INTERVIEW: Zenith’s new CEO Julien Tornare and interesting news about what we can expect from Zenith

By rolex
April 6, 2021
6 min read

The other day at the Zenith manufacture we had the chance to meet Julien Tornare, the brand’s new CEO. We appeared for a public interview, and Jean-Claude Biver walked in with some additional report about the brand’s future. After the public interview we had the chance to plunk down with Julien Tornare and talk about the brand’s future. And now we are really anticipating seeing what this sound and ambitious personality will do with the brand!

While the news that mr. Biver carried was not accompanied with visuals, the data he shared was certainly exceptionally fascinating! So as a prologue to our meeting with Julien Tornare, here is what Mr. Biver and Tornare had to say. It sounds promising as “product and innovation” will be at the heart of Zenith’s strategy, with innovative developments not out of the ordinary. In particular, the brand will uncover a groundbreaking venture in the field of chronometry.

Information is as yet scant at this stage however here is what we have learnt:

  • The development is based on crafted by mathematicians (for example not watchmakers)
  • It’s another escapement that is likely to be constant power, amagnetic and athermic
  • The oscillator is made of silicon, it is large (involving the entire watch face) and vibrating at 15 Hz (!!)
  • Accuracy would be inside a range of 2 seconds more than 50 hours
  • Watches will be affirmed with the Besançon Observatory

Our meet with Julien Tornare:

What carried you to Zenith?

This is an inquiry I have had from many individuals, telling me it planned to be a major challenge. Well, the main reason is this challenge. I’m at a point in my career where I firmly believe that joining zenith is very logical. As a matter of first importance, because of my experience, yet additionally because the foundation of the company is exceptionally solid. The set of experiences, the DNA, the innovation, specifically in the field of chronometry, all these elements are unbelievably solid. The foundation is fantastic however we need to transform all this into a triumph. There is enormous leverage potential. You take a brand that is somewhat debilitated, on the off chance that you administer the correct medication, you can transform it into a healthy, fruitful and prosperous patient.

The second reason is to work with Mr. Biver, I have known him for quite a while (although not personally) and we have exchanged significantly in the course of recent months. I really didn’t want to sign my contract without understanding what the task was and without being in accordance with Mr. Biver. He is like creative individual with amazing achievements be that as it may, as he always says, you cannot heal all diseases with one medication and we need to locate the correct one for Zenith. I have been working with him on that particular aspect to make sure that the task was OK for me.

The third reason for me to join this position is that this is a logical advance in my career, I have prepared myself for this sort of move; clearly I am joining a ground-breaking gathering, LVMH, with great help and ambition for the brand. The gathering really wants the brand to be successful.

We all realize the brand very well (and I am personally a fan) however what amazed you when joining Zenith?

Something I knew however didn’t anticipate being that solid is the level of quality in the manufacturing. Although I knew the items, I didn’t expect such a lot of ability, passion and aptitude. I have invested a great deal of energy already in the workshops to have a full drenching with the entire team, not simply the board. I have done several round tables with the entire staff to share and examine the vision. I have revealed to them I cannot do it without anyone else, ‘In the event that I don’t profit by the help of Mr. Biver and the remainder of the team, we won’t make it. I need you to change with me, and I will push you to do things another way when required’. The ability and passion are extraordinary, we need the team to believe in our venture, share the vision and drive them the correct way. There are 18 structures here. I’m not going to stay alone all day in my office, I don’t believe in that!

The elevator pitch. What sets Zenith apart?

The statement that we have today is ‘Legends are always’ or boundlessness on your wrist. It tells that Zenith is a traditional brand, extremely established. However, today it is somewhat dusty and misconstrued by the customers. It is through innovation, as we did in the past, that we will make it. The idea is to bring back innovation. I don’t believe that this is because being traditional and classic that you sell items to the 21st century customers. You need to talk to them. We won’t break codes, as Hublot is doing, Zenith will guarantee brand congruity and regard history through innovation.

What will be the concentrations with regards to innovation?

As we have examined during the public interview, there will be some joint research inside LVMH research and development establishment with individuals from Zenith, TAG Heuer and Hublot, when I hear chronometry, improvement and performance, I raise my hand for Zenith. This is what Zenith is about.

What is your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge is to returned the magic of the brand according to our customers. After one month I am already feeling the Zenith bug, the Zenith passion, I am really amped up for the brand and I want our customers to feel the same passion. Two days ago I was at an occasion in Bern, one of our customers, a businessman in its thirties advised me: ‘I own several Zenith watches, I understand what I am purchasing, I realize what is inside, yet a portion of my companions don’t. It is a pity you don’t get them to know the appeal of the brand’. This was an intriguing declaration for me. We need to bring back the magic and the feeling which will connect to the desirability and, at the end, to the buying.

How accomplish you work with Mr. Biver?

We work in a straightforward, healthy way; he gives me a great deal of freedom, however I ask him a ton of help. I need to share and exchange. And I need to tune in; when you arrive, you realize you know nothing. I need to tune in to individuals, to the customers, to the staff, to Mr. Biver and to all individuals around me to absorb as much as I can and then come with a plan. I need designated spots with Mr. Biver to share my understanding or ideas. I really have a decent collaboration. We talk each day.