Zenith is building foundations under the market for its vintage watches by buying and selling its own historic timepieces.
Its Heritage Department in Le Locle will track down important historical references and ensure that all parts are genuine.
Once approved by its experts, Zenith purchases it and hands it to the Heritage team, who conduct further inspections and make any required repairs or restorations.
It is then given a 3 year warranty and digital passport linked to a digital Zenith archive that ensures its traceability in perpetuity.
Every watch that goes through the process will be labeled as a Zenith Icon, which is likely to significantly increase its resale value.
“This is an exciting new chapter for Zenith’s legacy, and I’m extremely proud of the teams at the Zenith Manufacture for taking on this initiative. We are bridging the past with the future by celebrating Zenith’s rich history and the references that have become true icons of watchmaking. We are acquiring historical timepieces from sources who have cherished them for a very long time and allowing others the opportunity to enjoy them. These rare pieces can now embark on a second life using existing resources at the Manufacture, and I’m really excited to share these pieces of history with our customers,” says Zenith CEO Julien Tornare.
Zenith will be focusing on rare and important watches, and the Icon watches will only be on sale through its own boutiques but, as Mr Tornare says: “This is just the beginning”.
In an interview with Mr Tornare for the May edition of WatchPro, he says there will be more Zenith boutiques opened around the world, but only a limited number in key cities such as London and New York.
No time scales were given and he was keen to stress that monobrand boutiques would increase awareness for Zenith, which would benefit the company’s multibrand retail partners.
“I would love to have a boutique in London and New York. We should be in Hong Kong. We just opened up in Dubai Mall in December. The key message is that we have no intention to take business away from our partners. We want to grow the brand for everybody,” he says.