This year Zenith celebrated its 90th year anniversary at BaselWorld in style. Felix Baumgartner, who enthralled the world last year with his stratospheric jump, joined company CEO Jean-Frédéric Dufour at the Von Bartha Garage art gallery in Basel.
Guests got the chance to look back at the sporting and scientific feat accomplished by Baumgartner, the only man to have broken the sound barrier without vehicular power. They also got a look at the El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th Baumgartner wore during his jump from the edge of space, as well as the new Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 models from the Pilot collection. During his visit to Basel, Baumgartner was presented with a Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT – a function that will doubtless prove important for this extreme traveler.
From their collaboration with Baumgartner to their new international marketing campaign and revamped website, this is a big year for Zenith. The Le Locle, Switzerland-based manufacture has unveiled a new website that gives visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the Zenith world, from information about collections to the history of the company, their movements, descriptive tours of its manufacture, and a focus on the people behind the brand (from Georges Favre-Jacot and Louis Blériot to Baumgartner). The new website also features brand news, social media sharing tools, web-to-store pre-shopping, and a store locator mode complete with directions.
Meanwhile, the new marketing campaign focuses on the “rational” part of the brand’s heritage by putting the product firmly at centre stage. The watch is central to Zenith’s five new campaign visuals, accompanied by a close-up of one of the technical details in the brand’s repertoire. The campaigns depict worlds in line with the watches they illustrate; for example, the sky for the Pilot collection, and the sea for the Captain collection.
All of this comes together at the brand’s BaselWorld booth, which is a contemporary interpretation of the façade of Zenith’s manufacture in Le Locle. The entrance features a line drawing of the El Primero movement, while inside the pavilion Felix Baumgartner’s extraordinary feat is shown on a giant screen. Visitors can experience the record 2,333 prizes Zenith has won since its founding via a dynamic, tactile experience that allows guests to “flip through” them like an open book, while historic Zenith watches and new models are on display in a 23-metre showcase.
Photos courtesy Zenith.