To celebrate its fabled El Primero chronograph, Zenith announced, at an event during the Paris Motor Show, an exceptional partnership with British car manufacturer Land Rover, highlighted by the launch of the El Primero Range Rover Special Edition. Pioneers in their respective fields, both brands had legendary firsts in 1969: Zenith unveiled the El Primero chronograph, while the car manufacturer “rolled” out the very first luxury off-road Range Rover prototype. Fired by the same pioneering spirit, an ability to brave new ventures and half a century of continuous achievements for both watch and car, the association of the two companies came naturally. We attended this special -emotion and suspense filled- evening in Paris with Jean-Claude Biver, President of the LVMH Watch Division, and President and CEO of Zenith Aldo Magada, to discover the dynamics of the partnerships and the new watch.
The distinctive El Primero Range Rover Special Edition looks equally great on posh city streets as it does on rugged terrain. Honouring the first luxury SUV, the timepiece boasts a brushed grey dial with the inscription “Zenith Range Rover” and beats at the dynamic pace of the famous El Primero 400B movement. With its fast-paced 36,000 vibrations per hour beat and its integrated column-wheel construction, this El Primero ‘engine’ is a worthy heir to the world’s most accurate series-made chronograph developed by Zenith in the 60s. The watch’s streamlined, subtly curved design resembles the Range Rover’s elegant lines. Its high-frequency mechanism, clothed in the aluminum ‘bodywork’, is a nod to the vehicle’s chassis. The sapphire caseback engraved with “El Primero Range Rover / Special Edition” reveals an oscillating weight personalized with the Zenith and Range Rover logos.
Aldo Magada shared: “The match between our two brands is very strong. Zenith and Range Rover both create unique, innovative products. Through timeless design, both brands express authentic luxury. The Zenith team is very excited to start this long-term partnership with Range Rover, another superb brand and kindred spirit.”
Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Chief Design Officer, added: “The Zenith El Primero is one of the most distinctive watch designs ever produced, in my view. Therefore it has been imperative to honour and respect this iconic design. It had to remain unmistakably an El Primero, but allude to Range Rover DNA. Like a Range Rover, it’s an object you look at and immediately feel an emotional connection with.”
This exciting partnership promises to be an explosive and creative one, with speedy success for the new timepiece, and a long road ahead for Zenith and Land Rover.