizz Beatz capsule collection this year, in the wake of last year’s captivating Defy El Primero 21 Swizz Beatz Edition Unique. Known for his eclectic and discerning style choices and his mature appreciation of watchmaking, world famous hip hop artist and record producer Swizz Beatz had already welcomed the December 2017 NYC launch of a Defy El Primero 21 six-piece limited edition that attracted considerable interest among watch connoisseurs and music-lovers. Aficionados are now being treated to three colourful and appealing new special editions. Just three of the Defy Zero G Swizz Beatz will be issued, featuring a 44mm-diameter brushed titanium case framing an openworked dial featuring orange accents on the hands and hour-markers picking up the bright colour featured on the crown ring and the vivid alligator leather coating of the white rubber strap. Both the latter and the bezel inscribed with all or part of an inspirational quote from the music visionary: “Never let people tell you what you can’t do, because sky’s not the limit, it’s just the view”. The same maxim is featured on the two Defy El Primero 21 editions: one a 25-piece white ceramic interpretation, and the other an exclusive five-unit gem-studded white gold variation fully set with 288 spectacular round diamonds and complemented by the baguette-cut diamonds on the bezel. Three powerful tributes illustrating what can happen when a key figure on the contemporary musical scene meets a brand committed to writing the future of Swiss watchmaking.


World-first exclusive tourism collaboration

Selected by the Neuchâtel regional tourist office, Zenith showcases its exciting momentum in other innovative ways designed to further promote the watchmaking industry. April 26th will see the launch of LE MONDE ETOILÉ DE ZENITH, extending an invitation to explore the star-studded Zenith universe. Targeting the public at large, this very first guided tour of a prestige Manufacture is intended to raise the profile of the inner workings of a brand which houses some 80 watchmaking professions beneath its roof. Whether exponents of the more artistic crafts or of ultra-technical skills, all are engaged in the task undertaken by Georges Favre-Jacot 150 years ago: that of mastering each gesture to enable free-spirited creation of mechanical marvels combining noble watchmaking traditions with avant-garde innovations. Watch this space in 2018, as ZENITH once again reaches for the stars and reveals its new face dedicated to writing both its own future … and that of Swiss watchmaking.
ZENITH: The Future of Swiss Watchmaking

Since 1865, Zenith has been guided by authenticity, daring and passion in pushing the boundaries of excellence, precision and innovation. Soon after its founding in Le Locle by visionary watchmaker Georges Favre-Jacot, Zenith gained recognition for the precision of its chronometers, with which it has won 2,333 chronometry prizes in just over a century and a half of existence: an absolute record. Famed for its legendary 1969 El Primero calibre enabling short-time measurements accurate to the nearest 1/10th of a second, the Manufacture has since developed over 600 movement variations. Today, Zenith offers new and fascinating vistas in time measurement, including 1/100th of a second timing with the Defy El Primero 21; and a whole new dimension in mechanical precision with the world’s most accurate watch, the 21st century Defy Lab.  Energised by newly reinforced ties with a proud tradition of dynamic, avant-garde thinking, Zenith is writing its future… and the future of Swiss watchmaking.

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