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Preview BASELWORLD 2013Zenith: New marketing campaign, new online presence and new booth

Having restated its values, Zenith can assert its brand identity: authentic, high-end, passionate and free-spirited. All these are descriptions that bespeak excellence and attitude, words that imply high standards and technical quality, but also emotion, and that are being translated into a new international marketing campaign, a new online presence, and a new booth at Baselworld 2013.

The new creative proposal puts the “rational” part of the brand’s heritage – the product – firmly centre stage, because it is in seeing the product that someone will fall in love with it, that the first emotions will begin to stir. For example, while the watch remains central to these first five campaign visuals, it is accompanied by a close-up of one of the technical details in the brand’s repertoire, which exists in complete harmony within a landscape imbued with the spirit of each collection.

Moon phases, a product of the Manufacture’s many areas of expertise, have been added to the Captain Grande Date Moonphase’s Elite 670 ultra-thin movement. The Captain Winsor Annual Calendar brings this ingenious complication together with the legendary El Primero movement for the first time. The mechanism of the 1969 El Primero Chronomaster’s automatic high-frequency column-wheel chronograph is revealed through an open dial. The El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th Tribute to Felix Baumgartner showcases the full power of the Striking 10th and Flyback functions. The Pilot Big Date Special’s large date and luminescent hour-markers elegantly evoke the first Zenith pilot’s watches, which were famous for their accuracy and legibility. Finally, the “Gravity Control” gyroscopic module and fusee-chain transmission mechanism make the Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane the world’s first imperturbable timepiece, which goes so far as to defy the forces of nature. However, and this is no doubt a delightful paradox, the “rational” part has a great deal to do with the emotion felt when one contemplates the visuals. Because, far from confining themselves to this technical side, the visuals go so far as to create worlds in line with the watch they illustrate and the sensations it mediates, and also spaces of freedom that favour self-fulfilment, discovery, an enterprising spirit. These worlds are naturally tied to the collection names – the sky for Pilot, the sea for Captain – or, more generally, to the idea of escape, of travel, of “elsewhere” – vast expanses for Academy, distant horizons for El Primero, and so on.

The main message, “Follow your own star”, perfectly reflects the spirit in which the Manufacture was founded: accompany each owner in his projects, his endeavours, and become his echo, his alter ego. The catch phrase is unique, regardless of the model, because owning a Zenith watch partakes of a unique state of mind. It is of course also an allusion to the brand with the guiding star! The black-and-white colour scheme of the mood visuals, which emphasises the brand’s authenticity, contrasts with the warm colour of the materials, making the timepieces stand out.

The website also gets a new look

Zenith’s new website is the result of thoughts on repositioning the brand’s digital presence. For example, rather than existing as a simple sales platform, it will let visitors immerse themselves in an elegant, serene world marked by the brand’s values, to enjoy what could be called “the Zenith experience.”

Everything has been thought of to offer improved accessibility across all platforms – PCs, tablets and smartphones – and optimal use of the digital potential of web-to-store, or pre-shopping, the next stage in e-commerce which is advancing at a double-digit rate toward its 2015 introduction.

Visitors will also find a valuable source of information, especially the collection sections and product sheets. The Ladies’ Watches, Limited Editions and Preview pages will now be accessible from the home page. The Manufacture, Fine Watchmaking and Icons tabs will have enhanced content with, for example, the history of the legendary El Primero movement, a descriptive tour of the Manufacture, a presentation about the movements, and also a focus on personalities who have played a part in creating the brand’s aura, including Georges Favre-Jacot of course, and also Louis Blériot, Felix Baumgartner, as well as the company’s craftspersons. In addition to brand news, which will be updated regularly, in particular via a newsletter, a new tool will facilitate sharing on social networks and provide access to a dedicated press area containing all downloadable material – press releases and press packets, images, and films.

Finally, improved ergonomics, quicker file downloads, and optimisation for smartphones will be complemented by a faster and easier store locator mode complete with directions, along with the means of establishing priority contact through forms for requesting an appointment or information.

A new booth at BASELWORLD 2013

MUBA (the Schweizer Mustermesse Basel, a Swiss trade fair) was created in 1917 at the initiative of the Basle government. Zenith had its first booth in the watch and jewellery section in 1922. From 1927 on, after a one-year absence, the brand with the guiding star was to attend what was later called the Basel Fair, then Baselworld, every year without interruption. It is in Basle, the world showcase for all its new products, that Zenith was to make its mark on Fine Watchmaking history when it launched its legendary El Primero chronograph movement in 1969.

To celebrate its 90th appearance at the event, this year Zenith has a new booth that reflects the brand’s reasserted values. An impression of authenticity emanates from the very colour of the stone used – a creamy white shade – in combination with the highly elegant colours of wenge wood, tinted glass, and leather. The 100% Swiss booth was designed by the Geneva architectural firm Brandstorm and built by Messerli in Zurich. The lighting and furnishings were custom-made for Zenith. All of which means that the brand’s new booth is in keeping with the company’s longstanding approach to defining its identity. Reflecting the “new generation” codes of its stores, Zenith has opted for a contemporary interpretation of the Manufacture’s façade, the Le Locle facility that dates back to 1865 and still houses the workshops. Other details speak to another value: at the booth’s entrance, a line drawing of the El Primero movement recalls and emphasises the Manufacture’s creative daring. To the left, Felix Baumgartner’s extraordinary feat is shown in a loop on a giant screen. Historic watches and new models are on display in a 23-metre showcase. To the right, visitors can experience the record 2,333 prizes Zenith has won since its founding. They could have been simply mounted on a wall, but the company has created a dynamic, tactile experience by making it possible to “flip through” them like an open book.

Finally, contrasting with the light stone, tinted glass hints at the stand’s inner life. For visitors, the impression of pleasure and discovery is omnipresent. With its new booth, Zenith continues its tradition of hospitality by welcoming its customers and the media in a warm, unobtrusive three-level space of 760 m2. A space that, for a moment, offers a small refuge where one can escape the constraints of the Fair, a “haven of freedom” where one discovers, intact, an unchangingly enterprising spirit that is still vibrantly alive after nearly 150 years.