What's next for Zenith watches
Zenith’s El Primero movement has a rich watchmaking history and now, thanks to the genius of head of watchmaking at LVMH, Jean-Claude Biver, it is being targeted by the brand in an effort to restore Zenith to its deserved glory.
The charismatic former head of Hublot and Tag Heuer briefly laid out his plans:
ESQ: What are your plans for Zenith over the next year?
JCB: The brand is my major priority for 2017. Having previously won more than 2,000 prizes for its chronometers, it remains the reference point in the Chronometre category of watches. The El Primero movement is at the heart of that.
ESQ: The El Primero played a lead role in Basel this year…
Yes, the main focus for Zenith was the new El Primero 21. It was based on the 1969 classic El Primero but with a 100th-of-a-second Automatic Chronograph Chronometre.
ESQ: How do you make an impact with the new El Primero?
Zenith has always been considered a legend with the El Primero movement. The less we do to what makes the brand great, the better it is for our images as an icon. We only need to adapt it for modern times. We must continue to create the legend through modernity without destroying the image — we cannot modernise the product too much or else it will make the previous product look old. You can expect to see new shapes, new movements and new technologies this year. For the modern line, we will be using new materials such as carbon.
ESQ: Will the brand’s Range Rover relationship continue into 2017?
It is a five-year partnership that we will look to strengthen through a variety of activities. Our goal is to capture a new audience and bring a unique experience to our retailers and customers through local events across the main markets that target the luxury consumer. It is more than just being a watch or car brand, it is about the transformation into a global luxury lifestyle brand by joining these two entities. That is the way we will envision all partnerships for the coming years — connecting brands that embrace our roots and authenticity, while focusing on a way to be relevant to the younger generation.