The Swiss brand name ZENO symbolizes an excellent choice in marketable wrist watches. We are proud of our small but traditional watch factory and our stylish watch collection. Our timepieces are internationally known and recognized for their quality, design and innovation - for exceptionally high standards of quality at competitive prices. Our range of products extends from mechanical to quartz technology, and features ladies's and men's wristwatches in all possible combinations of materials: mechanical and quartz wristwatches with analogue display, collectors' watches, pocket watches, military watches, scuba-diving watches and sports chronographs of all kinds.
The ZENO-WATCH BASEL Story
It all began in an idyllic house in La Chaux-de-Fonds, where Jules Godat had set up a modest workshop. Like many watchmakers in his day, his spent the cold winter months as a seasonal worker. In 1868, he set up in business on his own and by doing so laid the foundation for ZENO watch production as we know it today. In his little workshop, he made silver Pocket watches.
After Jules Godat had left, production was converted to the manufacture of railway Clocks and watches. In 1900 the workshop was enlarged and equipped with electric power to drive the machines. In 1920, André-Charles Eigeldinger took over Godat watch production. He specialized in the manufacture of observation watches for military purposes, slide rule watches and Pocket watches in silver, gold and platinum. In 1922, Eigeldinger & Söhne registered the ZENO brand. This name is a reminder of the Greek philosopher Zeno of Kition and means “gift of Zeus” or “god given”.
In the manufacture of ZENO watches, great care is taken to make high quality timekeeping instruments with a good cost-benefit ratio. Since 1922, the watchmakers at ZENO have been making individual pieces with a prominent personality, distinctive character and timeless beauty. Demand for wristwatches rose constantly and in the inter-war years production was therefore converted to wristwatches. The first ZENO wristwatches were made of gold and intended solely for export. In 1937, to mark the 15th anniversary of the ZENO brand, the first watches with an integral stop function and acoustic telemeter were made.
In 1949, ZENO took part for the first time in the Swiss watch fair in Basel. In the years that followed, the ZENO engineers developed a number of digital watch models with “jumping hours”, pendant watches for nurses and “watches for boys”, until in 1960 production temporarily moved to the Atteslander workshops in Biel where the first mechanical airmen’s watches were developed. The rapid pace of progress is bringing constant changes to our lives. But in the ZENO watch work- shops, mechanical wrist and Pocket watches are still being made by traditional techniques with the exceptional calm and concentration of experienced watchmakers. For over eighty years, ZENO watches have been produced largely by hand.
ZENO and Basel
In 1965/66, Felix W. Huber developed the first mechanical ZENO watch which set the tone for all future ZENO models. When the company was taken over by the Huber family, the assembly of wristwatches and the service department were transferred to Basel, on the river Rhine. The very first Basel creations included the first vacuum diver’s watch, the “Compressor”, which was launched in 1969 at the Watch and Jewelry Fair. Very successful was the famous “Spaceman” from 1972 - 1978. In addition to in-house manufacturing, the Huber family took over commercial representation for the whole of Switzerland. As in the case of the manufacture of the first watches back in 1868, ZENO-WATCH BASEL still sets great store by the manufacture of high quality measuring instruments with their distinctive character and timeless elegance. We owe it to the energy of Felix W. Huber that over one hundred new watch creations are developed every year and often manufactured in extremely small series based on the historical original models. These are mechanical precision time measuring instruments which combine traditional workmanship, technology and design at the very highest level. As it was not easy to find sufficient qualified personnel in the Basel region, cooperation with other watch making workshops was sought at an early stage.
ZENO Pocket watches have been produced in sunny Ticino canton since 1975 where the dials are also printed. Fashionable Quartz watches are mostly made in the region around La Chaux-de-Fonds and Neuchâtel. With the new addition of the first airmen’s watches made in 1965, ZENO is celebrating the renaissance of a truly great classic. The wristwatches in the latest Air Force collection follow on from the great tradition of professional airmen’s watch making. The mechanical timepieces are intended for connoisseurs of timeless design and a transparent cost-benefit ratio. Zeno does not invest in advertising but in the product. Experience for yourself the quality, love of detail and expert workmanship with which the different materials are crafted. We invite you to visit a retail store near you to have our watch collection presented to you in person.