A Visit to Zenith

A Visit to Zenith

Postby koimaster » May 11th 2016, 3:39pm

The first thing that captured my attention upon arrival at the Zenith Manufacture in April was the inimitable presence that it enjoys in Le Locle. The multi-building site, established in 1865, with its familiar and recently refurbished monogram of founder Georges Favre-Jacot, is something to behold, figuratively rising Oz-like from the bucolic countryside surrounding the city. The brand’s 150th anniversary banner was still flying outside, adding to the festive atmosphere, as were several national flags in honor of the countries represented by visitors at the manufacture that day.

Le Locle is the third smallest city in Switzerland at just over 10,000 people, but it is a place that has been critical to watchmaking since the seventeenth century. The vestiges of this cottage industry are still evident in the patchwork of residences and workshops in the region, which also housed an aptitude for lacemaking in addition to horology. Interestingly, it was Georges Favre-Jacot who invited the various local artisans to work under one roof, thereby—and perhaps initially unwittingly—creating a true watch manufacture.

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