Устремленный в Zenith

Автор admin Tuesday, 18 January 2011 12:13 PM

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It’s been a great year for the legendary Swiss watch brand Zenith. Its Striking 10th was awarded the Caesar Best Watch of the Year by the Romanian luxury industry and as the Best Men’s Watch by Revolution magazine in Singapore. Earlier its Elite Ultra Thin was selected as a top model in the Munichtime specialist panel selection. Aviamost met up with Zenith CEO, Jean-Frederic Dufour to find out more about the brand and its plans  
Do you plan to bring out new versions of the El Primero collection?

El Primero by Zenith is the first ever self-winding chronograph and a legend of the Swiss watch industry. Throbbing at 36,000 vibrations per hour, it is the first integrated automatic chronograph, a triumph over the challenge to fit in the smallest possible space, a maximum of technical functionality. Today it still is the fastest automatic chronograph and the most precise in the world as well as the only chronograph showing 10th of a second mechanically, developed at a time when mechanical watches wanted to beat the quartz movement.

While this was the number one reason for the El Primero’s success, it was also Charles Vermot who saved the El Primero from its American owners who wanted to destroy the two links to produce mechanical watches by hiding the tools to produce it. The 3rd reason for El Primero being a legend is because Rolex used El Primero for 20 years in their Daytona collection because of the quality and accuracy of the movement and because Rolex with the El Primero movement was more money for Rolex than Rolex with a new Rolex movement. There are so many reasons why you should love the El Primero! Yes, we plan to bring out newer versions. My vision for Zenith is to always be on the top of the Chronograph.

You recently presented the Christophe Colombe watch, how is the response to it?

The Christophe Colombe watch was developed in connection with the original marine chronometer produced by Zenith. Given the fact that watch timing and precision can be enhanced when the regulating organ is kept in a horizontal position, engineers and manufacturers at Zenith decided to ensure that the regulating organ and the escapement was affixed in this position. Applying this to a movement beating at the exceptionally high rate of 10 vibrations per second further complicated matters. Even the numbers give an idea of the sheer complexity of the task, since this daring complication comprises 160 components, while a tourbillon has approximately 60, so it made the watch more complicated to produce. Watch enthusiasts across the world have been fascinated by it.

There are a growing number of extreme sports enthusiasts today. Do you plan to bring out any watches for them?

Since 1865, Zenith’s pioneering spirit and the brand’s value has been perseverance and we look at people who have these values because without perseverance, you cannot move forward. As our watches are dedicated to pioneers in every walk of life, we try not to single out any one category.

How is the Middle East market for Zenith and which collections are in demand?

Being the hub of the Middle East that sees people for all nationalities and countries visiting its borders, all our collections in Dubai are sought after by various groups of people but I would say that Chinese and Russian customers love our Chronomaster, the Tourbillon, and the El Primero.

You have just appointed ace French Kitesurfer Alex Caizergues as your brand ambassador. Do you plan to have a Middle East brand ambassador?

If we do find a pioneer with the same drive and potential we would be more than privileged to make them an ambassador for the brand.

Which of Zenith’s women’s collection has the greatest demand in the Middle East?

The Chronomaster Star Open Love is one of our best sellers amongst many women in the region and also among visitors coming to the region.

How is Zenith performing in Russia?

We have a boutique in Moscow which is distributed by Mercury, a top luxury Group in Russia and we are very well distributed. The Russians love the brand Zenith as we have been linked to Russian history for a very long time and we have been distributing in Russia before the revolution. We have strong relations with the Russian market.

What steps did Zenith take during recession and how is the response from your customers?

We have made a 180 degree turn and completely reinvented the brand. And we did this   18 months ago even before our competitors. So we really know where we want to go and what our vision for Zenith is. We are in line with the actual demand because to be successful, you really need to know where you want to go. I would say that it’s not just our customers who have become cautious but everyone around the world. Economically, we have hit a wall and it’s going to be 15 years before we bounce back; people have become more careful with their spending, it’s a natural effect.

How are you developing the demand for your models among the younger generation?

We are quite efficient on the internet as we have many youngsters visiting our sites; we are on facebook and other social networks, and are quite active in every community where we talk about our brand and we try to include our message of perseverance and motivation as this is what the younger generation is looking for, a kind of adrenalin where they like to switch from one thing to another and move forward.

What new challenges does Zenith plan to tackle in the future?

We face many challenges. As a manufacturer, we have to hold the production at the same level that we always do because we produce all our watches in-house. So in order to master the quality of our collections and the different processes for every different part, it takes up to five months to produce a certain kind of watch. We also face many challenges with competitors.

What new models will you be introducing in 2011?

Creativity is definitely part of our concept. In 2011, we have a new El Primero Chronomaster coming up and as you know the Chronomaster has been a very strong model for us and we also have a face lift on the line and we will be introducing the model very soon.