Watches are so named as a reminder – if you don’t watch carefully what you do with your time, it will slip away from you. – Drew Sirtors
There is no better feeling than glancing down at your hands to admire a beautiful ring or treasured bracelet. In truth, items we love don’t have to be expensive to make us feel warm inside. It is the story behind them that fills us with joy. With that in mind, I asked a fellow guest at the Chisolm Hunter Zenith Watches event last night the story behind his watch. It was a stunning brown leather strap Breitling given to him by his late Grandfather. Although he had had it for many years, his Grandfather had worked hard to earn that watch and often recounted the day he walked to his local jeweller to finally buy it.
Each item we own is loved by us for a different reason; whether it was the ring you receive when you get engaged or the christening bracelet you get as a child and keep tucked away somewhere safe to pass on when the time comes. When I think about that gentleman going to buy something he cherished for the rest of his life and the private memories he associated with his Breitling, I realise what a special feeling it is when you buy something truly special.
The event held at Chisolm Hunter, Edinburgh this week introduced invited guests to the exclusive and stunning range of Zenith Swiss Watches. Whilst the store has a remarkable collection, we were treated to a behind the scenes peek of the watches not always available readily including the breathtaking DEFY: El Primero.
I first heard of Zenith Watches following their partnership with Felix Baumgartner when he made that death defying leap from space. With him was the El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th, which became the first watch to break the speed of sound. The elements he faced – an altitude of 39,045 meters and temperatures that were around -62°C tested the brands commitment to quality in adverse environments – something they pride themselves on.
The expression ‘pioneering spirit’ best defines what Zenith is all about. We have often been forerunners in unexplored domains. It is this ability to come up with new ideas, then push through with new technical developments before anyone else that is most fascinating at Zenith. Our watches have participated in some of the grandest human adventures: explorer Roald Amundsen’s discovery of the North and South Poles, Mahatma Gandhi’s peaceful fight for India’s independence, the foundations of ecology by Prince Albert I of Monaco, Louis Blériot’s Channel crossing, John F. Kennedy’s political action, the soccer exploits of Michel Platini (one of the greatest players in the history of the game), and French explorer Jean-Louis Étienne’s solo balloon flight over the North Pole. The brand’s new ambassador, Felix Baumgartner, is made of the same stuff as these pioneers. He has a project: to be the first human to expose his body to a speed of Mach 1. We were attracted to the idea: in assisting him in his dream, we would become the first supersonic watch [under human power –ed]. In Le Locle, our watchmakers have developed a model specially adapted to this mission: the Zenith El Primero Stratos. – Jean-Frédéric Dufour, Zenith CEO
Dufour was present at the event last night, giving his audience an insight into the brand. I continue to be impressed that a brand with such long standing continued to push unimaginable boundaries.
The Zenith Watches Defy range deserved a stunning setting, rich food and drink and the attention of the Chisolm Hunter staff – impeccably dressed and trained. Beverages, including bespoke cocktails, wine, fizz, beer and more – coupled with gorgeous canapies were provided by Hickory Foods who never fail to impress. The professionalism of each and every member of the event was quite remarkable, but I would expect nothing less of such a luxurious event.
Whether you plan to drop from space or to simply get a sparkle in your eye every time you glance at the time, a Zenith watch creates a story to last a lifetime.