The CEO of Zenith sat down with Tatler to discuss the importance of sustainable practices in horology and life, as well as the factors he considers when selecting his own watches
Watchmakers are constantly striving to raise the bar in horology; how do you do this while caring for the planet? Zenith has taken many actions to respect the environment and fight against climate change through our Zenith Horizon initiative. For instance, we have installed 560 solar panels on the roofs at our own manufacture (in Le Locle, Switzerland) to generate clean energy. We have also introduced a paperless approach within our organisation.
What do you consider your biggest personal contribution to leaving behind a better world for future generations?
I wish I could do more for the environment, but I focus on a variety of small actions at work and at home to contribute to the global (sustainability) effort; (for example,) I do my best to avoid using paper and plastic, recycle items, and instil environmental values in my children. Zenith’s partnership with Extreme E, a racing championship that raises awareness about climate change, is also a way for the organisation to have a car and watch collaboration that promotes e-driving and gender equality.
What can consumers do to help protect the planet while indulging in luxury?
We should only buy what is necessary and reuse as much
as possible. Another important habit is to keep the planet as clean as possible; this begins at home with how we dispose of trash.
Which watch is closest to your heart? Why?
Most definitely the (Zenith) Chronomaster Sport, as we worked on it for three years before launching it in 2021, and it was a huge success. It was such an adventure to design an iconic watch which was inspired by our heritage but expressed in a very 21st-century way—a perfect summary of what Zenith is all about.
How do you decide whether a watch is good enough for your personal collection? Acquiring a watch for me is being 20 per cent rational and 80 per cent emotional. So, I will first look at it with a technical, finishing and design approach. Then, I let my emotions take over to make the final decision.
Who do you go to for watchrelated advice?
Younger people, because they have a pulse on what tomorrow will be like. When you lead a company, you should never believe you know better than others, but make sure you get the right team and take time to listen to different and younger team members.
The Admiral 42 Sandblasted Gunmetal Automatic has had a design and case-finishing update. The 42mm monochrome, gunmetal grey, sandblasted stainless steel version, which is powered by the automatic CO 395 calibre, comes with a gradient gunmetal dial and grey nautical pennants, while the anti-fingerprint coating of sandblasted steel on the bezel, case and bracelet gives the watch a solid yet sophisticated look. This watch will be limited to 100 pieces.