Here's what it looks like to put together a classic mechanical watch at the Zenith production facility and headquarters in Le Locle, Switzerland.
Wristwatch components sit ready for assembly. These tiny arms and balance wheels are all manually assembled by workers, using microscopic lenses in ultra-sterile workspaces.
An employee uses a loupe to inspect the mechanism of a wristwatch. The tools in the foreground are what she uses to pick up or to manipulate the almost-microscopic components.
An Zenith employee wears a Zenith watch while she inspects a watch movement. She also wears flexible finger coverings (pink, rubbery membranes) to avoid getting dust or oil into the mechanism.
The Zenith watch factory in Le Locle is a spartan, state-of-the art facility uses watchmaking traditions that are more than a century old.
Tiny platinum and gold components arrayed in racks in the factory.
The numerals on the dials of the Zenith Pilot Extra Special watch are lined in gold and filled with SuperLuminova, which stays illuminated for long periods of time in darkness. The hands, which will be added later, will likewise be plated with gold and painted with SuperLuminova.
Movements are bored mechanically before being finished by hand.
An employee makes final adjustments to a Zenith El Primero wristwatch.
These El Primero wristwatches on display at the headquarters sell for over US$4,000. Like the Pilot watches, El Primeros are a key product line for Zenith.
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