At 4:41, on Sunday, July 25, 1909, the French aviator Louis Blériot made history by completing the first airplane flight across the Channel. He wore a Zenith watch on his wrist.
In 1908, the “Daily Mail” newspaper offered a reward of £ 1,000 to the first man to cross the Channel by plane. Three competitors claimed they could accomplish this. First in line was Hubert Lathman, a sporty and daring playboy, and a test pilot for the aviation company “Antoinette”. He had already crossed the Channel in a balloon and had won several trophies. The second, Louis Blériot, was an engineer, an airplane builder and an aviator. He had invested all the money from his car headlight factory to develop a monoplane, of which he had made 11 prototypes. And finally, Count Charles de Lambert, a Russian aristocrat of French origin, adventurer and pilot with a passion for hydrofoils.
Alongside these consummate flyers who dazzled the public, Swiss watchmaker Zenith played a pioneering role in designing the first flight instruments. Louis Blériot was not mistaken, his Zenith wristwatch, a faithful “co-pilot”, was riveted to his wrist.