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Friday, February 03, 2006 


Zenith watchIn the world of fine watchmaking, Zenith is among the most aristocratic names in Europe. This Swiss company, founded in 1865, is not only one of the oldest horological companies, but one of a handful that still produces its own mechanical movements.

Zenith was founded by Georges Favre-Jacot, who, at the age of 22, was one of the first watchmakers to understand the importance of the principle of interchangeable parts.

By the time Jacot retired in 1929, Zenith had made watch history, winning grand prix medals for timekeeping precision at international expositions in Geneva, Paris, Barcelona, and Neuchatel. In 1969, the company won renown for introducing the world’s first automatic chronograph movement, the El Primero.

Oscillating at 36,000 alternations/hour, the El Primero was able to measure short time intervals to a tenth of a second, an unsurpassed world record. In 1995, Zenith launched a new generation of ultra-thin chronographs, the Elite, recently voted best mechanical movement by the professional press. Since its beginning, Zenith has been recognized with more than 1,565 first observatory prizes in chronometry, making it the Swiss brand most rewarded for precision.

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