Movado-Zenith-Mondia

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Movado-Zenith-Mondia Holding Horloger SA was a federation of Swiss watch manufacturers active in the 1960s and 1970s.

History

Movado-Zenith was founded by 1969 in La Chaux-de-Fonds. They purchased Mondia later that year, becoming Movado-Zenith-Mondia. This gave the group access to high-end watch movements like the Zenith El Primero, excellent brand presence in the United States thanks to Movado, and a mass-market brand in Mondia. But the quartz crisis caused trouble for this plan.

In 1972, Zenith Radio Corp. of the United States purchased the company. It had not been previously associated with Zenith watches, but the names had caused confusion. The company refocused on quartz watches, with all mechanical movements discontinued and discarded. This proved foolish, as the Japanese competition forced higher-priced brands like Zenith out of the market.

The group was purchased by a consortium of Swiss businessmen in 1978. This was lead by Paul Castella, who owned the Dixi machine tool company. Zenith and Movado merged into Zenith Movado Le Locle SA and Mondia integrated into Dixi. The purchase restricted the use of the Zenith name in the North American market, so for a time they were marketed using the Movado name.

Movado was divested to North American Watch Company in 1983. Zenith took over the existing Dixi factory and was rebuilt over the next decade. One driver for this was the successful use of the El Primero movement by Ebel and Rolex.

Dixi operated Zenith and Mondia through the 1990s. Zenith was sold to LVMH in 1999, where it resides today. The other brands are defunct.

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