Thursday, September 14, 2017, Zenith is writing the future of the brand and setting a new chapter in the history of Swiss watchmaking. Following the release of the first El Primero automatic chronograph (with an oscillation frequency of up to 5 Hz and a timing accuracy of 1/10 seconds) based on extraordinary watchmaking technology in 1969, Zenith achieved breakthroughs in innovation through basic research and grandly launched Defy Lab watch.
This watch not only has a groundbreaking new oscillator-its invention, the challenge is no less than the seventeenth century Christian Huygens laid the principle of mechanical clocks-but also the innovative material Aeronith. It is not an alloy, but a foam metal hybrid material that is 2.7 times lighter than titanium, 1.7 times lighter than aluminum, and 10% lighter than carbon fiber. The production process of this mixed material involves cutting-edge technology, which requires aluminum to be heated to a melting point first. Alu 6082 is often used in the navy field because of its excellent corrosion resistance. The successful development of this innovative watch is due to the accumulated expertise and synergy between the brands of the LVMH Group’s watch department, and also thanks to Guy Sémon for his leadership and supervision.
Defy Lab is the first and only mechanical watch to embody a revolutionary evolution of the principle of the balance with hairspring more than three centuries ago. Since 1675, Christian Huygens has proposed the balance spring principle to the Royal Academy of Sciences in the form of a clock, which has not been challenged. Although it has been improved and even optimized to the greatest extent, it has never been questioned like today, but is considered eternal and immutable.
The new oscillator is made of monocrystalline silicon and is integrally formed. Its details are finer than human hair and it is used to replace the balance with hairspring. Conventional speed control mechanisms contain about 30 components, which need to be assembled, adjusted, set, tested, and lubricated. The thickness is usually 5 mm. In contrast, the new speed control mechanism contains only individual components and is only 0.5 mm thick. The new Caliber ZO 342 movement has a vibration frequency of up to 15 Hz, an oscillator swing of +/- 6 degrees, and a power reserve of nearly 60 hours. Its vibration frequency is three times that of the El Primero movement. The power reserve must also exceed 10%. The amazing vibration frequency makes it nearly 10 times more accurate, and the average daily difference can be controlled within 0.3 seconds.
General mechanical watches run for 24 hours at full string, and with the loss of energy, their accuracy continues to decrease. And this new type of oscillator can maintain the same accuracy at 95% power reserve, far more than 24 hours. No more contact means no more friction or wear, so no lubrication is needed. In addition, the new oscillator is not sensitive to temperature differences, gravity, and magnetic fields, eliminating the key weakness of the conventional balance-spring assembly that causes box changes due to the above situation, leading to reduced accuracy.
This watch is triple certified, including the precision timepiece certification issued by Besançon Observatory on behalf of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, the certification mark is a snakehead emblem. In terms of thermal performance, the scope of the ISO-3159 standard has also been expanded. The daily error of the watch is only 0.3 seconds. The deviation value at different temperatures has also been certified, which is twice as high as the standard. Finally, the watch meets the ISO-764 standard and can withstand a magnetic field of 1,100 Gauss, which is 18 times beyond the standard.
The significance of this watch is not only to reshape the Huygens principle with another mechanical mechanism, it also opens up a whole new perspective and takes mechanical watchmaking to a new dimension. It is also the first watch in the industry to be equipped with an Aeronith case (44 mm in diameter and 14.5 mm thick). The first batch of Zenith Defy Labs is limited to 10 pieces, each of which is unique in appearance and color. The watches are presented with exclusive gift boxes as a commemorative event, including personal invitations to participate in media conferences and visits to Zenith Timepiece Factory. Personal invitation. Customers will receive pre-ordered watches and be personally entertained by Jean Claude Biver, head of LVMH’s watch division, Julien Tornare, CEO of Zenith, and Guy Sémon, general manager of TAG Heuer. It is reported that Zenith Defy Lab watch sells for 29,900 Swiss francs, equivalent to about 200,000 yuan.