Georges Favre-Jacot Locle / Георгь Фаврь-Жако Локль
In the mid-1800s, Le Locle, Switzerland was home to a number of talented professionals working in the watchmaking trade. However, these artisans were largely specialized and independent, working in small workshops or doing repairs in their own homes. It wasn't until 1865 that Georges Favre-Jacot commissioned the construction of the first rudimentary watch factory in Switzerland – a large, spacious, well-lit space in which the full range of watchmaking professions were brother together, from movement design to parts manufacture, enamel dial painting, and case production.
Integrating all production stages in a single facility represented a great leap forward for the watchmaking industry. Georges Favre-Jacot developed new machines and production techniques which improved the quality and precision of his timepieces, and also focused on increasing efficiency via the use of interchangeable components and automated production. The watchmaking factory in Le Locle was definitively named Zenith 1911.
Throughout Imperial-era Russia, the watchmaking industry consisted only of several small workshops and enterprises, usually assembling watches using parts made abroad. Due to a lack of technology and equipment, it was more affordable and efficient to import unfinished Swiss and German ebauchés, then compete the assembly in local Russian workshops. This assembly was undertaken by specialized independent watchmakers appointed by the Imperial Court, such as Pavel Buhre, Heinrich Moser, and of course, George Favre-Jacot.
In 1918, a year after the Bolshevik Revolution, the entire Soviet industrial infrastructure was nationalized, and by 1922, the entire watchmaking industry had become part of the State Trust of Precision Mechanics, also known as Gostrest Tochmeh.
Caliber: Zenith Year: 1890s Notes: Imperial Russian watch; precursor to Zenith (renamed in 1911)