We brought you the breaking news of the Zenith new Oscillator in the Defy Lab earlier (see this link). At the Global Launch event held in Le Locle yesterday, the embargo lifted, and we are now able to share with you the photographs which we hinted on in the earlier article. And a bit more details on the new oscillator.
The announcement was made at a press conference held at the Manufacture Zenith in Le Locle and hosted by Jean-Claude Biver, President of the Watch Division, along with Zenith CEO Julien Tornare and Guy Sémon, CEO of the Science Institute LVMH. This innovative watch was developed through synergies between the brands composing the group’s Watch Division, an endeavour overseen by Guy Sémon.
A few key points:
- A new oscillator forming a monolithic whole, made of monocrystalline silicon (with details finer than a human hair), replaces the sprung balance. The 30 or so components of a standard regulating organ (which requires assembly, adjustment, timing, testing and lubrication) are thus replaced by a single element measuring just 0.5 mm thick (compared with the usual 5 mm.)
- This oscillator beats at 15 Hertz, with an amplitude of +/- 6 degrees, and is endowed with an almost 60-hour power reserve – more than 10% more than that of the El Primero – despite a three times higher frequency.
- This frequency endows it with an exceptional – almost 10 times higher – degree of accuracy. Its mean daily rate is precise to within just 0.3 seconds. (By way of example, one of the criteria for COSC “chronometer” certification is the average daily rate on the first ten days of testing: from -4 seconds to +6 seconds, meaning up to 10 seconds per day).
- Moreover, it remains accurate far beyond 24 hours of operation (the moment when mechanical watches begin to lose their energy and thus their accuracy). This new oscillator maintains the same degree of precision for 95% of its power reserve.
- No need for oil: no more contact means no more friction or wear, and thus no need for lubrication.
- Insensitivity to temperature gradients, gravity and magnetic fields eliminates the key weaknesses of the current balance-and-spring assemblies that are subject to deformation and/or dilatation, thereby leading to diminished precision.
- Triple certification, including chronometer certification displayed by by the viper’s head emblem awarded by Besançon Observatory, on behalf of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures. Thermal behaviour is exceptional, the spectrum of the ISO-3159 standard has been broadened: variations of around 0.3 seconds per day and per degree Celsius of deviation are certified, which is twice as good as the recommended figure.
- Finally, the watch meets the ISO-764 magnetic criteria, exceeding them by 18 times (for the completed watch), meaning it can withstand 88,000 Amperes per meter or 1,100 Gauss.
The first ten ZENITH Defy Lab watches (10 different versions, each is different) are sold in an exceptional collector’s gift box. All are already pre-sold.
Exterior of the Defy Lab:
First watch with a case (44 mm in diameter) made from Aeronith, the world’s lightest aluminium composite material.
This new material resembling an extremely solid metal foam was developed using an exclusive high-tech process and features a density of just 1.6 kg/dm3, which is 2.7 times lighter than titanium, 1.7 times lighter than aluminium and 10% lighter than carbon fibre.
More information here. And watch our live coverage from Tokyo at 7pm Tokyo time on 27th September 2017 on Instagram @deployant. We will also publish a full hands on review of the watches, and an interview with Jean-Claude Biver after the event.