The History of ZRC
Edmond Zuccolo and Joseph Rochet started ZRC in 1904 in Geneva, and since then, the company has continuously evolved by developing diving watches, bracelets, and straps. In 1909 ZRC was incorporated in Geneva and it was given the No. 52 when the Geneva Trade and Companies Register was formed.
The company, which specialized in GUSSET (or pocket) watch chains, developed the very first “claw” bracelets that allowed GUSSET watches to be worn on the wrist.
In 1960, the French Navy indicated to the designers that the crown at 3 o’clock was an issue since it was too susceptible to underwater manipulations. ZRC took on the mission to “create a method” that would prevent the crown from opening underwater while still allowing for wrist mobility.
The group continued to work and created the renowned crown at 6 o’clock, which was attached to the housing by a unique mechanism made of a cannon that had been chopped into a single block. This made enormous funds 300 the first and only watch at that time. be outfitted with a box watch that is 100% monobloc. Additionally, the housing is totally antimagnetic and made of molybdenum-reinforced steel (an absolute necessity for the Mine Clearance group).
A Promising Reappearance
When the quartz crisis rocked the industry, ZRC was one of several watch companies that all but vanished. But they were able to successfully reimagine their most popular timepiece in 2014, capitalizing on the current craze to revive archive models.
Why We Like It: A Special Aspect of ZRC
ZRC’s most intriguing feature (apart from their unique history) is the brand’s simple, distinct visual identity. The 38-hour power reserve automatic ETA 2824-2 elaboré ticks away within, and the mechanics are dependable and sturdy but not particularly spectacular. These timepieces are strong outliers from a brave independent brand that deserve our attention because of their stark design. The cases have an exciting angle and the whole piece is only 40.5mm wide. The screw-down crown’s placement at 6 o’clock enhances wearability while also allowing for a large enough display to maintain legibility without adding any extra bulk or heaviness to the watch.
Where Are ZRC Watches Made?
ZRC was founded in Geneva, Switzerland, and their watches are Swiss made timepieces. However, they have extensive connection to France as ZRC provided dive watches to the French Navy.
ZRC Watch Movements
ZRC is using Swiss automatic movements, provided by Sellita. Majority of their watches are using the “Elaborated” version of the SELLITA SW200-1. ZRC came out with some newer models (1964 Spirit) that are using an “Elaborated” version of the ETA 2824-2 automatic movement.
Takeaway: Are ZRC Watches Good Watches?
ZRC watches are great watches. Their movements are reliable, the materials they’re using to create these fascinating timepieces are top quality. And then there’s the design: the case with the unique angle, the crown at the 6 o’clock position – a truly unique design that combines vintage elements with modern aesthetics.
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Shopping Guide: ZRC Watch Collections
ZRC G38 Heritage Collection
The G38 collection faithfully recreates the appearance of the diving watches designed in the 1960s, embodying the spirit of the Grands Fonds. All of them are created to closely and precisely mimic the beauty of the original models. These boldly designed watches will be a perfect companion with different outfits: casual elegance, sporty chic, or pure diver’s style.
Their one-piece casing in 316L steel is in fact just as durable as the watches created for the French Navy, and it has a brand-new diameter of 39mm. Their structure benefits from research done on material deformation that is engineered to survive the extreme pressures found beneath seas and oceans. In fact, these ZRC watches, like other ZRC watches, include the newest technological advancements that guarantee certified water resistance to a depth of 300 meters following a series of tests at a depth of 1,000 meters.
The dials and bezels, which include the well-known “lollipop” second hand, are in line with the ZRC aesthetic, as is the distinctive crown at 6 o’clock. The Sellita SW-200 in its advanced form powers all ZRC timepieces.
ZRC GF 3000 Titanium Collection
The GF 3000 Titanium is the first dive watch in history to have a case that’s less than 20 mm, offered without a gel or helium escape valve, and is waterproof to a depth of 5,100 meters. With a 316L steel shielded caseback and a 42 mm monoblock case made of grade 2 titanium, it can sustain 510 bars of pressure per cm2. A 5mm-thick sapphire crystal with a dome serves as its cap.
A colorful dial, Magnum-style hands, and a “lollipop” direct-drive are shielded by the 6-sided housing. The Sellita SW-200-1 calibre, in its advanced version, is a dependable automatic caliber that powers time information. Each reference comes with a precisely matched, comfortable rubber strap to guarantee that the watch is worn in style both on land and at water.
ZRC GF 300 1964 Spirit
The 1964 Spirit series of Grands Fonds 300 dive watches, all of which have the same DNA, carries on the spirit of the very first Grands Fonds model developed back in 1964. For two decades, this reliable timepiece complied with the standards set by the French National Navy for the equipment used by its clearance divers. As we expect from ZRC watches, the essential Magnum-style hands, the indexes, and the direct-drive with a “lollipop” design are all incorporated into this reimagined watch, that is so much more than a recycled version of an older design. This is a great vintage-inspired modern timepiece.