In the past few days, Zenith’s CEO, Aldo Magada, left his position to Jean-Claude Biver with a press release. I had to share the excitement I had with due the flashing news, with the readers of Horobox.
You may think that people will come and go, brands and names will continue to exist, but this time the situation looks a little different because I am in the mood for where Biver’s magic fingers can carry a brand which is already doing great.
I think about the depressed times that Zenith was in the beginning of the year 2000 and I cannot help myself stop admiring the development of the brand. It is indispensable not to research a brand like Zenith at the times when my curiosity for watches had just started. I read a lot, I investigated and the only point I got was the fact that Zenith’s name has been printed in gold letters in the history of watchmaking. The place of Zenith for Turkish watch aficionados is no different. In fact, in a conversation with the 9th President Süleyman Demirel, he said, "my mind works like a Zenith watch", revealing the popularity of the brand.
On the other hand, I was reviewing the brand’s current catalog. Yes, some of you should have remembered; The Defy Extreme, Port Royal, classic Academy series... All had lines that strongly recall fashion label timepieces. I must admit I really liked the Defy series 10 years ago. At that time, I said I would never wear a watch like that... The brand had Thierry Nataf as the CEO back then. So, when LVMH and Nataf got hands on, years of legend goes, instead post apocalyptic Mad-Max watches came.
Then Nataf leaves his post. At this point the march of the brand that is born from its ashes is nothing but admirable. To return to its essence and to take over the brand’s heritage are the most accurate strategic decision of the brand, which stands for legendary works such as El Primero and stands out with its timeless designs. The journey starting with Jean-Frédéric Dufour continues with Aldo Magada. When we examine the models produced after Nataf, we are faced with designs that will not lose value even after many years of having more stylish and quality lines.
Now let’s talk about Biver. Watch out for this name. He is the one who saved Blancpain from the battle it’s stuck with and made the brand manufacture like Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, and Patek Philippe. He is the one who brought Omega a modern way that is still on track and triple its sales by working with celebrities like Michael Schumacher, Cindy Crawford and Pierce Brosnan - who himself was playing James Bond in those years.
He literally stretched out the glove for Hublot and strengthened the brand enough to cope with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak / Offshore lineup, and even carried TAG Heuer far beyond its segment, waving the brand’s flag, especially with motorsport sponsorships. I keep another article for his success about cheese and wine... Now it’s time for Zenith. I am looking forward to learning Biver’s plans for Zenith, who has the ability to give such a direction to the world of watches.
Yes, 2017 and after -if he is on duty- will be years of Zenith. We hope to see the first results of the change of administration as soon as possible.