The ZENO-WATCH BASEL Story
Independent Swiss Watchmanufacturing Since 1922
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 1966, 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 Jewellery 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. We thank you for your interest in our watches and very much hope that you will like our timepieces made with such care. We would be happy to pass inquiries on to your regional representative. Please contact us for further information or suggestions.
MAAKT EN ONTWIKKELD DUS ZIJN HORLOGES EN LAAT HET NIET DOOR ANDERE FABRIEKEN MAKEN