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Zenith Manufacture Visit Report by Fratello WatchesRight before year-end thereby prior to a 150th anniversary on the Zenith Manufacture, Bert so i visited the impressive and big building in Le Locle (Switzerland) to view using our own eyes what Zenith is concerning right now.An associate of mine collects (mainly vintage) Zenith El Primero replica watches and I've always been very serious about their classics much like the Chronomaster (with moon phase) and El Primero Rainbow Fly-Back from the 1990s. When Zenith was headed by CEO Nataf I lost desire for the brand in truth and just after his successor Dufour put Zenith back within the horological map for enthusiasts (a best replica rolex .o. with the introduction on the Zenith El Primero Striking 10th) my interest was triggered again.Seeing that Dufour became CEO of Rolex and Zenith found a different CEO in Aldo Magada, I have faith that the brand is for the eve of any next chapter. Without having to be a 'spoiler', the stop by at the Zenith manufacture showed us that this seems everyone at Zenith is prepared for large things but especially to remain home of the most extremely appreciated and revered automatic chronograph movement. More vital, to get(come) an extremely competitive brand (that carries a lot to make available) into a in the big brands inside the same budget range.Zenith Manufacture Visit ReportBefore our tour with the manufacture started, I had created a meeting with Aldo Magada, CEO of Zenith since last Summer. I most certainly will publish the job interview somewhere next two weeks, one stuff that I wish to mention here already is that Magada came across plenty of pride within the employees of the Zenith Manufacture. Proud about what they established in those (almost) 150 a number of happy with what they are doing today. Perhaps without him realizing that he stumbled on as proud as the other employees we met in that day, after only being there for 2 months.Our tour was hosted by Romain Mazzilli, that is senior watch trainer at Zenith and has now a watchmaking background. Again, with lots of pride he showed Bert and myself around in the beautiful buildings of Zenith Manufacture in Le Locle. Zenith's founder Georges Favre-Jacot ensured that all the buildings would fetch as much day light as you can and huge enough for hosting the many machinery and tools to construct watch cases, dials, movements etc. All the different buildings are typical attached to 1 another and they house about 250 employees working on Zenith's replica watches. The Zenith Manufacture looks like a little watchmaking village in Le Locle.Mazzilli explained that - ever since the Zenith Manufacture includes a capacity of 80 different professions and all within the same building - they will work quite fast and efficient on developing movements and prototyping them. We unfortunately were unable to take any photos inside their development department for apparent reasons but a minimum of it turned out proven to us. Combining light beer watchmaking with all the latest standards on CAD solutions for watchmaking, some of the best ideas awaken with this department which is attached to the main building.However, our really initial step into your an entire world of the Zenith Manufacture starts at the outset of the watchmaking process. Big bars of brass get into the manufacture and are also being cut into small pieces that can eventually may become the famous (a.o.) El Primero movement. After some milling and drilling, the tiny metal plate is actually wanting to be applied. Holes to the gears, barrels and screws are increasingly being drilled along with the little brass plate is created pre-ready with the real assembly that can follow later. There it is, the raw form of the Zenith El Primero movement. Ready for an additional stages in the process, the assembly and finishing of all the so-called parts.Simply by using a combination of old and super modern machines the Zenith movements will be manufactured step-by-step. The in-house output of pretty much every part includes that it is easier than you think for Zenith to breed parts for his or her movements. Whether it be a caliber 3019 El Primero movement from 1969 or one from the latest caliber 400 movements, the Zenith Manufacture is able to produce parts. This actually also makes the Zenith El Primero a very interesting watch to purchase (or collect) you may already know it's going to be simple and easy (and so not as crazily expensive as some other brands that either need to buy their movement parts from others or will not have NOS parts anymore from early movements) to service because they're perfectly able to find the appropriate parts for the watch. Hands are shaped yourself some times, to ensure they follow the curvature with the dial plus the crystal , nor touch the opposite hands. Applying hands for the dial is partly performed by Zenith but in addition by external companies which the Zenith Manufacture works together with. The same goes for the casing on the movements. One in the departments we entered is where the Zenith Manufacture haute horlogerie - or fine watchmaking - timepiece are being produced and assembled. Within this department, tag heuer fakes a small number of watchmakers focus on the complicated movements from Zenith including the minute repeater movements and tourbillon movements.Below you will see the Zenith Manufacture minute repeater movement in addition to the partly finished Zenith Academy Christophe Colomb Tribute to Felix Baumgartner movement and dial (not completed yet). We ended the tour which has a visit to the department where each of the replica watches will be attached to their bracelets or straps, boxed and stored into the stock room waiting for getting shipped.Once the tour we had lunch together with a look at some of the Zenith pieces through the current collection. More on those will likely be published on Fratello Watches down the road.If you have one thing that kept being repeated within my head it absolutely was that everything I saw with the Zenith Manufacture ended with the utmost care, fascination with the replica watches and thus pride. Whether it's for any watch with the Captain collection to the high-end pieces through the Academy collection, they all are treated with exactly the same care and love.It absolutely was one of those visits that produces you need to if you buy one of these replica watches. Personally, that will be definitely a El Primero 36,000VPH chronograph or even a El Primero 410. Or perhaps to choose the El Primero Rainbow Fly-Back from 15-16 a long time ago, that I wanted really as i had been in university (and was missing money).Although we're still talking an affordable cost here, for about 7000,- Euro (~ $8, watches 500.- USD) market price you will buy a watch with a fully in-house made chronograph movement (and another with great history likewise). When you look at several of the other big brands of LVMH, Swatch Group or Richemont, it's not at all that expensive and you should surely get yourself a quite interesting watch in return. On top, the service costs for these replica watches are relatively few as mentioned inside the article above.Most of the time when the year progresses by after a visit, that feeling will slowly vanish entirely before too long. However, my holiday to the Zenith Manufacture and great speak with their CEO still makes me want one. Let's see what 2015 brings.More details about Zenith can be found here.