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History of Zenith watches

The Zenith watch brand was established in 1865 by Georges Favre Jacot in the Swiss town of Le Locle.The company was set up with the aim to centralise the production of watches by bringing all aspects involved in the design, development, and manufacture of timepieces under one roof. Naturally, this brought with it benefits in efficiency and quality control, enabling Zenith to go on to create some of the finest watches of the time. 

The first brand to display the true meaning of a watch manufacturer, Zenith soon became known for its pioneering spirit. Its essence was to inspire individuals to chase their dreams - or their guiding star, as they see it. 

It’s this ethos that has helped generate appeal of the brand's watches among some of the most influential people throughout history. The likes of Louis Blériot, Felix Baumgartner, and Gandhi have been known to keep a Zenith watch close to them on expeditions, in competitions, and in day-to-day life. 

Like many mechanical watch producers at the time, the ‘quartz crisis’ of the 70s presented significant challenges for the brand. While peers were forced into financial difficulty and left with no choice but to close their doors, Zenith were one of the few strategic enough to survive. Its American owners instructed the workshops to cease production of all mechanical timepieces and instead, focus efforts on the quartz market. 

Along with these instructions, were demands to sell all machines and tools used to manufacture mechanical watches by weight to the highest bidder. However, Charles Vermot, a Zenith watchmaker and the brand’s now-saviour, defied the demands and safeguarded some of the production equipment. These very tools were uncovered nine years later and used to produce the famous El Primero, which to this day, remains the brand’s most iconic timepiece. 

In 2000, Zenith was acquired by luxury powerhouse LVMH, enabling the brand and its iconic designs to reach new heights within the watch world. 

Why buy second hand Zenith watches?

Thanks to the rich history and heritage of the brand, Zenith watches are readily available and popular purchases among watch collectors. As the brand is recognised for its high quality standards, the second hand Zenith watches for sale in our collection remain in pristine condition as they have been built to last. 

The brand has also produced a number of iconic models over the years, with the El Primero just one famous example. Original models of these timepieces are now only available to buy second hand. Therefore, for any collectors who are after a piece of the brand’s history, be sure to keep an eye on the ever-changing range available at Hamilton & Inches. 

As well as the guarantee of an authentic Zenith timepiece in good condition, we also offer a two year warranty with every pre-owned watch purchase. Our in-house team of watch specialists are also on hand to provide an excellent after sales service to secure the long term quality of your watch.

Top Zenith watch families

The Zenith watch collection features an extensive range of models. Each has been designed and developed with the brand’s pioneering spirit and eye for innovation, explaining the exact reason for its avant-garde reputation. 

While you can be assured that every model has been crafted using the same skill and driving technology, there have been some notable models over the years. For example, the original El Primero chronograph in 1969. The watch featured the world’s first automatic chronograph movement and a tempo of 36,000 vibrations per hour, making it one of the most precise timepieces available. 

Today, the El Primero movement is fitted within many of Zenith’s best selling watches, which is why they remain highly sought after, no matter whether new or pre-owned. For instance, the Defy collection includes models that combine exceptional precision with robust design, making for a range of versatile watches that are suitable for every occasion. 

The Elite collection features stylish dress watches that do not compromise quality or performance. Fitted with the Elite movement this time, watches showcase functionalities, such as moonphase indication, as well as elegant, luxurious designs. 

The range of second hand Zenith watches available at Hamilton & Inches changes regularly. If you have your eye on a particular model in our collection, or would like to enquire about one that isn’t, our specialist team will be happy to help with any queries you may have. Please do not hesitate to get in touch.