Zenith just reworked the whole idea of an automatic watch movement and y’know what, it’s baffling and fascinating in equal measure. The Zero G watch kind of suspends the balance function in mid-air, bit like the gimbal encased, ships chronometers of the Georgian era. Then the intricate works are set inside a sapphire case, with a great view from both sides.
Some power reserve indicator and sub-seconds functions means there are a couple of bridges on the dial, but really this 10-pieces, uber-luxury watch is a tech tour-de-force.
It has touches of meteorite and moondust on the dial too, which adds that planetarium feel to the watch. Early watches were often made by people who developed the first orreries, which were essentially mechanical models of the known solar system at the time, so the earth, sun, moon and a few close planets all move in sync – this was a great learning tool in its day for the wealthy.
With this amazing Zero G watch Zenith is saying, hey look, we can re-create that 18th century enlightment, pay homage to science, the drive for discovery that led mankind to the sea and the stars. It also proves that Zenith can rival anything other Swiss brands can do. If you have £133,000 to spare…or £149,000 for the twin tourbillon.
Yeah, that’s the price of bespoke gyroscopic genius.
Here’s the word from Zenith;
The Manufacture has reimagined two of its most extraordinary movements through contemporary architecture and finishing techniques that can be admired through luminous and transparent sapphire cases. Just like Georges-Favre Jacot who named his Manufacture after the highest point in the sky reached by a heavenly body in the sky, Zenith’s watchmakers and designers sought inspiration from the endless universe beyond our horizon for its grandest and most ingenious haute horlogerie creations.
Zenith has reinterpreted two of its most cutting-edge haute horlogerie calibres in a way that could only be admired through the transparency of a sapphire case. These two creations place Zenith’s uniquely futuristic and evocative aesthetic centre-stage, using novel and previously unheard-of decoration methods for a stellar result.
First, all the movement’s components are treated with blue PVD. The inscriptions as well as decorative elements like miniature stars are then carefully engraved onto the bridges, after which the chamfered edges of the bridges are precisely finished with a rhodium-coloured PVD; a specially developed technique that provides a striking contrast and adds even more visual depth to an already intricately layered movement with its futuristic form. Framed by totally transparent sapphire cases, the movements shine in a light of their own – and from all angles.
Overcoming the effects of gravity on chronometric precision has long been watchmakers’ ultimate goal. Zenith accomplished precisely this with its Gravity Control mechanism, where the regulating organ is fixed to a gimbal that always remains in a flat position regardless of how the watch is rotated. Today, the Manufacture has completely redesigned the entire movement with a new architecture to enable a more open and exhibitive display, encapsulated in a transparent sapphire case that allows the singular mechanism to be admired from all angles: a first for the Manufacture.
Like an object suspended in space and free from the effects of gravity, the off-centred dial of the DEFY Zero-G Sapphire combines several traditional crafts in a contemporary execution, handcrafted in a mosaic of meteorite, aventurine glass and grand feu enamel on a gold base. It depicts our neighbouring red planet Mars on the small seconds, partially eclipsed by the hour and minute dial. A special touch that can only be seen when the watch is overhead is the back of the gyroscopic module, fashioned with a cratered texture mimicking the moon. The entire main plate and bridges of the movement are finished in a blue tone with contrasting grey rhodium chamfers, speckled with white stars of varying sizes. This astronomically inspired finish extends to the movement’s cylindrical container, which can also be viewed through the sides of the case.
Watch the promo video for a better understanding of how the gyro balance concept works in 3D;
DEFY 21 DOUBLE TOURBILLON
For the latest execution of the fastest tourbillon chronograph around – equipped with two independent tourbillons completing rotations in 60 seconds for the time-keeping tourbillon and 5 seconds for the chronograph’s tourbillon – Zenith took its evocative “starry sky” aesthetic to new cosmic heights in the DEFY 21 Double Tourbillon Sapphire, with a nod to the universe and space exploration.
Visible for all to admire through the crystalline case, the DEFY 21 Double Tourbillon’s exceptional chronograph movement is rendered in a stellar and futuristic aesthetic. The main plate of the movement is finished in a striking blue PVD tone, and in a first for Zenith, some of the dial-side bridges are engraved with stars, like a distant galaxy of micro-mechanics in perpetual motion. Truly at the summit of precision, the 1/00th of a second chronograph moves at incredible speed, juxtaposed against a still, starry backdrop.
The DEFY 21 Double Tourbillon Sapphire and DEFY Zero-G Sapphire will be produced as a limited edition of 10 pieces each.