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Old 14 February 2017, 11:35 AM   #1
vladi123456
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What is wrong with Zenith?

The more I look at Zenith watches, the more I like them. But I don't see much discussion here in regards to Zenith - is there anything wrong with that brand? I only found out about them a few weeks ago, and everything looks very desirable so far - "see through" in the back, good size, PM prices seem reasonable.. So why so little attention here? Perhaps reliability not too great? Or anything else?
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Old 14 February 2017, 12:00 PM   #2
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There are a lot of great brands out there. Once you get past Rolex, you usually only here about the heavily produced, stainless, sport watches. Zenith is in good company when it comes to being a bit under discussed. If you like the brand, there is plenty to learn and lots of models to choose from.
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Old 14 February 2017, 12:17 PM   #3
El-Duderino
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Nothing wrong with Zenith, just not nearly as well known to most people as Rolex and, well, this is TRF. Also, their annual sales are like 5% of Rolex, so a lot fewer people own them to join in on the discussion. They do not hold their value as well as Rolex, so I'd recommend not paying anywhere near MSRP if you find a model you like.

Zenith has an iconic and reliable movement in the El Primero, interesting brand history, almost all their work is in-house, and they make a wide range of models. Definitely a brand to consider if you like their watches.

My Zenith says hi, by the way.



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Old 14 February 2017, 01:18 PM   #4
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They are a good brand for a mid tier watch and have an iconica and well regarded chronograph movement ( ie the El Primo ). However, their finishing and design don't get me excited. They look kind of dull. Strictly personal opinion of course.
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Old 14 February 2017, 03:17 PM   #5
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http://www.watchprosite.com/page-wf....open_bLoB_s-0/

No wonder JC Biver was told to sort it out – 18K annual production and 800+ resellers?
Looks like they’ll be doing more with Hodinkee…<rolls eyes>
The brand seems to have been just left to languish with no real identity beyond the El Primero, and yet it’s some of the other (non-chronograph) models that I've found somewhat more appealing.

Personally, if Zenith became little more than a movement supplier to LVMH brands (and maybe external ones), I wouldn’t be the least bit perturbed – and I see no compelling argument that because of their achievements in chronometry (way in the distant past, well before the arrival of the EP) that they must continue to exit as a fully fledged watchmaking operation.

Until Zenith knows who it is and what it stands for, JCB may find this is the one brand even his magical touch couldn't effect the necessary change.
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Old 14 February 2017, 03:30 PM   #6
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Marketing.
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Old 14 February 2017, 08:02 PM   #7
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It's my 2nd favorite watch right after. Rolex. I only have got only one Zenith though. It's Elite Power Reserve, I think we will be hearing more about them as Jean Claude Biver is on the helm.
Their technical prowess is non the less than that of other brands that demand 6 figures for their products
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Old 14 February 2017, 08:46 PM   #8
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Obviously nothing wrong according to Rolex, they used to put the El Primero movements inside the Daytona up until a little more than 10'years ago.
I have their Ultra Thin Elite and love the watch. Some of their watches in the 80's and 90's are quite hideous though. They were making great watches up until a few years ago and they seem to be floundering again in terms of direction.
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Old 14 February 2017, 09:06 PM   #9
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I think they have a charm. That said, I've flipped both of mine.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Zelite.JPG (266.6 KB, 972 views)
File Type: jpg Zenith.jpg (88.6 KB, 960 views)
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Old 14 February 2017, 09:28 PM   #10
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They used to make good TV's

Seriously though, Zenith has a storied past, and as mentioned is historically well regarded for their chronograph movements. Sadly seems a bit lost lately.

Recent NYT article : https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/03/f...over.html?_r=0
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Old 14 February 2017, 09:32 PM   #11
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I like the watches but have never owned one. So many other models and lines in front of them. I would never pay anywhere close to retail as the watches appear not to hold value well.
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Old 15 February 2017, 10:14 AM   #12
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I like the new 146, I like the cronometro, and the chrono Classic
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Old 15 February 2017, 10:21 AM   #13
vladi123456
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Wow, thanks guys for the links - that was some pretty interesting read..
Some of their designs are pretty traditional, but some of them are just plain awesome - to me. Here are a few that I really like.





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Old 15 February 2017, 01:11 PM   #14
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They make one of the nicest in house split second chronographs in modern times.
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Old 15 February 2017, 01:19 PM   #15
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Nothing wrong with them at all. Many of their chronographs have a lot of charm. The brand seems to lack some direction and has been spinning it's wheels in place but hopefully Biver will put that right and bring in a new management team. First step is redoing the El Primero movement to suit the larger case sizes so that we don't get chrono counters squished in the middle of the dial. Owned a few in the past and the quality was quite good. Still would love to find a good and original condition a386...
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Old 15 February 2017, 01:31 PM   #16
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I think they are a great brand and really under apprciated. My AD who sells them says the fact their name is the same as a large failed electronics company in N/A so consumers in the States are leery. I am strongly considering an EL Primero chrono right now.
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Old 16 February 2017, 02:13 AM   #17
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I think in general they could use some help on the design side.
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Old 16 February 2017, 03:07 AM   #18
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I like the traditional (boring or classic) Zeniths. Not a fan of blingy ones.
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Old 16 February 2017, 04:05 AM   #19
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I love the El Primero Caliber for it's place in chronograph and watchmaking history, but a lot has gone wrong at Zenith in the last years.... If I were to buy a Zenith, it would be a vintage el primero.
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Old 16 February 2017, 08:05 AM   #20
vladi123456
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When you say a lot has gone wrong - is that mostly with their line up or their reliability or anything else?
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Old 16 February 2017, 01:44 PM   #21
kunlun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladi123456 View Post
When you say a lot has gone wrong - is that mostly with their line up or their reliability or anything else?
Marketing and line-up.

Even though the Rolling Stones edition Zenith is an embarrassment, it's likely still a nicely made and reliable watch.
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Old 16 February 2017, 03:00 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunlun View Post
Marketing and line-up.



Even though the Rolling Stones edition Zenith is an embarrassment, it's likely still a nicely made and reliable watch.


Truth.

They do have some real head scratchers, but if you wade through those there are some lovely looking pieces. If Zenith reduced their catalogue by 50%, and focused strongly on just a few models, I think they'd be much better off.


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Old 16 February 2017, 11:24 PM   #23
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IMHO they have some nice models and I have owned 2 over the years...a Captain Moonphase and a Captain Power Reserve. In the US you can typically find them highly discounted on various gray market watch sites. I rarely see Zenith displays in the US but in Germany and Austria (where I travel to several times a year) they always have a nice portion of most ADs window displays. I also think they are more highly regarded in Europe than they are in the US. If you can pick up a model you like at a great price I think it is a no-brainer.
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Old 17 February 2017, 12:35 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by El-Duderino View Post

My Zenith says hi, by the way.

LOVE this one, let's see a shot of the dial head on!
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Old 17 February 2017, 12:55 AM   #25
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I really, really want to love Zenith! They are one of the few watch companies that are actually able to build on their history. They were the first one to come out with an automatic chrono, the El Primero, and at the same time are not resurrected brands (like Breguet, Blancpain, etc). They have been in continuous business, so not only marketing.

However, somehow I lost my appetite for the brand because of the monstrosities they have been releasing. First Thierry Nataf bringing out hideous pieces and raping the El Primero range with the pieces he had released. Now they have to make 48mm pilot watches under Mr. Jean-Claude Biver (whom I respect vey much from a business perspective, but not on classic brands like Zenith).

Again, I have done an effort to want to get into their models, but mismanagement always led me away. I really wish they get back into classic 40mm models and not try to be the next hot piece in town like the Hublot Big Bang.
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Old 17 February 2017, 01:00 AM   #26
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LOVE this one, let's see a shot of the dial head on!


Here's one from the other day.


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Old 17 February 2017, 01:05 AM   #27
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Here's one from the other day.
Nice! It reminds me of the Platinum Striking 10th.
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Old 17 February 2017, 01:09 AM   #28
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Nothing wrong with Zenith here!




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Old 17 February 2017, 08:03 AM   #29
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Don't underestimate the importance of that factoid from the article: Zenith couldn't be sold here because of the electronics firm's trademark. That's decades of marketing presence lost. I bought a few of the "vintage" (1970s) El Primeros back in the 90s because they were such amazing watches. I had one that was so well tuned it was at least as accurate as a quartz, and that is not an exaggeration because many of the 90s quartz movements were very, very cheaply assembled. I'm not planning of letting go of my Daytona with the Zenith component because I do love the brand. That being said, the new models are odd, not really that exciting. Can't wait to see what they do with the brand.
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Old 17 February 2017, 11:27 AM   #30
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There is really nothing wrong with Zenith. On the contrary, it's one of the most beloved brands in the watch community, thanks to its marvelous El Primero high-beat chronograph movement.
However, there were some dubious designs from the house when Thierry Nataf was CEO (Defy models, I'm looking at you!), but nevertheless - Zenith of nowadays is on the right path again and surely a brand that deserves admiration and respect.
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