ZENITH – MASTER OF CHRONOGRAPHS SINCE 1865

During Watches & Wonders 2022, Zenith unveils the revamped Chronomaster Open line as well as new Chronomaster Sport under its new “Master of Chronographs Since 1865” platform, combining immersive educational and experiential activities.

From iconic movements to pioneering designs, Zenith has steadily forged its reputation as a leader in precision and performance since its establishment in 1865. One field of watchmaking where Zenith has truly shined is the chronograph. With many world-firsts and record-breaking feats to its name, the Manufacture has maintained and cultivated its spirit of innovation without ever ceasing to break new boundaries, namely with the El Primero chronograph and its numerous evolutions. Today, ZENITH can proudly claim the title of “Master of Chronographs”, and is using its position to raise more awareness and appreciation for one of watchmaking’s most ubiquitous functions.

“Master of Chronographs” is a new 360-degrees platform that has been developed to share the Manufacture’s unique know-how through its history, collections, movements and its mastery of the high-frequency chronographs. Above all, it aims to bring the art and science of chronographs and Zenith’s role at the vanguard of its evolution to a wider audience. “Master of Chronographs Since 1865” combines educational activities, experiences and interactions – both physical and digital – that speak to avid watch-lovers as well as newcomers to watchmaking and invites them to dive into the world of chronographs in an open and easily approachable manner.

Visitors at Watches & Wonders will be the first to discover the “Master of Chronographs Since 1865” exhibition, which has been tailored to shine a light on Zenith’s unique history of chronographs. With 15 rare and historically significant pieces dating from the late 19th century to the present on display, the exhibition traces Zenith’s historical commitment to the pursuit of perpetual innovation when it comes to one of watchmaking’s most complex and sought-after complications. The curated selection of watches will highlight how the Manufacture went on to conquer high-frequency precision with modern and singularly designed chronographs, endowed with fractional measurement of time with 1/10th and 1/100th of a second precision.

To gain a better understanding and appreciate the intricacy of the mechanical chronograph, ZENITH is offering unprecedentedly up-close and personal educational watchmaking experiences to get intimately familiar with chronographs and specifically ZENITH’s seminal El Primero calibre. Dubbed the Watch Clinic, the ZENITH Manufacture in Le Locle is inviting those interested to a new immersive and hands-on experience under the guidance of a watchmaker, where participants will be able to learn the inner workings of the chronograph movement and try their hand at putting one together in the heart of Switzerland’s oldest vertically integrated watch manufacture. The Watch Clinic will also be available at selected ZENITH flagship boutiques around the world.

After making its debut at Watches & Wonders, the “Master of Chronographs Since 1865” exhibition along with the Watch Clinic will make its way across the world during road shows and pop-up events, staring with China from May and the USA in June. These new initiatives and activities will be supported and interwoven with cross-channel content and events to inform and engage, including audio testimonials by ZENITH insiders from design and heritage perspectives, as well as figures of authority within the world of watchmaking.

On this year’s Master of Chronographs theme, Julien Tornare shared“For ZENITH, Master of Chronographs is not just a claim, but an aspiration. It’s a mission and a commitment. It’s something that we have cultivated and, I would say, rightfully earned over many years. We’ve contributed so much to the advancement of the modern chronograph, that we feel a certain responsibility to continue leading its evolution, but also to share our know-how with the world and allow people to appreciate the chronograph in a new way. We’ve worked for some time now on immersive and interactive ways to highlight the chronograph, and “Master of Chronographs Since 1865” is the perfect platform to link all these initiatives. This is a new gateway for people to learn about the chronograph and how ZENITH has mastered it and elevated it to new heights”.

Regarding the new Chronomaster models announced at Watches & Wonders, Tornare added “After the incredible reception of the Chronomaster Sport and its unequalled 1/10th of a second chronograph, we’re thrilled to expand the line this year with rose gold versions, and also to bring back a modern Zenith icon from the last twenty years: the Chronomaster Open”.

It is within this context of openness and transmission of passion and know-how that ZENITH unveiled the appropriately revealing Chronomaster Open collection that has been totally revamped, as well as new versions of the award-winning Chronomaster Sport.

CHRONOMASTER OPEN: PEER INTO THE HEART OF HIGH-FREQUENCY

Pioneering movements deserve to stand out in inspired and unprecedented designs to truly highlight their ingenuity. Originally launched in 2003 as the first chronograph with a partially open dial to reveal the regulating organ and escapement, the Chronomaster Open returns in a totally redesigned form – inside and out – to shine ever more light on its beating heart and allow the wearer to witness ZENITH’s mastery of the high-frequency chronograph.

Crafted in a more moderate 39.5mm case in steel or rose gold, the new Chronomaster Open revisits the iconic tri-colour dial configuration with a transparent twist. Instead of cutting out the small seconds counter at 9 o’clock entirely as was the case with the previous generation of the Chronomaster Open, the three counter colours are kept thanks to a hesalite crystal element that serves as a readable sub-dial while allowing a view of the silicon star-shaped escape wheel. The opening itself has also been reinterpreted, foregoing the former version’s applied “frame” and instead opting for circular openings with chamfered edges, revealing the movement with more straight bridges and a more contemporary grey tone.

Powered by the El Primero 3604 calibre, the newly developed movement is based on the El Primero 3600 1/10th of a second automatic high-frequency calibre, with a more open architecture. More than a simple facelift, the new Chronomaster Open is imbued with the lines and attributes of the latest generation of the Chronomaster collection; somewhere between the sleek sportiness of the Chronomaster Sport and the historically inspired Chronomaster Original for a modern distillation of the essential Zenith El Primero chronograph.

CHRONOMASTER SPORT: THE GOLD STANDARD

With the unveiling of the Chronomaster Sport in 2021, Zenith once again set a new benchmark for automatic sporty chronographs. Crowned with the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2021 “Chronograph” prize, the Chronomaster Sport is already a modern chronograph icon in the making. At Watches & Wonder, Zenith is unveiling the latest additions to the line, with new references crafted in precious metals.

Full gold chronographs have a special place in Zenith history that even predate the El Primero. Because performance and preciousness don’t have to be mutually exclusive, Zenith has crafted the Chronomaster Sport entirely in rose gold – including the bracelet and engraved bezel with 1/10th of a second scale. Available with either a black or white dial with the signature El Primero tricolour counters with golden hands and applied markers, the Chronomaster Sport in rose gold is meticulously finished with satin-brushed and polished surfaces to bring out the warm radiance of the precious metal.

The Chronomaster Sport is now also available in a “two-tone” aesthetic, combining the durability of stainless steel and the splendour of rose gold, paired with a shimmery silver sunray-patterned tricolour dial.

And for those longing for a twist on the original steel Chronomaster Sport, the first boutique edition is also being unveiled at Watches & Wonders, exclusively available at Zenith physical and online boutiques around the world. This version stands out with its engraved ceramic bezel, which consists of three separate coloured ceramic elements in the traditional El Primero tricolour palette of grey, anthracite and blue that have been seamlessly forged together.

ZENITH HORIZON: THE SUSTAINABLE WATCHMAKING OF TOMORROW

For Zenith, innovation is synonymous with sustainability. Zenith’s commitments can be grouped into three broad categories: Inclusion & Diversity, Sustainability and Employee Wellbeing. Governed by the Zenith’s executive committee as well as a newly established Corporate Social Responsibility committee that counts on the guidance of external experts, the Manufacture is embarking on a new chapter where its impact on the environment and people is central to the brand’s decision-making: Introducing the ZENITH HORIZON program.

As the builder of the future of watchmaking, Zenith has already committed to these values with initiatives such as DREAMHERS, developed as a platform for empowering women, as well as partnerships like Extreme E and its Legacy Programme with tangible results in environmental sustainability. This approach is also reflected in the brand’s products, with alternative packaging materials and innovative upcycled straps. ZENITH ICONS is a service that essentially gives old watches a new life, allowing them to be enjoyed in perpetuity and creating a circular economy. The Manufacture itself is also optimizing the way it operates by reducing the quantity of generated waste every year including plastic, water and paper, upcycling waste material and increasing its use of more efficient equipment and energy sources. Employee wellbeing is also central to ZENITH HORIZON, with the objective of creating a healthier work environment while promoting intrapreneurship and a greater attention to work-life balance. In essence, the ZENITH HORIZON program will allow the brand to amplify its activities in all these domains, with a roadmap and fixed, quantifiable objectives, to continue to craft the future of Swiss watchmaking.

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