DEMONSTRATION OF EXPERTISE
A brand’s character is inseparably bound up with its history and with the small or large facts and events that have made their mark on its day-to-day activities down through the decades. In the case of Zenith, all the seeds that have blossomed into the richness of its current reputation were sown right from the start of the Manufacture – meaning from 1865 onwards, when Georges Favre-Jacot first decided to revolutionise the principles of watchmaking as it was then practised, while setting out in pursuit of excellence viewed through the prism of innovation. This daring idea of constantly pushing the performances of Zenith watches is now a daily reality that fulfils the cherished wish of the past. In actual fact, the founder of Zenith entrusted us with more than just a wish, but indeed a true mission. We consider this calling to consist in preserving the authentic character of what we do, highlighting the craftsmanship that is inextricably linked with fine watchmaking, as well as mastering and perpetuating these countless skills that enable us to express the full extent of our creativity by drawing upon the considerable resources of the Manufacture. And if the scope of expertise is often measured by the variety of products presented, Zenith once again demonstrates that it has plenty of strings to its bow with an array of new releases for 2014 that shine as brightly as the stars in the heavenly firmament – all sparkling yet all different. Authenticity is about remaining in touch with one’s values, about being faithful to the spirit that has been guiding the House for almost 150 years. Creative daring is indeed embedded in Zenith’s very genes.
That is why we invite you this year to embark upon a three-fold discovery imbued with a sense of pleasure entirely in keeping with the spirit and the diversity that forge Zenith’s unique wealth of character. We first invite you to walk into the future with the dynamic El Primero Lightweight; then to savour the reinvented icons embodied in the new El Primero Synopsis models; and finally to take to the skies with the impressive Pilot Type 20 Grand Feu. Happy travels!
President and CEO
STRONG VALUES, ENDURING VALUES
AUTHENTICITY DARING PLEASURE
For almost 150 years, Zenith has been proving that one can successfully combine authenticity and daring in order to spark emotions. In this respect, the brand has made an exceptional contribution to demonstrating that a timepiece can be both a symbol of excellence and an object of desire. The brand with the guiding star was indeed born from a subtly different approach to Fine Watchmaking, to precision and to reliability. Its name refers to the highest point in the sky, and it is precisely this level of expertise that the artisans of the Manufacture have been pursuing since 1865. In 2014, the Manufacture Zenith intends to pursue the path carved out since 1865 by presenting a new range of models that continue to combine horological tradition with the spirit of innovation in accordance with the precepts of the founder Georges Favre-Jacot. Like all models by the brand, the new releases for 2014 are entirely in harmony with the Zenith values of authenticity, daring and pleasure. Authenticity, in that they embody the pioneering spirit of the brand and its excellence in the field of traditional expertise. Daring, in light of the designs and technologies implemented in their production. And of course pleasure, because they have the power to inspire dreams and to serve as loyal companions for those fortunate enough to wear them.
TRANSCENDING THE VISIONARY SPIRIT
SHINING IN THE WATCHMAKINGFIRMAMENT
It all began with a man, Georges Favre-Jacot. But also with a dream, a destiny: that of creating the first ever industrial Manufacture in order to make the most reliable and precise watches ever conceived, and thereby to transform 19th century watchmaking. For the men and women who now perpetuate the visionary spirit of Georges Favre-Jacot, the quest for excellence is the same as ever. These artisans with golden fingers are authentic witnesses to creative daring who follow their own star in daily accomplishing the destiny of what has remained one of the most innovative Manufactures for almost 150 years.
BIRTH OF THE FIRST EVER INDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURE In the 19th century, in the region of Le Locle, a number of watchmakers worked from home or in small and scattered workshops. Based on the principle that all parts of a watch are interdependent, the youthful Georges Favre-Jacot decided to unite the entire range of watchmaking skills under one roof. The first industrial watch Manufacture was born. Georges Favre-Jacot thereby enabled watchmaking to make a major step forward. Results followed swiftly for Zenith, as some of the most accurate watches ever produced emerged from the Manufacture in Le Locle and made their way around the world, forever sealing the destiny of Zenith as inseparably bound up with chronometric (precision-timing) performance.
2,333 CHRONOMETRY PRIZES WON BETWEEN 1903
AND THE LATE 1960S
600 MOVEMENT VARIATIONS
300 REGISTERED PATENTS
DESTINED FOR AWARD-WINNING CHRONOMETRIC PERFORMANCE In 1899, the Manufacture launched its first pocket chrono- graph, and a year later won the gold medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition. In 1911, it definitively adopted the name Zenith, a reference to the highest point in the sky and symbolising the level of excellence consistently pursued by the brand with the guiding star. During that same period and right the way through to the 1960s, Zenith developed onboard instruments equipping aircraft and automobiles, thereby accompanying some of the finest conquests such as the cross-Channel flight made by Louis Blériot in 1909. In parallel, the Manufacture repeatedly shone in chronometry competitions: with no less than 2,333 prizes won between 1903 and the late 1960s – the golden age of chronometry competitions – it is the most titled brand of all times in the onboard, pocket-watch and wristwatch categories.
STELLAR CALIBRES Combining authenticity, daring and pleasure: such is the complex mission pursued by the Manufacture Zenith. Its heritage spans over 600 movement variations. From onboard instruments to wristwatches, along with pocket-watches, over 300 Zenith patents have represented significant milestones in the advancement of time measurement. In 1948, Zenith notably launched the famous Calibre 135, a chronometer movement equipped with a small seconds indication that was to winno less than 235 chronometry prizes. In 1960, another legendary movement was born: Calibre 5011K. Beating all existing precision records in its category, it would equip marine chronometers, pocket-watches, and more recently the famous Pilot Type 20 models.
GEORGES FAVRE-JACOT, FOUNDER OF ZENITH
In 1865, Georges Favre-Jacot revolutionised watch production techniques. By uniting all watchmaking skills under one roof, he invented the very idea of an industrial Manufacture. These walls brimming with history continue to house the development and production of all Zenith watches, representing mechanical marvels blending the best of noble traditions and avant-garde technologies.
In-house mastery of each stage of development and production enables Zenith to break free of overly restrictive conventions and to create original complicated watches continuing to embody a blend of traditional and avant-garde features. This approach ensures the authenticity of exceptional models that spring to life beneath the nimble fingers of the artisans at the Manufacture in Le Locle.
RUTHENIUM-TREATED EL PRIMERO CALIBRE
1ST AUTOMATIC CHRONOGRAPH OFFERING 1/10TH OF A SECOND
MOVEMENT EL PRIMERO 400B TITANIUM AUTOMATIC
Zenith looks resolutely to the future in developing this sporty avant-garde version of its legendary El Primero chronograph. The keynote of the specifications was the focus on shearing off any excess weight, along with ensuring performance and originality. These demands naturally called for the use of high-tech materials.
Known for their ability to combine technological innovation with creative daring, the engineers and watchmakers of the Manufacture were entrusted with the mission of developing a light watch with a sporty design, while making no compromises on precision, sturdiness and reliability – just as one optimises an engine intended for competition. The sizeable feat began with the movement. Drawing upon its latest research on new materials, Zenith selected titanium – a light and sturdy material widely used in aeronautics – to build the movement bridges.
The Manufacture also opted to use silicon, with the lever and escapewheel made from this high-tech, anti-magnetic material that is three and a half times lighter than classic alloys, harder than steel and a guarantee of excellent efficiency. The carbon and aluminium case with titanium pushpieces and crown reveal the extreme nature of this ultra-sporty chronograph.
An avant-garde sports model
Zenith focuses on lightness, daring and innovation in an avant-garde version of its El Primero lightweight chronograph featuring high-tech materials.
This El Primero lightweight chronograph combines a titanium and silicon movement with an ultra-sporty carbon case. It marks the dawn of a new era in the extremely rich history of the El Primero calibre.
THE COUNTERS ECHO THE THREE EMBLEMATIC COLOURS OF THE 1969 EL PRIMERO CHRONOGRAPH
The new El Primero Lightweight is distinguished by its carbon case featuring an original and complex construction. It combines flowing dynamics and lightness while displaying exceptional power, very much like the most appealing automotive bodywork. Its sapphire crystal reveals the exceptional ‘engine’ inside: El Primero Calibre 400B Titanium, roaring at a speed of 36,000 vibrations per hour. Based on its latest research in the domain of new materials, Zenith chose titanium – a light and highly resistant metal widely used in aeronautics – to make the main parts of the movements which are the heaviest when they are made in brass: namely the mainplate and five bridges (barrel bridge, balance bridge, lever-bridge, lever-wheel bridge and chronograph bridge). The result is a 25% lighter weight. The openworked dial provides another bird’s eye view of this legendary movement, a dynamic reinterpretation of the collection’s classic design characteristics. The transparency of the central part makes it even lighter and provides a clear view of the skeleton-worked El Primero calibre. The disc-type date display is also both light and efficient thanks to cut-out stencil-style numerals standing out against a red dot at 6 o’clock. The generously hollowed-out facetted hour-markers bear a luminescent coating, while the light grey, blue and anthracite counters pick up the three emblematic colours of the 1969 El Primero chronograph that have become one of the collection’s key signature features. The blue central sweep-seconds chronograph hand with its small Zenith star is accurate to the nearest tenth of a second. Sporty, contemporary and decidedly masculine, the new El Primero Lightweight gives a new breath of life to the Zenith collection, while confirming the innovative capacities andcreative daring of the Manufacture.
DYNAMISM LIGHTNESS PERFORMANCECE RELIABILITY ORIGINALITY
The designers of the Manufacture Zenith are keenly aware that the devil is in the details. Attentive to the slightest line, to the feel of the materials, to the functionality of each element, they have redesigned the El Primero lightweight chronograph by focusing firmly on dynamism and performance. The choice of carbon reinforces the technical and sporty look. The internal structure of the case is in ceramised aluminium, a cutting-edge material blending lightness, resistance and hardness. Titanium was chosen for the pushpieces and the crown.
36,000 VIBRATIONS/HOUR FOR 1/10TH OF A SECOND PRECISION
MOVEMENT EL PRIMERO 400B, AUTOMATIC
CALIBRE: 13‘‘‘ (DIAMETER : 30 MM)
THICKNESS: 6.60 MM
36,000 VPH (5 HZ)
OSCILLATING WEIGHT ADORNED WITH “CÔTES DE GENÈVE” MOTIF
OVER 50-HOUR POWER RESERVE
HOURS AND MINUTES IN THE CENTRE
SMALL SECONDS AT 9 0’CLOCK
DATE WINDOW AT 6 O’CLOCK FEATURING A RED DOT
CHRONOGRAPH ENSURING 1/10th OF A SECOND ACCURACY:
12-HOUR COUNTER AT 6 O’CLOCK
30-MINUTE COUNTER AT 3 O’CLOCK
TRIPLE FOLDING CLASP
45 MM CARBON CASE
OPENWORKED DIAL WITH THREE COUNTER COLOURS
FACETED HANDS AND HOUR-MARKERS COATED WITH SUPERLUMINOVA SLN C1
MAINPLATE, BARREL BRIDGE, BALANCE BRIDGE, CHRONOGRAPH BRIDGE, LEVER BRIDGE AND LEVER-WHEEL BRIDGE
250-PIECE LIMITED EDITION
AVANT-GARDE CONCEPT HISTORY PRECISION REFERENCE
1969 has gone down in history as a legendary year. Six months before Neil Armstrong took “a giant leap for mankind” on the moon, Zenith took a giant leap for watchmaking by presenting its El Primero model, the first ever automatic chronograph. Embodying an entire swathe of modern horological history, this exceptional model houses an avant-garde movement: not only was it the first integrated automatic column-wheel movement, but this calibre also beats at the exceptionally high frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour, thus enabling it to display tenths of a second. Aesthetically speaking, this legendary watch is distinguished by a multi-coloured dial with three counters each in a different hue – a design that has become iconic. The longevity of the El Primero calibre provides a spectacular demonstration of the constancy of Zenith quality and of its continuous innovation. A firm favourite among horological devotees, it remains the most famous chronograph movement in watchmaking history.
Today, an entire collection bears its name, comprising chronographs embodying part of the universal watchmaking heritage as well as delivering ever-more impressive performances proving that they are resolutely turned towards the future.
The new El Primero Lightweight chronograph – issued in a 250-piece limited edition – vividly confirms this twin allegiance to tradition and innovation.
A new chapter in the saga of the El Primero collection
The new El Primero Synopsis line comprising three references capitalises on a legendary movement while remaining true to several iconic Zenith signature touches. Accurately displaying the hours, minutes and small seconds at 9 o’clock, this watch beats at the rate of 36,000 vibrations per hour imparted by El Primero calibre
4613. Thanks to its distinctive dial opening highlighted by a screw-fastened appliqué and revealing a glimpse of its silicon components, it has never been so easy to admire this movement in action.
CLASSIC LEGENDARY ELEGANCE OPENNESS SIGNATURE TOUCHES
Silicon: heading for the watch industry grail
An avant-garde material featured in the El Primero Synopsis models, silicon represents a major breakthrough in the quest for the grail of mechanical watchmaking – namely eliminating the need for lubricants.
The lever and escape wheel of the El Primero Synopsis models are made of silicon, harder than steel – which leads to reduced wear – and far lighter – which requires less force to achieve the same result – silicon also boasts a low friction coefficient and is both anti-magnetic and corrosion-resistant. It is definitely a material with a promising future in pushing the boundaries of mechanical precision.
EMBEDDED IN ITS DNA ARE ALL THE GENES OF THE EL PRIMERO COLLECTION
Listening to the swift and steady 36,000 vibrations-per-hour beat of the El Primero calibre is already a unique experience, but actually watching this fast-paced cadence in action takes things to a whole new level. That is exactly what is offered in the new El Primero Synopsis, a classic and elegant watch encapsulating the entire genetic heritage – and the vibrations – of the legendary models from the Manufacture Zenith.
A round case, a subtle dial design featuring perfect readability, together with pure lines throughout: such are the signature features of the new El Primero Synopsis by Zenith. However, what really sets it apart from its competitors is the opening revealing its exceptional mechanical heart. The pink gold or steel 40 mm case frames an appealing silver-toned dial affording a view over the escapement of the exceptional “engine” throbbing inside: El Primero Calibre 4613.
Guided by the same spirit and in keeping with the essential principles of watchmaking, a sapphire crystal ensures a truly beautiful view from both sides of the dial. These aesthetic virtues are backed by the reliability of a case that is water-resistant to 100 metres and fitted with a screw-lock crown, together with seamless case and wristband integration guaranteeing remarkably ergonomic comfort.
NOBLE MATERIALS BEATING TO THE TUNE OF 36,000 VIBRATIONS PER HOUR
HOURS AND MINUTES IN THE CENTRE
SMALL SECONDS WITH A BLUED TRIDENT AT 9 0’CLOCK
CASE STEEL OR PINK GOLD
WATER-RESITANT TO 10 ATM (100 METRES)
CAMBERED GLARE-RESISTANT SAPPHIRE CRYSTAL
HOUR-MARKERS COATED WITH SUPERLUMINOVA SLN C1
STRAP/BRACELET BROWN ALLIGATOR LEATHER STRAP OR METAL BRACELET
STEEL TRIPLE FOLDING CLASP
OR PINK GOLD PIN BUCKLE
EL PRIMERO 4613, AUTOMATIC
36,000 V/H (5 HZ)
OSCILLATING WEIGHT ADORNED WITH “CÔTES DE GENÈVE” MOTIF
OVER 50-HOUR POWER RESERVE
LIGHTNESS POETRY TECHNOLOGY PRÉCISION DARING
A beating open heart
Technical sophistication meets aesthetic elegance in the 36,000 vibrations/ hour beat of the world’s fastest series-made mechanical « heart ». A dial opening provides a dizzying view of the regulating organ and an original vision of this fascinating ballet.
Concern for details extends all the way to the screw-fastened appliqué framing the opening, and to the 12 rhodiumed facetted and superluminova-coated hour-markers ensuring a perfect display of the hours and minutes, swept over by two hands, while the seconds are ticked off by a blued trident hand whirling over the mechanism revealed at 9 o’clock.
UNDERSTATEMENT PRÉCISION DARING
Since 1969, the El Primero watch has come to symbolise the creative genius of the Manufacture Zenith. This name, derived from Esperanto and thus conveying a spirit of universality with a humanistic touch, is embedded in the brand heritage and remains a powerful symbol of innovation.
First presented in 2003 and now a signature of the Manufacture, the unique Open concept is combined here with the use of silicon. A bird’s eye view into the heart of the movement provides a glimpse of the lever and the lever wheel made of silicon – a high-tech, anti-magnetic material ensuring excellent efficiency. Born in the protective shadow of the original El Primero calibre and its many evolutions, the new El Primero Synopsis has technically inherited the precision of the famous original movement by Zenith. Developed according to a “textbook” design free of any superfluous details, its fully integrated movement combines slimness, reliability and precision: the position of each plate, gear train and part is meticulously optimised.
No less than 160 parts drive its mechanical automatic movement, El Primero Calibre 4613. Like all El Primero calibres, it beats at the exceptional frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour, meaning 10 vibrations – a fast-paced clearly rhythm visible through the dial opening.
Reaching for the heights
This natural-born model combines a heritage solidly rooted in the history of aviation with self-evident creative daring and the best of traditional expertise. Carved out of sapphire – a first for a 60 mm-diameter case – and housing a legendary historical movement entirely chased and engraved by hand, it is enhanced by an exceptional grand feu enamel dial. The latest Zenith pilot’s watch is thus solidly equipped to find its place in the legend.
Fascinating in all respects, this model will be issued in a strictly limited 10-piece edition.
TRANSPARENCY PREMIERE UNIVERSE LEGEND LIMITATION
A 60 MM-DIAMETER SAPPHIRE CASE. UNPRECEDENTED.
GRAND FEU ENAMEL
HAND-CHASED AND ENGRAVED WHITE GOLD BEZEL, LUGS AND CROWN. OVERSIZED CROWN, THE SIGNATURE OF AVIATOR WATCHES.
EL PRIMERO 5011K MOVEMENT HOUSED IN A SAPPHIRE CASE MEASURING 60 MM IN DIAMETER, CHASED AND ENGRAVED BY HAND
HOURS AND MINUTES IN THE CENTRE
SMALL SECONDS AT 9 0’CLOCK
POWER RESERVE AT 3 O’CLOCK
EL PRIMERO 5011K
HAND-ENGRAVED AND CHASED SCROLLING MOTIFS
48-HOUR POWER RESERVE
60 MM DIAMETER
CAMBERED GLARE-RESISTANT SAPPHIRE CRYSTAL
DIAL IN GRAND FEU ENAMEL
ARABIC NUMERALS IN GRAND FEU ENAMEL
ORIGINAL CALIBRE, FOUND IN THE ARCHIVES OF THE MANUFACTURE
WHITE GOLD PIN BUCKLE
CALIBRE 5011K: AN HISTORICAL MOVEMENT FOR THE PILOT TYPE 20 GRAND FEUCALIBRE
Perfectly grasping the nature of its exceptional mechanical pedigree implies a brief look back in time and more specifically to 1960, the year when the Manufacture produced a movement that would make its mark on history: Calibre 5011K. Beating every existing precision record in its category – Neuchâtel Observatory awarded it the title of the most precise chronometer ever presented – this mechanical movement that became a legend was to equip marine chronometers and pocket-watches. A small number of original 5011K calibres, found in the archives of the Manufacture, have been updated and remarkably decorated to now find their place in several Pilot Type 20 models consistently issued in extremely limited editions.
The new Pilot Type 20 Grand Feu is equipped with this historic original movement. The case middle and the transparent case-back afford ample views of this mechanical hand-wound 5011K movement. Its 60 mm diameter provides scope for exceptional finishing. Entirely hand-engraved and chased by remarkable artisans, the sides and back of the movement – as well as the gold lugs and bezel – are adorned over their whole surface with intricate scrolled and garland-like motifs reflecting the spirit of traditional Fine Watchmaking. A miniature work of art displaying breathtaking finishes!
Oscillating at a rate of 18,000 vibrations per hour, Calibre 5011K also features shock-absorbers on the balance-staff and on the escapement, fine adjustment as well as a self-compensating anti-magnetic Breguet overcoil balance-spring – a set of attributes contributing to its first-rate performances while detracting nothing from its resolutely vintage spirit.
MATÉRIALS INNOVATION TRANSPARENCY PRÉCISION DARING
Inner beauty, outward power
Playing the transparency game, revealing the mechanism inside in all its beauty, hinting at lightness: no watchmaker had ever yet dared to create a 60 mm-diameter case – including both the middle and back – in sapphire! A feat now successfully accomplished by Zenith.
Its design nonetheless remains true to the power of the aviator models in the Pilot collection. Better still, this Pilot Type 20 Grand Feu admirably highlights, in addition to its finely decorated movement, another rare skill: its grand feu enamel dial – featuring craftsmanship that is all the more remarkable on such generous surfaces – offers a perfect example of traditional fine watchmaking.
Grand feu enamel: the nobility of fine craftsmanship
Rare, refined, and calling for a blend of experience and dexterity, the technique of grand feu enamel – using molten enamel powder – is one of the most complex of all, while guaranteeing extreme durability. Notably composed of silica, feldspath, kaolin and metallic oxides, enamel is applied to the dial. Several firings in the kiln at temperatures between 800 and 900° C are required to give this material its true radiance. Four to ten such operations may prove necessary to reveal the colours gradually and express their full intensity. A grand feu enamel dial is a work of art in its own right and that of the Pilot Type 20 Grand Feu, notably because of its diameter, is truly exceptional.
SUPERLATIVE WORKMANSHIP FOR AN EXCEPTIONAL TIMEPIECE
While the powerful lines and the distinctive design of Zenith aviator watches are naturally part of this Pilot Type 20 Grand Feu watch, the materials used reveal an outstanding timepiece.
The latest addition to the Pilot collection is indeed exceptional in many ways, starting with the now famous 60 mm-diameter case that has already made a huge impact on several models in the collection. It now finds a new expression here, entirely carved out of a block of sapphire. Only the lugs, bezel and crown are made of white gold. Meticulous workmanship is required to create a perfect case of this size in such a fragile and precious material. It is the first sapphire case in the history of the Manufacture Zenith and also the largest sapphire case in watchmaking history.
The mission of this new aviator watch goes well beyond this technical prowess, since the
Pilot Type 20 Grand Feu also features another major development: its dial. The surface made of Grand Feu enamel in a complex and subtle process lends unique character to each of these watch faces.
POWER CONQUEST HISTORY HÉRITAGE COLLECTION
The Pilot collection is a worthy heir to the years of the race for the skies and the iconic models that have punctuated this history. Intended for devotees of aviation and its history, for enthusiasts of mechanical engineering and for all those with a love of wide-open spaces, the Pilot collection by Zenith symbolises discovery and exploration, a taste for adventure as well as the sense of fulfilment it brings.
Since its renewal in 2011, and true to its origins, the Pilot Type 20 collection has adopted a decidedly outsized attitude. Like the vast expanses of sky waiting to be conquered, it chooses to paint time on a broad canvas and to count off time with self-assured confidence. The Pilot Type 20 Grand Feu model is no exception to the rule. With its imposing case, its characteristic oversized numerals, along with a generous crown ensuring smooth and easy handling even with gloves, this latest addition to the collection is entirely in tune with the genetics of the collection. This model features all the characteristic identity codes of an aviator watch, while displaying the hours, minutes, small seconds at 9 o’clock and a power reserve at 3 o’clock. Issued in a 10-piece limited edition, the Pilot Type 20 Grand Feu model is equipped with the legendary Calibre 5011K, as indeed are all Pilot Type 20 watches. The legend lives on.