Style / World of Watches (WOW)

Zenith Watch Exhibition: A Star Through Time at Ngee Ann City

A uniquely interactive journey through the past, present and future of the Zenith manufacture open to the public from the 28 August to the 1st September at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza

Aug 06, 2019 | By Jonathan Ho


The Zenith Le Locle Manufacture

Since its creation 150 years ago, Zenith has constantly played a pioneering role in developing and producing precise, reliable and complex timepieces, filing over 300 patents in the course of its rich history, including one for the legendary El Primero calibre.

From onboard instruments to wristwatches, the Manufacture, integrating the entire range of watchmaking professions in-house, has all the expertise and independence required to create unusual mechanisms that constantly push the boundaries of time measurement but over the course of its modern history, its most iconic creation has been the El Primero, the world’s first automatic chronograph.

Zenith Watch Exhibition: A Star Through Time at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza

Open to public, A Star Through Time is a massive and immersive 400m2 pop-up exhibition within Ngee Ann City celebrating the 50th anniversary of the brand’s signature automatic chronograph.

Top left: The Manufacture established by Georges Favre-Jacot definitively adopts the name of Zenith in 1911. Top right: Enthusiasts of watchmaking will also be enchanted by the legendary tale of how watchmaker Charles Vermot safeguarded the tools necessary for the manufacture of El Primero in the attic of the Zenith manufacture. Bottom left: Georges Favre-Jacot. Bottom Right: An El Primero Chronograph

Launched in 1969, the El Primero was one of three automatic chronographs to debut that year and while critics may debate on which was technically the first, the El Primero bears the distinction of being independently developed in Switzerland. In tribute to the brand’s watchmaking prowess, the facade of the Star Through Time marquee which houses the Zenith watch exhibition will be made to resemble the Le Locle Manufacture.

“Le Moinde Étoilé will give everyone an opportunity to enjoy a unique experience and to understand how our timepieces work, while plunging into the heart of our history,” – Zenith CEO Julien Tornare

Le Moinde Étoilé de Zenith

Visitors will discover a retrospective of the movement’s half-century story of innovation and precision, as vintage El Primero pieces and other exclusive timepieces in an intricate tapestry of time. The Zenith watch exhibition will fascinate visitors with the story behind the El Primero, as well as bring the Le Locle Manufacture’s showcase exhibit – Le Moinde Étoilé de Zenith, a uniquely interactive journey through the past, present and future of the Zenith manufacture, creating a dynamic juxtaposition of heritage and evolution.

Heritage and Evolution of the Zenith El Primero

The El Primero has been a conversational and technical milestone in Zenith watchmaking for the last 50 years for good reason. In its 1969 guise, a superlative masterpiece to coinciding with our space age; in 2010, an engineering masterpiece in the Striking 10th edition measuring 1/10 of a second increments and today, in the Defy 21 collection, a post-modernist automatic chronograph introducing 1/100th of a second mechanical accuracy to the world.

Past and Present meet at A Star Through Time

Interaction is not all virtual either, core to the experience of watchmaking is the tactile feel, guests will get to see and try a wide range of watches from the current Zenith collection at the open concept watch bar.

Be amazed from 28th August to 1st September 2018, and free to the public, the Zenith: A Star Through Time exhibition will also bring the highly reputed Le Monde Étoilé de Zenith to Singapore’s Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza, promoting the region’s rich watchmaking history, Zenith’s own unique watchmaking experience as well as deep insights and perspectives of the mechanical watch and its many mysteries including a special 360° experience for the visitors to witness the inner workings of a watchmaking maison.

Front-of-store Chronometer displaying Zenith exact time (Circa 1912)

Manufacture Caliber 135 (as seen on right of picture below) – Winner of 235 Chronometry prizes (Circa 1950) and Manufacture Caliber 5011 (as seen on left of picture below) – Winner of the all- time record of Precision in its category, in 1967 (circa 1990)


If this isn’t enough, visitors can sign up for specially curated watchmaking clinics conducted by Zenith watchmakers on 31st August and 1st September. Horophiles, please register your interest by emailing Confirmation is on a “first come, first served” basis.

Singapore is the first stop in a worldwide tour that will make its way to other exclusive destinations next year.


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