By Lisa Washington
The Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Zenith has seen a lot of changes these past few years. In 1999, Zenith was bought out by LVMH, the French international luxury goods conglomerate and now their legendary manufacturing facility in Le Locle underwent renovations.
Zenith has long been known for and proud of the fact that they are one of the very few remaining watch companies that produces their own movements in-house. Back in 1905 when the company was started by Georges Favre-Jacot, there was one main building with three floors which housed all of the talent who contributed to the making of Zenith watches.
This historical building which Zenith began its humble beginnings as a watch company started undergoing a renovation in August of 2011 and was recently completed. While Zenith sought to make modern improvements upon its facilities, they still made it a point to keep the iconic red bricks which were put in place back in 1905 when the building was first erected.
Additionally, the building is still filled with light as the 400 picture windows with multiple panes has been carefully restored to preserve the original look and design of the building. In between the red bricks and picture windows, you can find the company name as well as the founder’s initials placed on to the building as it was when the company first started in Le Locle.
Zenith founder Georges Favre-Jacot revolutionized the way watches were made. The quality control of watches was improved in addition to cutting down the time it took for watches and their parts to be made by bringing all of the different watch part manufacturers together in one place. This was all thought up and implemented by a 22-year old young man. Zenith later went on to create 1500 industry awards as well as introducing the now famous El Primero with its distinct chronograph movement. El Primero was the first of its kind with an integrated automatic winding and the fastest and most precise chronograph in the world moving at 36,000 rotations per hour which was 8,000 beats over the average chronograph.
While Zenith has many accolades and accomplishments under their belt, perhaps one of the most notable steps they have taken is to preserve the sanctity and virtue of the company as Georges Favre-Jacot imagined it to be. We can continue to look forward to Zenith’s luxury watches and creations in their not quite new but improved facilities.