Watches of Extreme by Romain Rea & ZRC

Published on 20 March 2019

The opening of our new boutique in Courchevel was the opportunity to organize an exhibition on the theme of “extreme” watches, created to be worn in extraordinary conditions. In partnership with the ZRC Manufacture, represented by Alexis Meyer and Georges Brunet, we opened this exhibition on Thursday March 7th.


The ZRC brand was founded in 1904 in Geneva by Edmond Zuccolo and Joseph Rochet, the workshop manager and its first worker. Initially known for its bracelets, it created the watch Grand-Fonds, worn by the French Navy from 1963 to 1974. As George Brunet testifies: “It outfitted not only the French Navy’s diving school, but also the clearance divers of Toulon, as well as the very famous Commando Hubert and some divers of the Calypso”.

With the reissue of the Grand-Fonds in June 2015, the ZRC watchmaking industry was reborn, thanks to the intervention of Georges Brunet, grandson of Louis Brunet the father of the GF300. Associated since 2017 with Alexis Meyer, they strive to follow their motto “Life is adventure”. Thus, with the North Adventure, ZRC has freed itself from the image of a diving watch, as it was developed to withstand extreme cold temperatures, among other things thanks to a specific treatment of its case to prevent the ice from “clinging” and to the use of a “vegetable” oil to cope with extreme temperatures. It was on the wrist of the explorer Alban Michon that it proved its worth during a 62 days expedition between February and May 2018 on the mythical Northwest Passage in the Arctic.


To complete these modern models, Romain Rea has selected a fine collection of vintage ZRCs to illustrate the history of the Swiss company. In addition, he also choses iconic professional watches from some of the greatest manufacturers, such as a Breguet Type XX, an Omega Seamaster Ploprof, a Rolex Sea-Dweller watchmade for the COMEX and a Rolex Daytona Big Red.

Founded in 1775, Maison Breguet, as part of its partnership with the French army, has been offering extraordinary pilot’s watches since the early 1950s. The model we are presenting dates from 1954 and meets the heavy specifications imposed by the army: clarity and visibility of the dial with large luminescent hands, a rotating bezel and of course the “Fly Back” function.

Our Omega Seamaster Ploprof is a contemporary reissue of the model designed in the 1960s. It is known to have been used by Commander Cousteau’s team on the Janus mission. Our model, water-resistant to 1200 meters (around 4000 feet), poses a serious risk to Omega’s competitors and is an essential tool for any professional diver.

As for Rolex, the brand with the crown is renowned for designing watches for professional use: the GMT Master for pilots, the Submariner and Sea-Dweller for divers, the Daytona for racers and the Explorer, as its name suggests, for explorers. One of each of these major categories can be admired, such as: reference 6542 for the GMT Master, one of the first model, a COMEX Sea-Dweller Ref. 16600 of 1997 and a stainless steel Daytona Ref. 6265 with a very nice Big Red dial of 1983.

This exhibition will last until April 7th in Courchevel, then in Paris from April 15th to May 15th, in our boutique at 26, rue du Bac. 

Romain Réa