Zenith watches are my newest fascination because they represent unique styling and technical prowess. Zenith Watch Company began in 1865 as a movement maker, and stayed that way through most of its existence. Most of Zenith's endeavors involved providing its strong movements to other watch makers. Zenith movements have been featured in Rolex watches for a long period of time. Regardless, Zenith proved a dynamic manufacture and began producing a line of very high quality watches aggressively priced against the competition.
In the late 1990's Zenith re-imaged itself and began to produce high quality watches to house its legendary El Primero line of movements. Today, Zenith produces some of the most interesting line of watches available from house Manufacture (meaning the watch maker also makes its own movements). A signature feature of many of the Zenith watches is an open window into the movement. This they refer to as "Open" in a watch. Through this window you can see one of the main gears moving while a crank regulates how fast it spins. This seemingly basic movement is essential in keeping the watch accurate. It is nice to look into the window and see the gears moving. Many watch enthusiasts liken this to looking into "the soul of the watch." Seeing the "living machine" brings far more pleasure than a quartz watch ever could in terms of movement appreciation.
Recently, I visited Dejaun Jewelers in Sherman Oaks, CA and tried on a few of the Zenith watches I was lucky to find there. Of my favorites are the Defy series, which come in Classic and Xtreme varieties. Each features a boldly masculine look without being too overdone. The type of watch that makes a serious presence, but is welcome in the boardroom. The Zenith advertisements feature a pilot wearing the watch. But at the same time, this type of watch is for any extrovert who likes a serious watch that makes a statement about their dedication to serious performance machines and quality goods.
Watches like the Zenith Defy can serve an excellent purpose for the individual who appreciates fine things, but does not want to appear finicky or pretentious about it. A Zenith watch will last a lifetime, or several with proper care. A Zenith watch is also has classic design elements with many modern touches that make them instantly recognizable to the right eyes, and there is also the knowledge that Zenith watches employ exclusive house manufacture movements. Personally, I consider a Zenith watch perfect for the watch enthusiast who wants the prestige of a fine watch both technologically, and aesthetically, without being cliche or ordinary in their decision. As Zenith watches do not have the widest distribution, you will be happy to know not too many are wearing them. Always nice to find something that is beautiful but not trendy.
My choice for a Zenith watch, is the Defy Open Xtreme, which comes in various materials and color schemes. For going all out, my pick is the black titanium with gold and carbon fiber accents. Prices for Zenith watches, while on the mid to high level, and very fair when compared with other manufacture makers such as Patek Philippe, Breguet, and Vacheron Constantin. A Zenith watch is sure to become part of my collection as soon as possible.