2015 Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 “Tour Auto” Edition

  Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Tour Auto 2015 dial detail - Perpetuelle

Taking the banner from Hublot, Zenith is the official timekeeper of the Tour Auto Optic 2000 2015.  And boy have the produced a really super watch to mark the occasion — seriously, is this a cool looking watch or what?!  Despite its obscure sounding name, the Tour Auto bills itself as the oldest motor race in the world still in operation — but what it really comes down to is that this is a really, really neat classic car event.  We here at Perpetuelle have covered the event every year since 2010, too — during watch sponsors have included Audemars Piguet (2010, 2011, 2012), Hublot (2013, 2014), and now Zenith (I’ll post links to each of these past Tour Auto watches at the bottom of this post).

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Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot with Chain and Fusée

Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot Chain and Fusée 150 anniversary watch (2015)

To mark Zenith’s 150th anniversary in 2015, the Le Locle-based manufacture is set to introduce the “Academy Georges Favre-Jacot”, a 150-piece limited edition series in rose gold case featuring a high-frequency hand-would El Primero caliber with chain and fusée mechanism.  The fusée and chain is a rarely seen mechanism in the world of high watchmaking — names like Breguet, A. Lange and independent Romain Gauthier (to name a few) all have their own variation of such a system.  On this watch, the chain and fusée transmission is fully visible through the upper dial opening, with the barrel between 10 and 11 o’clock and the fusée around which the chain wraps itself located between 1 and 2 o’clock.  In total, the caliber comprises a whopping 797 parts, most of which are part of the 18cm long chain.

The name of this anniversary piece also pays tribute to Zenith’s founder, Mr. Georges Favre-Jacot.  Certainly not a household name as far as “famous founders” go, but it was in 1865 that this youthful native of the village of Le Locle founded his watch factory (he was 22) which we know today as Zenith.  150 years is certainly a milestone worth celebrating, and you can be Zenith has plenty of festive events — and watches — to mark the occasion.  Stay tuned!  For now, though — a quick sneak peak at the Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot…

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Zenith El Primero Stratos Spindrift Racing Watches

Zenith EL Primero Stratos Spindrift Racing DLC with Carbon Fiber dial - Perpetuelle

We all know of Zenith’s high profile involvement with extreme athlete/adventurer Felix Baumgartner (which most recently culminated in this outstanding and exclusive turquoise-dialed Christophe Colomb Gravity Control timepiece), but I thought we take a moment today to look at a less high profile form of adventure that the brand has more recently become involved with, sailing.   In its capacity as official timekeeper for the Spindrift racing team since 2014, it was only natural that Zenith might issue a commemorative timepiece or two.

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Zenith Academy Christophe Colomb Tribute to Felix Baumgartner

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Zenith Christophe Colombe Felix Baumgartner watch detail

In what I would describe as a spectacular fusion of materials, mechanics, and adventure, Zenith pays tribute to one of the great explorers of this century and a true champion of extreme challenges, Felix Baumgartner, with the this new Academy Christophe Colomb .  You may recall the Baumgartner, an experienced parachutist and base jumper, and his historic jump from a stratospheric capsule in 2012. This epic and unprecedented project was known as the Red Bull Stratos Mission.  Baumgartner jumped from an altitude of 128,100 feet above earth, and reached a top speed of 833.9 miles per hour (Mach 1.29!) — and he did it wearing a Zenith watch.  So it is only fitting that Zenith pays tribute to this man in a an exceptional ten-piece DLC-coated platinum limited edition of the Academy Christophe Colomb model.  What an incredible timepiece this is — I’ve got some great high-res close-ups and full details for y0u, below.
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