Today probably wasn’t the ideal day to announce a new partnership between Aaron Rodgers and Swiss watchmaker Zenith. In hindsight, all the parties involved likely would have preferred to set it back, even a few days.
Yesterday, on a frigid afternoon in Green Bay, Rodgers’ Packers fell to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-26. So it’s Brady’s Bucs that are now going to the Super Bowl. Rodgers, now 37, and with just one Super Bowl under his belt over a storied career, is going home again. He said plenty with his body language after yesterday’s game. Rodgers is the new face of Zenith in North America. But yesterday that face looked pretty sad. He looked beaten down. Exhausted. Frustrated. There is a lot of mileage on that body.
For those who watched that game, coach Matt LaFleur’s godawful decision to kick a field goal on a fourth-and-goal from the eight yard line with just over two minutes to go, down eight points, was the story. The Packers had All-Pro quarterback Rodgers and the offence on the end zone doorstop. That decision couldn’t have sat well with the NFL Hall-of-Fame shoo-in. Rodgers never got the ball back.
Steeped in integrity
The fact LaFleur expressed regret to the media for the call after the game spoke volumes. Sports writers even posted potential landing spots for Rodgers next season. Aaron Rodgers not wearing Packers’ colours? Who would have predicted that? Rodgers, as per usual for him, carried that team yesterday. He is the likely league MVP for this season as well.
Image: Scott Clarke / ESPN Images
So this morning’s announcement from LVMH Watch Week detailing Rodgers as the new North America brand ambassador for the all-new Chronomaster Sport, despite the unfortunate timing (and who could have predicted that, since the genesis of the Zenith relationship goes back a long way), still makes a ton of sense.
Aaron Rodgers is about as marketable as they come. He’s fantastic on camera. A total natural. There’s a Tony Romo-like broadcasting career awaiting him after he retires from the field of play. Women love him. Men want to be him. And the fact he wouldn’t publicly toss his coach under the bus for that call yesterday tells you everything about the man’s character.
So how’s this for a segue? Strong, manly, handsome, showman-like, sportsmanlike, steeped in history and integrity – the new Chronomaster Sport that Rodgers has tied his brand to is a reflection of all that, at least according to these eyes.
Today’s announcement is on the heels of the one Zenith made earlier this month, detailing the evolution of their El Primero caliber in the new Chronomaster Sport. The aim is improved functionality. Built on the foundation of the original movement from 1969, the El Primero 3600 caliber features better timekeeping performance. It has a power reserve of 60 hours and a black ceramic bezel etched to mark each passing 1/10th of a second.
That makes the function even more legible. And that’s a further boost to the Zenith watch-making reputation for precision. Kind of like Rodgers’ passing game. (Rodgers has thrown for over 51,000 yards in his career, with a completion percentage of over 65 per cent.)
New digital watch show
At 41 mm, and on a steel bracelet, the timepiece is sleek, bold and confident. The El Primero 3600 is visible through the sapphire display back. Check out the blue column wheel and open rotor marked with the five-pointed star Zenith.
Click on image to enlarge and view gallery
In a pandemic world, Zenith, alongside LVMH brands Bulgari and Hublot, is unveiling its latest watches in an online, one-week event. In an aim to create a new environment in what are trying times for everyone in the watch industry, Zenith is mixing digital, physical presentations and one-on-one meetings in 15 countries. The new version of the El Primero is their big focus.
Rodgers’ watch images: Zenith
The Chronomaster Sport has a re-designed aesthetic to accompany the new calibre, borrowing and re-interpreting design elements from its Zenith chronograph brethren. Included there is the pre-El Primero A277, with its dot markers and black bezel. The El Primero De Luca’s satin-brushed bracelet is incorporated here. So is the polished bezel of the El Primero Rainbow.
Here’s hoping Rodgers takes solace today in some good off-the-field news. Judging by how he looked yesterday, he has some long winter weeks ahead of him.
The Chronograph Sports retails in Canada for $13,000 and is available at Bandiera Jewellers in Toronto’s Yorkville.