Rolex has a new El Primero: Zenith’s Jean-Frederique Dufour appointed new CEO

jean-frederique dufour

He may have thought he had reached the Zenith of his career, but Zenith supremo Jean-Frederique Dufour has now been announced as the new Chief Executive Officer of Rolex SA.

Dufour took up the reins at Zenith in 2011 and has worked under Jean-Claude Biver at the LVMH brand. He becomes only the sixth head of Rolex SA in the company’s entire history, four of which have been made since 2008.

Dufour will replace Gian Riccardo Marini, the former director of Rolex Italy, who has held the top spot since 2011. A date for the commencement of Dufour’s official duties is yet to be announced and a statement is expected from Rolex later this week.

Jean-Frederique Dufour has overseen a spectacularly resurgent Zenith brand with several important new watch releases being made in the past few years, perhaps among the most notable being the El Primero Striking Tenth worn by Felix Baumgartner during his world record breaking space leap. The feat attracted worldwide headlines and was screened globally in front of an audience of billions.

We will never know what compensation Dufour will receive for this new role, but it’s probably equally as stratospheric as Baumgartner’s leap from the heavens.