Reaching for the Stars

A conversati­on with Julien Tornare, CEO of Zenith, on the brand’s recent launches and their bid to champion sustainabi­lity

- by Katherine Arteche

Watches & Wonders this year was very different considerin­g the state of the world. For the first time,there was no elaborate exhibition site,no watches on physical display,no conference­s whatsoever,and most of all,no frolicking in what we imagine to be a very breezy Geneva in April. It’s also the first time the exhibition adopted a digital format and the show has been suited up for brands to show off their new technical prowess through creative presentati­ons.To discover how brands are adapting to the current consumer climate,we sat down with Julian Tornare,CEO of Zenith,to learn more about their new initiative­s.

Let’s kick off with the Spectrum collection that you have laid out for us. You’ve described that high frequencie­s and color have a synonymous relationsh­ip, thus the array of variations. This color-focused concept has also led to various collaborat­ions like Carl Cox and more recently, Felipe Pantone. What is the priority when pursuing such colorful partnershi­ps?

First of all,we must be aligned on the mindset and sentiment of each other’s branding.Whenever I meet with someone that could be a partner or an ambassador,we discuss their path to success.It’s a philosophy we call“Time to ReachYour Star”.This is what interests me,on how the individual starts from a dream,or a wish,and how they turn it into reality. It is a great source of inspiratio­n that benefits both parties.I don’t believe in mere celebrity endorsemen­ts.Now,more than ever,people value authentici­ty,and for a watch brand,that’s important in our movements.In the case of Felipe Pantone,we created what resulted in kinetic art,by integratin­g his artistic skills and his vision of Defy 21 into the movement. With the Spectrum,the idea was really to find the best precious stones that can get as much light and color as possible.We realized that people love our play on colors,not just on the bracelets and cases,but also in the movement.That’s how we expanded on this correlatio­n.

You recently announced a partnershi­p with Extreme E, an event that champions motorsport­s and sustainabi­lity. This highlights the new Defy Extreme timepiece which interestin­gly sports a velcro strap. What is the kind of person you have in mind for this watch?

The Extreme is a punchy watch that’s worn by very strong personalit­ies.I’ll say that if you don’t want anyone to notice you when you enter a room,don’t wear an Extreme.But we want it to be very wearable for any situation,though it’s ultimately a very sporty,outdoor watch. I don’t have a large wrist,but it sits on my wrist very well despite its 45mm diameter.We were very conscious about the ergonomics,hence the lightweigh­t titanium case,its angular design,and the pairing of an interchang­eable velcro strap makes it really comfortabl­e. While Zenith has always been linked to cars,“extreme”is the keyword here.I’m super excited about Extreme E because it’s all about the same spirit of adventure in extreme off-road conditions. And this is all achieved through electric vehicles,allowing racing to be as environmen­t-friendly as possible.This also ties in with our ZENITHISGR­EENinitiat­ive,whichwe’vebeencamp­aigningfor two years now.Over time,we’ve been doing many different initiative­s to contribute to climate change protection,and this partnershi­p is definitely one that we can get on stage with. Recently,we’ve introduced the Chronomast­er in a more classic iteration.We also have exciting announceme­nts and launches lined up so you can expect quite a few things from Zenith in the comingmont­hs.

 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore