1865

The founder of Zenith, Georges Favre-Jacot, revolutionised watch production by uniting all the watchmaking professions under one roof, thereby inventing the very concept of a Manufacture.

2012 1899 Close the popin

1899

The Manufacture launches its first pocket chronograph.

1865 1900 Close the popin

1900

Georges Favre-Jacot wins the gold medal
at the Paris Universal Exhibition
.

1899 1910 Close the popin

1910 - 1960

Zenith devises onboard instruments .

1900 1911 Close the popin

1911

The Manufacture established by Georges Favre-Jacot definitively adopts the name of Zenith, referring to the highest point reached by a heavenly body in the sky and thereby symbolising the heights of excellence to which the brand with the guiding star has been aspiring ever since.

1910 1925 Close the popin

1925

The Manufacture Zenith employs 1,000 people.
In the watchmaking haven of Le Locle
and its neighbouring town of La Chaux-de-Fonds,
it is nicknamed “the Manufacture with 2,000 gold and silver hands”.

1911 1948 Close the popin

1948

Zenith launches its legendary Calibre 135. This legendary wristwatch chronometer movement equipped with a small seconds function was to earn no less than 235 prizes.

1925 1960 Close the popin

1960

Launch of Caliber 5011K, boasting record-breaking precision in its category, which would be used
to power marine chronometers, pocket watches and table clocks, as well as the Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 in a limited edition.

1948 1969 Close the popin

1969

Zenith created El Primero, the first ever integrated automatic chronograph movement, which is still the world’s most precise series-made caliber. It is the only one capable of measuring short times to the nearest tenth of a second, thanks to its balance oscillating at a frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour.

1960 1975 Close the popin

1975

The watchmaker Charles Vermot hid the plans, parts and tools required to make mechanical calibres in order to save them from destruction following the decision of the company that owned Zenith at the time to limit production to quartz watches only.

1969 1984 Close the popin

1984

Mechanical watches were again in demand,
and Charles Vermot gave Zenith back the production tools that he had kept safely hidden. Production of the El Primero caliber could begin once more. Major watch brands were eager to get a fresh start in this field by equipping their timepieces with this legendary movement.

1975 1994 Close the popin

1994

Launch of the ultra-thin automatic Elite movement. The first Zenith caliber to be developed using Computer Assisted Design technology, it was voted movement of the year by the trade press due to its extreme slenderness and its proven reliability.

1984 2000 Close the popin

2000

Zenith joins the LVMH luxury group.

1994 2003 Close the popin

2003

The brand with the guiding star invents the Open concept based on a dial opening revealing the escapement of the El Primero caliber.
More than ever before, the now visible oscillations bring to life the magic of a mechanical watch beating at a high frequency.

2000 2009 Close the popin

2009

The El Primero celebrates its 40thanniversary.
Since it was first created, this high-frequency movement has evolved constantly, incorporating countless and unusual mechanisms representing significant breakthroughs in the history of time measurement.
This enduring vibrancy cements the enduring legacy of El Primero, of which an entire collection now the name.


2009

The town of Le Locle is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its industrial architecture and urbanism, to which Zenith contributed by building the first Manufacture in watchmaking history in 1865.
The brand with the guiding star has indeed never left these premises brimming with history and expertise.

2003 2010 Close the popin

2010

Birth of the El Primero Striking 10th, of which the sweep seconds-hand displays tenths of a second.

2009 2011 Close the popin

2011

The Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix (GPHG) awards the Best Complicated Watch Prize to the Academy Christophe Colomb Équation du Temps.

2010 2012 Close the popin

2012

Zenith renews ties with aviation and enriches the Pilot collection with three new models: the Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20, the Pilot Doublematic and the Pilot Big Date Special.
The latter wins the “Petite Aiguille” prize
in the 2012 Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix.


2012

The renovation of the central building of the Manufacture is completed, while work continues on the 18 other buildings. State-of-the-art technologies are implemented, while the historical architecture of the site is jealously preserved.

2011 1865 Close the popin
  • Captain Winsor Annual Calendar

    Captain Winsor Annual Calendar

    A unique combination

    The most precise of all series-produced calibres beats at a rate of 36,000 vibrations per hour and is combined with an innovative complication, the annual calendar.

    More information
  • Georges Favre Jacot

    Georges Favre-Jacot

    The manufacture concept

    In 1865, Georges Favre-Jacot constructed spacious, bright buildings where he brought together all the watchmaking professions, creating the manufacture concept.

    More information

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Vintage pocket watch, 1913

Archives Extract

The Zenith Archives Extract gives you access to information about the timepieces made in Le Locle since Zénith was founded in 1865, meticulously conserved by the company over the years.

This service will, in most cases, give you the opportunity to find out more about the date your watch was produced at the Le Locle Manufacture as well other details about how it was made. Where possible, our Heritage Service will supplement the archive extract with historic catalogs and vintage advertisements. Our Heritage Service will supplement the archive extract with historic catalogs and vintage advertisements.

Request an archive extract