Zenith watches is this week holding a special pop-up shop in London’s Canary Wharf, with the entire watch collection on display. 2012 was an absolute smash for Zenith: its pilot watch collection, including the enormous, retro-styled Pilot Montre d’Aeronef Type 20, the dashing El Primero Big Date Special (pictured above) and the handsome Doublematic with world time and alarm function, was a huge hit with enthusiasts, while it also introduced an entirely new line, the entry level Espada (three-hand watches with El Primero movement). Then, of course, Felix Baumgartner jumped out of space, and immediately made the Zenith Stratos the must-have watch of daredevil adventurers everywhere.
It’s great to see the response we’ve had from readers to the new Pin-Ups section of the website, and I thought I’d post my own. The thing is, you never know when an opportunity may arise: earlier this week I found myself, while on holiday, in the co-pilot’s seat of a very small aircraft (whizzing over the Caribbean since you ask... *ahem* it’s a hard life…). I don’t know too much about flying planes, but felt I fitted in pretty well since I was wearing my Zenith El Primero Big Date Special pilot’s watch at the time. I think it looked pretty much at home in the cockpit:
An estimated 8 million people around the world watched Felix Baumgartner's extraordinary supersonic skydive from the edge of space on Sunday. What few of them knew about was the stupendous watch he wore - the Zenith Stratos Flyback Striking 10th chronograph, which effectively became the first watch to break the speed of sound. Baumgartner jumped from a height of 128,100 feet, falling at over 800mph through the stratosphere and reaching Mach 1.24 - in other words, he didn't just break the sound barrier, he smashed it. He also set the record for the highest ever jump.
Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), the world leader in luxury goods, reported sales of 12.96 billion euros in the first half of 2012, 26% more than in the same period last year. The net profit increased with 28% to 1.68 billion euros. Fashion and Leather Goods (Louis Vuitton!) reported sales of 4.65 billion euros (+17%), Wines and Spirits 1.76 billion (+23%) and Fragrances and Cosmetics 1.72 billion (+14%).
Visiting Zenith at Basel World this year was quite the treat. One great looking watch after the other. Not least the stunning Pilot DoubleMatic. Already a stunner in steel, this limited edition of rosegold is even more tempting than the lighter sibling. Here´s a little tech on the 250-pieces Midas wonder: One disc transferred onto the flange reveals the time in each iconic city, while a second disc indicates day or night. Paired with a chronograph, the Pilot Doublematic watch has two barrels, one of which is devoted to measuring time and the other to an alarm function. The alarm is activated and set by a pushpiece button and crown at 8 o’clock. On the dial, a pierced ruthenium black and red hand shows the time set for the alarm, while an opening at 8:30 confirms that it is turned on. An alarm reserve indicator at 7 o’clock tracks the status of the barrel.
This is the first in what will be an on-going series of on-the-wrist watch appraisals from me. It was Warren Buffet who said that it’s only when the tide goes out you see who’s been swimming naked. When the economic tide went out in 2007/8, few watch brands found themselves more naked, or more washed up, than Zenith, a historic maison that had ended up producing expensive, inexplicable monstrosities with names like Defy Xtreme.
I'm writing this story on Wednesday evening after having experienced the start of Baselworld 2011. Any news? Well, yes, of course. The new triple complication watch by Patek Philippe is superb, the new Alpina range of sports watches is great, Zenith is offering more returns to classicism and the new Chromatic J12 by Chanel is arguably the best looking watch of 2011.
ambassador Audemars Piguet Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Baselworld 2011 Baselworld 2012 Baselworld 2013 Blancpain Books Breitling Bruun Rasmussen Cartier Chopard Freccione Girard Perregaux Hublot IWC Jaeger LeCoultre Jean Claude Biver Jeremiah Case Karel Hubert Kristian Haagen Lange und Soehne Linde Werdelin Linde Werdelin SpidoLite II Longines Nato strap Nautilus Omega Panerai Patek Philippe Piaget Rafael Nadal Richard Mille Roger Dubuis Rolex Rolex Sea Dweller Rolex Submariner SIHH 2012 SIHH 2013 Steve McQueen Swiss watch exports TAG Heuer Technical Tuesday Vacheron Constantin Zenith