‘DEFY LAB’ BY ZENITH
Last year, Zenith announced that it had reinvented the mechanical wristwatch. While that might have been over-egging it slightly, the Le Locle-based brand had managed to reconfigure one of the most fundamental mechanisms in watchmaking. In 1675, Dutch horologist Christiaan Huygens presented his sprung balance principle to the French Academy of Sciences in clock-form – and since then all mechanical watches have relied on the force of a coiled spring to drive a gear train via a pallet fork and an escape wheel. Packaged inside Zenith’s ‘Defy Lab’, however, is a regulating system that does away with these components and instead incorporates some 30 individual parts into a single circular disc. As there are fewer components rubbing together friction is almost negligible. Etched from silicon, the movement is also impervious to magnetic fields. The result is a watch that Zenith says will remain accurate to within one second across its 70-hour power reserve. If true – it’s yet to be proven – that would make the ‘Defy Lab’ the most precise mechanical wristwatch ever created. Cue Zenith walking away with the prize for Best Innovation at last year’s Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix – the ‘Oscars of the watch world’.
2018 VERSION Zenith ‘Defy El Primero 21’, $17,900