Jean Frederick Dufoss When Bringing Courage To Zenith

Three years ago, Jean-Frédéric Dufour was invited to be the CEO of Zenith, and he realized that a rare opportunity in his career came. Already. After serving as the CEO of Zenith, Du Fu, a soldier, defined the core value of ‘courage’ for the reviving brand. Zenith CEO Jean-Frédéric Dufour
    Some media refer to this company as the ‘Swiss’s best kept secret’ in the 20th century. Unlike some OEM luxury brands, they have 150 years of uninterrupted watch manufacturing experience and industry status. More than a hundred years ago, in its small town of Le Locle in the canton of Neuchtel in western Switzerland, one in 10 locals was a watchmaker from Zenith.
    Like most CEOs, Dover does what he loves and excels at. In Switzerland, a nation of all soldiers, he served as a tank pilot in the Army. In addition to his military career, he studied business and industrial science at the University of Geneva. After graduation, he worked in a number of watchmaking companies from production, marketing to management; this time it was his first time as CEO. His predecessor, the passionate Thierry Nataf, once pointed out to the media that Zenith’s timing tools are as exciting as innovative products like HDTV, Viagra, and Google Search.
    However, when the company prospered for 120 years, it suffered the impact of Japanese quartz watch technology. Nataf once admitted that when the mechanical watch returned, his company did not re-establish its brand in time, but became the hero behind the scenes, providing movements for other brands.
Zenith El Primero Movement
    It is understood that Zenith once provided its flagship product, the El Primero movement, to Rolex. The latter introduced the very successful Daytona series with what is known as the ‘best self-winding chronograph movement’ in the industry, and it was used until 2000 when they were able to produce the movement themselves. Here, buyers who are very familiar with the industry background will buy Zenith El Primero because they know that it is equivalent to buying a watch of the same quality as Rolex for half the price. This is why Nataf calls the company before the brand restructuring in 2001 a ‘sleeping beauty’.
    Waking up Sleeping Beauty is a beautiful fairy tale, and in fact the difficulty of reviving a brand is no less difficult for a CEO than starting a brand. To inherit Nataf’s mantle, Duffer had his own idea: the first thing he did after taking over was to bury himself in the company’s old paper pile. ‘I want to know why this company has survived the ups and downs of 150 years and still stands.’ Du Fu recalled in a recent interview with Fortune (Chinese version) in Shanghai. ‘If the history of a company is like a long river, what I do is go up against the current, turn up every stone, and look for small fish.’
Zenith El Primero Tourbillon
     Of course, the last thing he found among dusty documents and yellowish briefings was not the fish, but Colonel John Blashford-Snell, 74. The 20th-century adventurer has organized and led more than 100 dangerous expeditions. What interests Dover is whether to open a path in the jungle, cross the North Pole, or sail the world’s most dangerous river, Colonel Snell has been silently wearing an El Primero watch sponsored by Zenith. This almost became the longest and harshest watch durability test in history.
    Dover, also a military man, finally decided to make Colonel Brasford-Snell the company’s new product spokesperson; this is why the CEO later defined the first core value for the reviving brand: ‘Courage ‘. According to him, ‘If you get lost in the mountains between thousands of meters above sea level or in the jungles of the hinterland of Europe, courage and creativity are often needed to survive.’
Zenith Elite Ultrathin
    After that, Dover simplified the company’s existing series, leaving only the representative products with characteristics such as Elite, Academy and El Primero. He believes that the company that once reached the top is self-evident in terms of brand strength. Taking a step back, the company must have a solid after-sales service to solidify the brand value. During the interview, he mentioned a small story: Recently, an 18-year-old Nordic boy with a net name of ‘mickmo92’ accidentally obtained a Zenith watch made in 1973 and studied the watch repair manual of the 1950s by himself. . With the set of tools left by him, the boy actually repaired the watch after repeatedly disassembling, wiping, and reassembling it. Unfortunately, the dial and hands are badly damaged and need to be replaced. The boy wrote to Dover with an idea of ​​trying it out. What excites him is that not only did he receive a reply, but the company found out the dials and hands he needed decades ago from the storeroom and gave them to him.
    In the interview, Dover believed that successful products and designs should give users a pleasant experience, and as a CEO, they must have a strong industry and professional background in this field. Dover has been to China since the 1990s. He observed that many Chinese users believe that the price of luxury goods in the country of origin will be much lower than the price in the Chinese market, so many people will travel thousands of miles to lend business opportunities and travel opportunities. Go overseas to buy goods. Therefore, he pointed out that whether in Shanghai or Geneva, his company’s products must maintain strict and consistent prices. ‘Inconsistent prices in different regions may destroy an excellent brand.’ Du Fu said at the end of the interview.