Unparalleled record of technical achievement

Dufour CEO Zenith

Jean Frederic Dufour, CEO Zenith

Founded in 1846 in the town of Le Locle, famous as a centre of horological excellence, the company has an almost unparalleled record of technical achievement yet has always managed to fly just under the radar of public perception.

Zenith is that the firm was, and still is, one of very few Swiss houses to actually manufacture all of the components used in its movements entirely in-house. During what we regard today as the golden age of Swiss watch making, the years between the Great War and the late 1960s, most of the major houses, including Rolex, built their movements around ebauches (this is the Swiss term for a movement in its most basic, completely raw, form, without gears, pinions or other components) that were purchased from one of the large scale operations that specialised in this field. These were then re-worked as required and signed with the appropriate signature before being cased ready for sale. Zenith literally created its movements from the ground up, designing, prototyping, building and regulating from scratch, without reliance on any third party.

Single point of origin

To the collector, this means that when he buys a vintage Zenith, he is acquiring a product that can be traced back to a single point of origin, rather than something that has a degree of homogenisation. A classic Zenith movement is a “pure” product that is unique to this particular manufacturer, which makes it very appealing to a lot of experienced watch enthusiasts.