Zenith’s archives goes live on the Web

Zenith’s archives goes live on the Web

by Olivier Müller

Have you ever wondered what could be the origins of your timepieces ? Not the new ones, of course, but all the vintage ones. For sure, it can be part of their mystery. Some legends are based upon uncertain birth places, years of creation. However, when the time comes to sell such pieces, it’s always a better deal to provide buyers with original papers.

With the tremendous development of Watches Marketplace it’s easy to buy a second-hand vintage piece, but hard to get its original birth certificate ! And it becomes even harder when the beloved watch is 100% original…but some hidden parts of the caliber , which needed to be changed over the years and that are not 100% genuine.

Vintage Zenith Watch

Vintage Zenith Watch

Many brands offer an access to their archives, even the oldest ones, such as Breguet or Jaeger-LeCoultre. But Zenith recently went one step further with a new type of web-based service : the Archive Extract and the Certificate of Authenticity services. These services were developed to respond to the growing number of requests that the manufacture receives and are in line with a desire to establish a simple, accessible, efficient procedure.

Zenith Archives – The Archive Extract service

The Archive Extract service is designed for anyone in possession of an old ZENITH watch (not part of the current collection) and seeking information about it (namely the year it was made, in certain cases the name of the collection or model, the target market, etc.) through our website.

The amount of information Zenith can provide depends not only on what the brand has in irs archives but above all on the information supplied by the client. To ensure historians can do the most extensive possible research, Zenith suggests that each client provides the number of the movement and good quality photographs, as well any other information that might be of use.

Zenith Manufacture

Zenith Manufacture

The brand commits to sending back an Archive Extract within 30 working days, which will, in most cases, contain the date the watch was manufactured in Le Locle and other information related to its production. Wherever possible, Zenith will also provide historic catalogue extracts and historical advertisements along with this document !

The Archive Extract can only be ordered on the website and costs CHF 120. This will increase to CHF 150 if the client wishes to receive a paper copy of this document. Zenith commits to do everything possible in order to conduct the research but cannot guarantee that the result will be successful.

Zenith Archives – The certificate of authenticity

Contrary to the Archive Extract, which provides information on the basis of information provided and without examining the piece, the Certificate of Authenticity is based on an extensive examination of the timepiece conducted by After-Sales Service specialists in collaboration with the Heritage Department.

The information in the certificate mainly refers to the type, case and movement. It may also contain information on the characteristics of the watch. Of course, if the complete examination of the watch reveals that part of the watch is not original, Zenith reserves the right not to deliver the watch’s certificate of authenticity.

The owner of the timepiece subsequently receives a quote for the Certificate of Authenticity, accompanied by an offer from the After-Sales Service for restoring and servicing the watch. If the client does not wish to have his timepiece restored, the Certificate of Authenticity will cost CHF 500. In the event of the watch being restored, the Certificate of Authenticity will be free of charge.

Each timepiece must be sent through the service centres of Zenith, boutiques or certified retailers. No watches directly sent to us will be processed. For more informations, go to Zenith Website and click the link “EXCERPT FROM THE ARCHIVES” in the footer of the website.

    Author Bio

    Articles by Olivier Müller


    Olivier Müller is a professional journalist specialising in horology. He divides his time between Geneva and Paris, covering horology-related topics for a dozen or so magazines and specialist websites in Europe. He is also a regular speaker at various events. In 2008, Olivier Müller set up Delos Communications to manage the writing side of his business, spanning five European countries. Delos Communications also provides consultancy services for horological communication, helping brands as they define and implement their strategy in terms of positioning, messages and audience. In addition to the world’s two largest watchmaking groups, Delos Communications’ clients include a broad range of emerging independent brands, as well as public-sector bodies keen to promote their local watchmaking heritage. Five people work for the agency, including a journalist, a photographer, a community manager and a translator, all with expertise in the world of watchmaking.