BREAKING NEWS: Zenith bets on ex-Vacheron Constantin man to spark revival
One reason that our Timeless Chronomaster Heritage has managed to get around the obesity that’s befallen many of its counterparts is because the El Primero is what’s typically known as an incorporated chronograph. Generally, there are two kinds of chronographs, integrated ones, like you see here, and modular chronographs, which are also quite common. Modular chronographs require an ordinary, non-chronograph movement and include a chronograph module to it. This makes it relatively easy for a business to create chronographs because it doesn’t require the invention of an all-new movement from scratch, but it normally results in thicker than mandatory movements.Integrated chronographs, conversely, are created from the ground up to be chronographs and chronograph elements share space with non-complication parts within the watch. An interesting side effect of incorporated design is that it generally produces considerably more visually intriguing movements because, unlike their modular counterparts, these elements aren’t hidden on the other side of the watch. Therefore, the proprietor may enjoy views like the one that you see here, peering right into the chronograph itself.It’s difficult to imagine that the Classic Chronomaster Heritage Chronometer is our 11th limited edition so far, and perhaps even more mind-blowing is that it’s the first Swiss watch we’ve ever designed. It’s unfortunate, then, that just 25 will ever be produced, the smallest Timeless LE run yet. Imagining that the new watch will probably be gone very soon, a watch that we spent countless hours designing within the course of dozens of leaves, is an interestingly tough experience. I certainly hope that we get the opportunity to look more small variations with Zenith in the future, but for now, the Classic Chronomaster Heritage Chronometer will stand on its own, our first chronograph, our very first Swiss watch and also our first Zenith.
Zenith has opted for a Vacheron Constantin stalwart as the man to spearhead its turnaround plan and lay the foundations for a fresh chapter of growth.
Julien Tornare will take over as CEO of Zenith from May 1, reporting directly to Jean-Claude Biver, president of the Watches Division at LMVH.
Mr Tornare joins the company with a rich pedigree in the Zenith Gold Watch Ladies industry, having worked for Vacheron Constantin for the past 17 years. He initially headed the company’s Swiss business, before taking charge of its North American operations.
More recently he served as the brand’s managing director in the Asia-Pacific region.
Mr Biver said the new CEO’s priorities will be to focus on the “renewal” of the brand, including developing its market presence and driving new marketing initiatives.
“Julien’s strong international and commercial experience in watches will be crucial to the development of Zenith, which is enjoying renewed success since Baselworld and the launch of Defy El Primero 21,” he said.
Mr Tornare replaces Aldo Magada, who was relieved of his position as CEO and president of Zenith at the start of this year.
Mr Biver has been keeping the seat warm while LMVH has cracked on with the job of finding a replacement and stated his intention to create greater synergies between the group’s three brands, including TAG and Hublot.
Back in February, he told Chronos and Watchtime.net of the losses that Zenith had incurred over the past two years and said the company would leave no stone unturned in establishing the actions that needed to be taken to reignite its growth.
Asked how he would like Zenith to be positioned within the LVMH stable, he said: “Zenith stands for traditional watchmaking at affordable prices; achievable luxury, but with a more classic approach than TAG Heuer and with a price level between Hublot and TAG Heuer.”
One of Mr Biver’s mantras at TAG Heuer has been to deliver greater value in each watch than a customer would expect for the price. Even at the higher price points that he hopes Zenith will carry, the tactic is the same.
“This depends on the product. If I offer an ultra-flat watch with a manufactory for 4,000 euros, this is affordable. Because it is expected that such a watch costs around 9,000 euros. If it is a minute repetition, which would cost 200,000 euros, and I bring them for 60,000 euros, then also 60,000 euros is affordable.”