ZRC, the tribute of the divers of the French Navy


The world of the diver's wristwatch is a national pride that a few brands are competing for, each inventing for its wristwatch a case, bezel and crown system that allows private divers or the French Navy to try a new adventure on the bottom of the water, the product of decades of innovation in diving watches, for combat and underwater photography. 
ZRC wristwatches are part of this great history of diving watches. With a solid steel case, a firmly attached bracelet, a unidirectional bezel, a large diameter perfectly readable underwater by divers and a crown protected by an ingenious system inherent in the case, the ZRC diver's watch has acquired its reputation. 

More than a century of experience

The brand was created in 1904, at a time when the French Navy itself ordered diving wristwatches with rigorous specifications - each wristwatch was free to adopt the system of bezel, crown, bracelets and steel case that would enable it to respond to these national calls for tenders. 
At that time, large companies like TAG Heuer or Bell & Ross did not exist. ZRC wristwatches are pioneers in the field of diving wristwatches. At the time of the national glory of the diver's watch, reserved for an elite group of divers, the concept of the technical watch and at the same time, sport-chic did not exist. It will be necessary to wait for the advent of these brands of the new wave such as TAG Heuer and Bell & Ross to combine sport-chic watches and technical diving watches. 

A deserved success

If the divers of the time of this national epic found with the ZRC diving wristwatches an indispensable tool for their work, including photos, it is above all thanks to real research carried out by ZRC on the essential attributes of the diver's watch. 
First, there is the movement, the basic ETA movement. Then there are the bracelets, which should be able to pass over the diving suits. This meant a large size bracelet but also a very resistant bracelet, capable of responding to each new evolution in equipment for divers of the French Navy or other forces or underwater and deep-sea photo divers. 
Then there is the case. This steel case of the ZRC watches protected the movement from water thanks to a new 300-meter waterproofing, which had not yet been tested at the time. This steel box was topped by a bezel that indicated to divers of the French Navy or amateurs of deep-sea photography, for each new dive, their immersion time in the water, always visible over their suit. This principle of measuring diving time, visible through the sapphire crystal, has been taken up by brands such as Bell & Ross, TAG Heuer, and even by brands that ZRC has inspired in the sport-chic register, such as Baume & Mercier. This bezel is distinguished by the three points it contains at noon, allowing it to be perfectly read by divers underwater. It has become a distinctive feature of the ZRC wristwatch, as has the crown at 6 o'clock. This crown is thus protected from improper handling by divers underwater, being at 6 o'clock so there is no risk of being activated by a false wrist movement on the suit. 
This new steel case construction system allowed the watch, bracelet, bezel and crown to be perfectly integrated, ready for water, divers and Navy missions. ZRC continues to use this system in its ZRC Marine Nationale, ZRC Sport Chic, ZRC 1964 and some special editions of wristwatches. Each ZRC reissue benefits from a sapphire crystal and the lessons learned from the missions of the French Navy, demining divers, each having produced an experience specific to their mission which then allowed ZRC to adapt its steel case system, its diameter, its bracelets, its crown, its bezel, on each model it still produces today. 

The ZRC North Adventure Watch, available in specific North Adventure Packaging (and even a North Adventure Cap) is just one watch product shipping from ZRC watches (from the Zuccolo Rochet Company), at a hugely competitive price (in EUR or CHF) and choice of leather or non-leather strap.  ZRC watches, renowned in a prior incarnation for the Grands Fonds diver watches it sold with their unique grand fonds inspired crown and water resistance system, as well as its exotic bracelet, band, and leather straps, is firmly back on the map again, particularly with watch models such as the ZRC Grands Fonds North Adventure men’s antimagnetic automatic watch.

So how then, has the watchmaker noted for its fine full-grain leather and non-leather quick release  watch straps and replacement straps, in a variety of product choices sold and shipping worldwide (usually with a price in EUR or CHF), and the beauty of the original Grands Fonds series of diver watches with its grand fonds derived case, crown design, and water resistance system, go about creating the ZRC North Adventure Watch?

The Zuccolo Rochet Company, founded by Edmond  Zuccolo and Joseph Rochet back in Geneva, Switzerland,  back in 1904, has an amazingly rich history with particular associations with France, the French Navy and the watches it produced for its mine clearance divers, with many details of the watch product and price list specific to that purpose. With the reintroduction of the ZRC Grands Fonds 300 diver sports adventure watch back in 2015, marking the 50th anniversary of the original ZRC Grands Fonds 300m diver watch, ZRC Watches had the history and the support base to turn to Kickstarter for their proposed new ZRC Watches North Adventure Extreme Tool Watch.

The Kickstarter campaign for the ZRC Watches North Adventure Extreme Tool Watch with gorgeous photos from Alban Michon, was hugely successful, the usual early bird discount against the proposed retail price that the ZRC North Adventure would eventually be sold at, free shipping, watch specific Adventure North watch packaging, generated a massive pledge count in CHF, with a total pledge in CHF of 515,310. The idea that people could band together in a way such as this for the production of the ZRC watches North Adventure watch could not have been imagined by Zuccolo Rochet & Cie (ZRC) founders Edmund Zuccolo and Joseph Rochet.

What the band of supporters wanted, and the reason the pledge count in CHF was so high, was that the features of the proposed ZRC North Adventure, and of course, the price that it was to be sold at (with free shipping), we're very much in the traditions of any watch product sold by those same founders of Zuccolo and Rochet, and the rich history of the ZRC mine clearance divers watches with their unique watchband made famous by the ZRC Grands Fonds. For the ZRC North Adventure Watch to be a success, it would have to include all the watch specific product details that had made the original Grands Fonds what the success it was, sold not with leather straps but ingenious extending watch bands, the traditional grand fonds crown position at 6 o’clock, and the water-resistance system on which the whole Grand Fonds tradition had been built. Free shipping, in today’s world, would, of course, be another watch specific requirement of any new model such as the ZRC North Adventure.

The original Grands Fonds watches from ZRC, sold to the French Navy at a CHF price (long before the time of free shipping), made famous and everywhere from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans and renowned for the special watchband, unique water-resistance system, crown at 6 o’clock and non-leather, stainless steel straps and strap system, is the heritage behind the ZRC North Adventure Watch from ZRC watches of Geneva, Switzerland. Mr. Louis Brunet (Mr. Joseph Rochet’s son in law), alongside the Annecy diving team, Louis Servetaz, and Mr. Bouchet, had the idea for an affordable diving watch. Mr. Pastre and Mr. Digne, watchmakers in Toulon and with noted contacts with the French Navy, were contacted by ZRC sales lead Mr. Boudarian, to develop such a divers watch in conjunction with the French Navy, the watch that would eventually become the ZRC Grand Fonds.

The original ZRC Grands Fonds featured a whole host of watch specific features aimed at its use for the French Navy and the specialist mine clearance divers group in particular. The crown was to be subject to a “crown protection system” or CPS, placing it not only at 6 o’clock to prevent accidental handling but an exclusive retractable lug system allowing the crown to pass through the strap and not rotate only in the closed, fully screwed down position. In addition to the crown protection system or CPS, the case itself was to be the very first divers watch to feature a genuine Monobloc case, machined from a special alloy steel that was to be chosen for its completely non-magnetic qualities, vital for the work of the mine clearance divers group for whom the Grand Fonds watch was destined.

With the release of the latest product offerings and watch models to be sold under the ZRC watch brand name, such as the ZRC North Adventure, still with a price in CHF but nowadays usually with free shipping, Georges Brunet, ZRC Watches Director & Founder and Alexis Meyer, Managing Partner, have sought to offer, particularly with the ZRC North Adventure, a watch product to be sold at a great price that maintains all the traditions of the original Grands Fonds, but in a marginally updated format. The watchband, for example, is available as a choice of straps, with a full-grain leather strap option, while the case size has been increased from the 36mm design of the original Grand Fonds watch to 40.5mm, with the watch featuring not only the Crown Protection System (CPS) first utilized on the ZRC Grands Fonds watch from ZRC Watches Switzerland, with the watch crown at its usual position of 6 o’clock, but also an “ECS” or Easy Clean System which allows for the freshwater cleaning of saltwater residue from the bezel. First introduced by ZRC watch on the ZRC watches Grands Fonds 300m Grand Fonds reissue, the detailed product improvements to the ZRC divers watches including the larger case size, crown position, watch band and strap options, crown protection system (CPS) and easy clean system (ECS) have all been transferred across to the release of the very special product, offered at an incredible price in CHF, that is the ZRC watches Geneva North Adventure Watch.

The ZRC watches Geneva ZRC North Adventure is one of those once in a lifetime types of product, a watch that can trace its history from Annecy, through Toulon and Geneva, and then via the French Navy and its mine clearance diverse group across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and now all the way to the Arctic North, and the North Pole. Sold at an amazingly competitive price in CHF (usually with free shipping from any reputable, authorized dealer), the ZRC Watches Geneva ZRC North Adventure is not only a product with a rich history, but the method of its birth, a successful kick-starter campaign where the pledge count in CHF is ample evidence of the esteem to which the ZRC watch brand is held by divers and tool watch aficionados, and as such the ZRC North Adventure men's anti-magnetic automatic men's watch stands as a stunning new version of what is for many, the definitive divers watch, the ZRC Grands Fonds. 

Chronopassion is an AUTHORIZED RETAILER of ZRC since 2017

Discover ZRC watches through our web selection part of our catalog
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ZRC - ZRC 1964 "French Navy" reissue GF40188 Militaria

ZRC 1964 "French Navy" reissue GF40188 Militaria





ZRC - ZRC 1964 "FRENCH NAVY"  REISSUE Grands Fonds 300 GF41163

ZRC 1964 "FRENCH NAVY" REISSUE Grands Fonds 300 GF41163





ZRC - ZRC 1964 "FRENCH NAVY"  REISSUE Grands Fonds 300 GF40178

ZRC 1964 "FRENCH NAVY" REISSUE Grands Fonds 300 GF40178


ZRC - ZRC , French Navy Reissue grand fonds 300 GF41148

ZRC , French Navy Reissue grand fonds 300 GF41148


ZRC - ZRC Grands Fonds 300,1964 Spirit Bronze GF44115

ZRC Grands Fonds 300,1964 Spirit Bronze GF44115


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