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Zeno USA & Zeno Miyota “Explorer” Watch April 12, 2012

Posted by Admin in Uncategorized.

12th April 2012  THUR


Commentary sent via Forums.watchuseek.com

(questions by Quorum),


I’m looking at buying one of the Zeno Explorers (now discontinued). AFAICT from some Googling, there were three versions of this watch:

– “Zeno Watch” branded with Miyota automatic movement
– “Zeno Watch” branded with ETA automatic movement
– “Zeno USA” branded with Miyota automatic movement

It seems like there are a lot of people who don’t like Zeno USA, and on one forum I saw their watches described as “basically fake Zeno watches.” Many people also assert that they have no relation to the Swiss Zeno. However, looking at the Zeno Watch website, Zeno USA is clearly listed as the authorized US distributor.

There is also this blog entry which claims that the “Zeno USA” explorer was produced for the US Army(!), which seems exceedingly unlikely: Zeno-USA & Zeno-Watch (Explorer) « i Love Watches

I would appreciate any light that anyone could shed on the situation.

Thank you.



ZENO with Jap movement, specially produced limited edition for Honk Kong market

Editor’s Remarks:

This model of Zeno watch is rather special because of its design. It follows the essence of original Rolex Explorer which has huge market following. It is not surprising that Zeno has taklen the cue and started to produce several versions on request for different market demands.  Such as the ZENO-Miyota with Japanese movement that was mainly produced for Hong Kong market because the collectors there just simply love the 3, 6, 9 hour markers which means Longivity & Luck. Observe that its 3, 6, 9 markers are embossed, different from the ZENO-USA’s.

Whether the ZENO-USA was truly made for the US Army is another matter. It is definitely based on preferences of US market for such a military-style watch dial design that comes with bubble glass top!

Regardless of whether it is a ZENO-USA or ZENO-Miyota (Jap movement) or ETA version, this is a great model produced by Zeno Watch Co.  It conforms to a minimalist style of design philosophy in watch-making that indulges in utility functional. Those who still can get one of these, do it NOW!





1. Ed - November 30, 2012

Zeno Watch Basel/ Zeno USA Comparison
I have a friend who is a Swiss Paten attorney and I asked him about the Zeno Watch and Zeno USA controversy. Here is what his research found. It seems that Zeno Watch had their Explorer watches assembled at a plant in Japan and then shipped back to Europe. At some point in time Rolex sued Zeno for patent infringement because Zeno’s Explorer looked so much like the original Rolex Explorer. Rather than fight the big guerilla Rolex, Zeno quit making their Explorer. However when Zeno shut the plant down in Japan, there was excess stock in the plant. Japan’s patent laws are not as strict as the patent laws in the US or Europe. The management of the plant quickly changed the name to Zeno USA and continued to make the watch with the stock they had left until it ran out.

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