Zenith has consistently stated its support for its network of authorised dealers.
The watchmaker has been selling direct to consumer from its own website since last year, but has stressed that the digital offer will help its retail partners because it enables the brand to learn more about its customers.
In an interview with WATCHPRO in May this year, Zenith CEO Julien Tornare was clear in his support for multibrand partners.
“In our industry there can be arrogance from certain brands that say they do not need retailers anymore. I do not like to hear that because in most cases it is retailers that build brands, so we should respect that. Secondly, I strongly believe that clients still want a multibrand experience. That is my philosophy and I shout it loud and clear to our retailers. We will not shoot them in the leg, no way,” he assured.
He also addressed the issue at the launch of Zenith’s ecommerce site in America last year.
“By playing dual roles as a brand showcase and virtual retail boutique, e-commerce is an excellent means of directly engaging a wider range of customers through a digital brand experience. While we continue to be firm believers in the importance of our authorised retailers and support them on their own e-commerce websites, our shift to digital is part of a conscious drive by Zenith to be as present as possible for our clients. We look forward to being closer to our US-based customers and developing an ever-better understanding of their needs,” he said.
Zenith has a strong network of authorised partners in the UK including Watches of Switzerland, Ernest Jones, Chisholm Hunter and several independent retailers.
A sophisticated ecommerce business has to be paid for somehow, and Zenith will hope that a new Chronomaster, sold exclusively through its own site, will be a strong seller.
The Chronomaster Original E-Commerce Edition is a 38mm steel watch that adopts the design of the A386 El Primero from 1969, but comes with the latest latest El Primero 3600 movement, which has a chronograph accurate to one tenth of a second and power reserve of 60 hours.
Stylistically, the watch uses Zenith’s signature tri-colour dial in shades of grey and blue for the chronograph counters and the same colours are picked up in an outer scale from zero to 100 seconds and the tenths of each second.
The tri-colour theme extends to the strap, which is made of dark grey nubuck leather matching the chronograph’s minute counter at 6 o’clock of the dial, while a looped stitch is done in blue on the right side matching the chronograph’s second counter at 3 o’clock, and a light grey stitch on the left side matching the running seconds register for a subtle but remarkable nod to the most iconic Zenith dial of all.