In the course of its history, Zenith has remained true to its mission. More than a century has passed since Zenith became dominated by the quest for precision.
A product of this perseverance is the El Primero movement. The latter is a high-frequency chronograph capable of mechanically measuring up to the 10th of a second.
When it was released in 1969, it was the very first automatic chronograph. However, the quartz crisis almost led to the disappearance of this movement.
One of the original watchmakers who worked on the El Primero (movement), Charles Vermot, has been responsible for its preservation.
When Zenith decided to discontinue the El Primero in the mid-1970s, Charles Vermot stored the plans and machinery in a hidden attic on the factory premises. Ten years later, it was this passionate act that helped relaunch the manufacture of this movement.
Rarely does a manufacturer use original parts to restore old models. Zenith is one of them. Passionate teams use the organization’s archive and component collections to accomplish this incredible feat.