Martin Fuchs is today one of the brightest hopes in his discipline. show-jumping requires boldness and elegance, perfect technical mastery and extreme precision – all qualities that are key values for Manufacture ZENITH, and which the young rider, who has just become a brand ambassador, now represents.
The Fuchs dynasty
Martin Fuchs’ initial successes are part of a family history – or one might even say the history of a dynasty – as the past three generations of the Fuchs family have all shared the same passion for top-level equestrian sport. In 1965, Martin’s grandfather opened an equestrian centre near Zurich. He passed on his great love of horses, dressage and competitive riding to his two sons. The elder, Markus, became junior European show-jumping champion at 15 years old and embarked on a brilliant international career, punctuated by numerous medals at the World Cup and the Olympic Games. His equally talented younger brother, Thomas, also embarked on a top-level sporting career and in his turn, passed on his passion to his younger son, Martin, born in 1992. The boy had plenty to take after, as his mother, Renata, was also a Swiss show-jumping champion.
An incredibly young champion
Martin started riding very young, at the age of six, and winning his first competitions on a pony, but his precocity was just as impressive when it came to horses. In Istanbul in 2006, at age 14, he became European show-jumping vice-champion in the “children’s” category. In the next two years, he won the bronze medal at the European junior championships, and in 2010, claimed the gold at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. Since he came of age last July, Martin entered the world ranking of the International Riding Federation, at 108th place, before swiftly moving into the first 100 some months later. This, naturally, is just the beginning. His next objectives include the FEI European Championships for Young Riders in Portugal in July 2011.
From top-level riding to fine watchmaking
The fact that Martin Fuchs’ career has taken off so spectacularly is due to him being part of a veritable family tradition. His confidence in the experience accumulated by his elders is evident when one looks at his choice of horses. Martin has won several competitions on experienced horses, such as Idéo du Thot or Riot Gun, twice Swiss champion. Here is the first common denominator that links the young champion to the Manufacture ZENITH which is immensely proud to perpetuate a fine watchmaking tradition that goes back a century and a half.
The parallel can be taken even further. Regarded as the queen of equestrian disciplines, show-jumping requires a blend of very particular qualities. In order to achieve perfect jumps, the rider firstly needs to have perfect control over the power of his or her mount, master the trajectory and speed, and correctly estimate the number of strides required to reach each obstacle… This is all work requiring great precision – which is naturally the key quality in the world of watchmaking. A rider can only hope to achieve this precision if he has developed a perfect understanding with his horse long before the competition, through the best training possible.
El Primero striking 10th : Its heart beats faster. So will yours.
The daring that spurs one to overcome limits that other people deem impassable, driving one to take on new technical challenges, gave rise to the birth of ZENITH’S El Primero, the most precise automatic movement in the world. Martin Fuchs has chosen the El Primero Striking 10th, the first ZENITH time-piece to display 1/10ths of a second, or, in other words, every pulsation of this exceptional movement. Adorning a wrist, the Striking 10th displays rare poise. The three subdials composed of the totalizers and the running seconds are arranged in a V in the lower part of the dial. The perfect readability of the time thus measured is guaranteed by the three different colours adorning the counters. This colour coding has become an iconic symbol of the brand. Would it not be true to say that the ability to measure 1/10ths of a second is emblematic of the performances and the meteoric rise of this young champion, who truly deserves to be the first rider to become a ZENITH ambassador?