Stéphane Peterhansel, the man known as Peter, has joined the team of Zenith ambassadors for three years, as the latest in a long line of names whose achievements have won them world renown.
We do not choose a life of competition by chance: we decide to be an adventurer. At the age of eight, Stéphane Peterhansel climbed aboard his first motorbike. His father then sparked his passion for racing. Nature and the great outdoors became his playground. At 14, he became the French skateboarding Champion. “It was my main activity,” he confides. “It’s what I did every weekend and every evening.” Two years later, he gave up his studies for a career on the motorbike. The rider famous for his blue bandana won the Dakar rally raid six times on two wheels before reaching five podiums on four wheels. These achievements are staggering, but the key to them lies elsewhere.
The man who holds the all-time record for Dakar wins possesses a whole host of values which can give – and find – meaning in other domains, such as watchmaking. A simple but striking observation: only with exceptional discipline was he able to achieve the most extraordinary of feats. This statement could be Zenith’s motto, and that of every man or woman who has joined the brand throughout its history. The Frenchman is now part of the team of Zenith ambassadors, alongside whom he is sure of continuing success, without ever losing sight of three objectives: pleasure, daring and authenticity.
A cohesive team
In the past few days, Stéphane Peterhansel has embarked on a new challenge, taking the start on the Dakar 2015 for Team Peugeot Total alongside Cyril Despres and Carlos Sainz. He is racing Dakar 2015 with the intention of making his mark behind the wheel of the 2008 DKR prototype, defying the laws of gravity.
Joining Zenith at the same time seemed to him to be a sign of destiny: “Becoming part of this family now has real meaning to me. I have always loved watches and I have dreamed for many years of being able to own a Zenith. Today, I am lucky enough to be wearing an El Primero Lightweight, a super light watch ideal for accompanying me on this new adventure.” The champion was also won over by the brand’s values: “I could immediately see that Zenith has motivation, commitment and the desire to excel. We have the same mindset, the same taste for victory.”
Founded in 1865 in Le Locle by visionary watchmaker Georges Favre-Jacot, the Zenith Manufacture quickly became renowned for the precision of its chronometers, for which it has been awarded 2,333 chronometry prizes in just one and a half centuries of existence – the all-time record for pocket watches, on-board instruments and wristwatches alike. Made famous by the legendary El Primero calibre, an integrated automatic chronograph with a column wheel, launched in 1969, and whose high frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour ensures precision to a tenth of a second, the Zenith Manufacture has since created more than 600 movement variations. The Manufacture is rare in that today it is still located on the exact spot where its founder built the very first workshop.