Three genera and seven species belonging to the subfamily Zigzagiceratinae (family Perisphinctidae) are described from the Lower Bathonian of France and Saudi Arabia. Intraspecific dimorphism is recognized. A revision of the genus Franchia proposed by Sturani (1967), based on the syntypes and new specimens from south-east France, is presented. Franchia arkelli Sturani, Franchia subalpina sp. nov., Protozigzagiceras torrensi (Sturani), Protozigzagiceras tethycum sp. nov., Protozigzagiceras flexum sp. nov. and Protozigzagiceras densum sp. nov. are described from the Digne–Castellane region of south-east France. Megazigzagiceras subarabicum, gen. et sp. nov. is described from the Dharma region of Saudi Arabia. The successive Early Bathonian species of Franchia and Protozigzagiceras herein identified in West Tethyan areas, as members of the Mediterranean–Caucasian Subrealm, formed lasting separate peramorphoclines characterized by increasing hydrodynamic coiling of the shell. In contrast, rapid proterogenesis originated and diversified the earliest Bathonian zigzagiceratin lineages, giving paedomorphic members, commonly neotenic and more scarcely progenetic. Procerites–Siemiradzkia seems to be the oldest zigzagiceratin member in the French Subalpine, Iberian and Lusitanian basins, branched off by paedomorphosis from leptosphinctins at the Bajocian–Bathonian transition. The Mediterranean–Caucasian genera Franchia, Zigzagiceras, Zigzagites and Wagnericeras branched from successive species of Protozigzagiceras, in turn, a direct derivative of Procerites. The oldest lineages of the clade Zigzagiceratinae evolved by iterative, rapid, paedomorphic changes and additional, lasting, peramorphic modifications during the Early Bathonian.