Not a valid Time
Vervollständigen Sie bitte die notwendigen Angaben.

Exclusive Interview with Romain Marietta (ZENITH)


Romain Marietta is the Director of Product Development and Heritage with ZENITH. He joined the company in 2006. Marietta started in the Marketing Department (as Marketing Product Manager), and is now more than 16 years with the brand and is truly shaping the history of ZENITH. Romain Marietta is involved in the conception and development of all ZENITH watches.

«WatchCollector by Lohri» has prepared some exiting questions for Romain Marietta which he has answered kindly and openly. For you as a fellow watch collector.



It may seem that ZENITH is an underestimated brand (even within LVMH), even though there has been massive investment in its appearance in recent years. Is this a conscious strategy or where does ZENITH want to position itself in this competitive market?

Romain: Since 1999 we are a part of LVMH and we get a lot of support within the group. We want to establish ourselves in the top 15 Brands within the Industry and the Master of Chronographs. We have developed 4 different collections for different tastes: Defy, Chronomaster, Pilot and Elite. We listen to the market and try to figure out what the customers preferences are. Next year, we will launch a new Pilot line. We will produce a new modern interpretation that will embody all the Aviation codes. Our team is very happy with the design and is excited to present it in 2023.



Recently, we have observed a trend where brands launch special editions exclusively for their own E-Commerce channels and boutiques. What is ZENITH opinion about this?

Romain: This is an overall industry trend. ZENITH follows it but in a conscious manner. We are feeding our different channels (Retail, E-Commerce but also our network of retailers).

ZENITH has a Product Committee of 8 members and we decide on the strategy about all the future of each collection but also special editions and how they are going to be distributed.

It is interesting to know, that ZENITH was the first watch brand in Switzerland launching the first E-Commerce shop within 3 months during Covid-19 pandemics. And we sold many watches for price ranges above 20.000 CHF. It was a major and very fast shift in consumer behavior. ZENITH adapted to the new reality as the company is very agile. This is part of our innovation process.



Is ZENITH affected by new global challenges like for example insufficient supply of raw materials?

Romain: The new reality is that the lead time to get the components from the suppliers has drastically increased. Therefore, the time to market (design to production) at ZENITH but also in the industry globally has increased too. We have to adapt ourselves to this new situation and anticipate even more our future developments. We are working on a 5-years strategy. This is a new rule.



Luxury watch brands should be more accessible for the customers, shouldn’t they?

Romain: This is true. We at ZENITH try to be a good example and get closer to the customers. This is why we are so happy to give this interview [Romain is laughing]. I think, the industry understands it too. We want our customers to understand what we do. We have been the first Manufacture to open its doors to the public for visits. Every Thursday and Friday, the Manufacture is open to public for visits with the Neuchatel Tourism Office.



On which criteria do you decide the launch of a new watch model?

Romain: We decide based on multiple criteria. However, the most important factor is in what we at ZENITH believe will be the best. We develop new models based on ZENITH’s DNA because the heritage of the brand is very strong and has proven success in many ways. Watches need to tell stories, need to give you emotions, need to innovate. If you have this recipe, then the success should be at the rendez-vous. The focus for us is the sell-out, we want our watches to be on people’s wrist.



What is the potential of innovation for the watch industry and ZENITH?

Romain: It is a broad question. We do not know which materials will appear and what will be the market demand. Our strength is that ZENITH is very agile. We can adapt and react fast to the innovations. We are a true Manufacture producing every single movement from each watch. This is a real advantage.





There is a big market for pre-owned watches as well as growing options to trade in and trade out the watches. Rolex and Bucherer try to control this grey market. Would ZENITH do something similar?

Romain: We are working on this at ZENITH. It is part of the Brand Equity. We are following our 2nd hand market, our value of our vintage pieces and the auctions market. We have launched a program called ZENITH ICONS in 2019 where we buy back vintage models that we authentify, certify, restore if needed and offer in a trusted channel (our boutiques) for our clients. Since 2019, we have observed an increase in value for ZENITH watches of approximately 30%.



Which Zenith watch would you recommend for our fellow watch collectors?

Romain: It is very difficult to say. It is like choosing between my daughter and my son. [Romain is laughing] Our products are different and correspond to different tastes. Choose one you like, one that create an emotion when you see and wear it. We have 4 different collections with different aesthetics and style. If it is not a ZENITH, do not buy what the others are buying. Buying a watch is something you do not need in reality and most of the time it is a lot of money. A lot of people don’t buy really what they want but what the others would recognize. It is a bit sad because a lot of people have the same watch then.  At ZENITH, we have great watches in our core collection such as the CMSport, CMOriginal or Defy Skyline. We can also check our vintage models which are still “reachable” in terms of price for the time being. It is an investment for the future. I personally wear an original ZENITH El Primero A386 because this watch is the godfather of them all. I bought if for my 40th birthday.