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 Zenith and the Tour Auto in 1899

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Nombre de messages : 57505
Date d'inscription : 05/05/2005

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MessageSujet: Zenith and the Tour Auto in 1899   Zenith and the Tour Auto in 1899 EmptyDim 23 Avr - 15:03

16 July 1899 ... One year before the Universal Exhibition in Paris and 10 years after the presentation of the Eiffel Tower, the first Tour Auto leaves Paris in the direction of Nancy and transiting by Champagne. It will be until July 24 consisting of 9 stages.

- First day (July 16th). - Paris, Fère-Champenoise, Saint-Dizier, Toul, Nancy. 290 kilometers.
- Second day (July 17th). - Nancy, Langres, Gray, Dôle, Lons-le-Saunier, Bourg, Ambérieu. 369 kilometers, continuing through Culoz to Aix-les-Bains.
- Third day (July 18th). - Rest.
- Fourth day (July 19th). - Aix-les-Bains, Chambéry, Grenoble, Romans, Tournon, Saint-Étienne, Roanne, La Palisse, Vichy. 380 kilometers.
- Fifth day (July 20th). - Rest.
- Sixth day (July 21st). - Vichy, Clermont-Ferrand, Ussel, Tulle, Brives, Périgueux. 299 kilometers.
- Seventh day (July 22). - Perigueux, Ruffec, Bressuire, Nantes. 339 kilometers.
- Eighth day (July 23). - Nantes, Angers, Le Mans, Alençon, Argentan, Cliff, Caen, Cabourg. 348 kil.
- Ninth day (July 24th). - Cabourg, Lisieux, Evreux, Saint-Germain. 192 kilometers.

The automobile is in its infancy and it is the newspaper "Le Matin" which is the organizer. The event is major because the public discovers the capabilities of cars and because it is a major newspaper that organizes it by making for the first time a test of suspense and teasing in a format very close to the Modern press.

Zenith and the Tour Auto in 1899 1899_t10

Le Matin distils the results of the tests and describes their twists and turns with the technical incidents and small accidents that constantly upset the ranking of the competitors. Cars, motorcycles and carts compete on roads that are still very uncomfortable and drivers are straining their Panhard-Levassor, Amédée Bollée, Delahaye, Peugeot, De Dietrich or Decauville

Zenith and the Tour Auto in 1899 1899_t11

The public rushes to see as much the cars as the drivers that the press ascends to the rank of stars.

At the time speedometers on board cars are almost non-existent and these are watches fixed on the dashboards that serve as reference, watches with large diameter box with an effective dust cover to protect the movements. The watches are adjusted on brass pedestals or better in thick leather that protect them from shocks and fixed on the instrument

Zenith and the Tour Auto in 1899 Paire_10

Zenith is already on board the cars. The Zenith brand was introduced two years earlier and is featured on superb dials in enamel with Roman or Arabic numerals at the choice of drivers and on the golden movements carefully finished by Georges Favre-Jacot's factory.

Zenith and the Tour Auto in 1899 Ddypot10

Zenith is already a reference for the precision of its watches that the manufacture is able to produce in series with newsletters that are the equivalent of our chronometers today.

Zenith and the Tour Auto in 1899 Paire_11

In the pocket of the drivers (it is the term of the time because we do not yet speak pilots), we sometimes find chronographs equipped with tachometers which make it possible to evaluate the speeds of the cars. De Knyff, the most efficient driver of the first Paris-Nancy stage, covered the latter at an average speed of fifty-seven kilometers per hour.

Time, adventure and the conquest of speed already nourished the spirit of the watchmakers of the Manufacture of Locle who were preparing to conquer the World through the Universal Exhibition of Paris in 1900 which offered Zenith a First Prize, which was the pride of Georges Favre Jacot and all those with him who carried the precision at the top of the international competitions of chronometry observatories where Zenith multiplied the first prizes.

It is today the same spirit that animates Zenith through its partnership with the Tour Auto anchored in the memory of the manufacture for more than 118 years

Contraria contrariis curantur. (Les contraires se guérissent par les contraires).
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