High Noon:
7:00 p.m.

There comes a time in Julien Tornare’s day when he stops what he’s doing and just savors the moment. It is his favorite time of day. It also says a lot about the CEO of Swiss watch brand Zenith. Though only at second glance.

  • Text
    Wiebke Brauer
  • Photos
    Zenith

That moment just before dinner, when the day draws to a close and you look back on what you’ve accomplished. That is Julien Tornare’s favorite time of day. It is a tranquil hour – though tranquil is not really the best way to describe the Zenith CEO. The fifty-year-old has been at the helm of the Swiss watchmaker, a company with a rich and eventful history, since 2017. He has been called an innovator who, with remarkable energy, revitalized the venerable brand. For a complete picture of the man, it doesn’t hurt to know that the father of three children was a champion water skier in his youth. Or that he began walking dogs for pay when he was eleven years old. “I did it well,” Tornare recounts, “and at one point I had six dogs to take care of. At the time, I was making way too much money for my age and had to save a lot of it. But that influenced me enormously from an entrepreneurial point of view. If you’re going to do something, do it well – and push it to the limits.”

Zenith Defy Extreme E »Island X Prix«

That he calls the Defy Extreme his favorite watch isn’t all that surprising. “It’s built for extreme conditions and durability, it’s easy to read, extremely comfortable, and can take a lot,” says Tornare. Speaking of resilience, Zenith is not only a founding partner of the pioneering Extreme E electric off-road racing series, but also the official timekeeper. Which might have something to do with the fact that Julien Tornare listens to his young team: “In my view, a CEO doesn’t have to know everything better. I also think it’s extremely important in this position to retain your modesty and listen to people. That, to me, is the key to success.” Tornare once mentioned how he wished his day had a hundred hours because there was so much he still wanted to do and experience. One thing we still haven’t mentioned: the Defy Extreme is Tornare’s “leisure-time watch”. At work, he usually wears a Chronomaster Sport. So now we also know when he changes watches.

Wiebke Brauer

Wiebke Brauer

Head of text ramp & Freelance author
After graduating from high school, Wiebke Brauer studied English and German as her first major with a focus on media culture. Interested in topics of all kinds and bird-free since 2016, as she says herself. With work for Spiegel Online, auto, motor und sport, Motor Klassik, Fuel and Stern, long a blog for the young and classic car site carsablanca.de - and more than fond of ramp magazine.
ramp #58 Hot Wheels

ramp #58 Hot Wheels

Wir spielen. Nähern uns Dingen, die uns neugierig gemacht haben. Ob die jetzt wollen oder nicht. So ein Spiel lebt ja auch immer von Herausforderung. Wie das echte Leben eben.

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