I’ve not talked about how 108,000 bph sounds yet. You can certainly hear it. The various pieces of the Aeronith-cased Defy Lab I had evaluated sounded just a little bit different. That tells me that as more watches have higher-frequency movements, more attention will need to be paid to case materials because of how sound waves leak out. Even minor differences in the cases (given the structure of foamy aluminum) changed the sound profiles from the 15Hz movements. It is a pleasant sound, but fast paced given its manic rapidity. The watch is also comfortable on the wrist – and looking at the dial with its ever-vibrating Zenith watches saudi arabia Replica Oscillator offers a fun animation to watch when you want something to distract your eyes.Upcoming models of the Zenith Defy Lab will maintain the same 44mm wide, 14.5mm thick case (water resistant to 50m), but I don’t think they will be in Aeronith. They will also cost much less than these more exclusive pieces. The watch community will be impressed with the relatively reasonable price, which I believe will be around 10,000 Swiss Francs. It is a cost that no longer requires watch lovers to consider between a new timepiece and a new car. The watch also allows watch addicts to have new conversations about accuracy and the performance of watch movements as being something worth caring about. For years mechanical watch lovers more or less convinced themselves that thinking about accuracy was sort of silly because your standard cheap quartz watch will most always best even an expensive mechanical watch when it comes to accuracy.
Today, Zenith watches turnover Replica announces the brand new Zenith Defy Lab collection that contains what they claim is the world’s most accurate mechanical movement. The in-house made caliber ZO 342 automatic operates at 15Hz, which is faster (a good thing) than the vast majority of mechanical watches out there, including Zenith’s legendary 5Hz “high beat” frequency El Primero automatic chronograph movement. This is a bold new step not only for Zenith, but also for the entire watch industry as it further legitimizes a controversial but ultimately wise creative direction. Zenith will debut the Defy Lab as a very limited set of 10 “piece unique” watches – at comparably “exclusive” prices. What about everyone else who will want one of these very compelling timepieces? Zenith makes it clear that the initial 10 Defy Lab watches are “only the beginning.” The Defy Lab’s movement will not only be put into regular production, but it will serve as a base for future complications. The first set of Defy Lab watches after this initial debut collector’s set is planned for production in 2018.
The watch we’re looking at today does have an El Primero, but it’s not the A273. It’s the new Timeless Chronomaster Heritage Chronometer limited edition. It’s closely inspired by that A273, of course, but it is not a reissue or a new version. Instead, it takes a leap forward, and not only in terms of the movement as we’ve made subtle updates throughout the watch. Let’s take a close look at the Timeless Chronomaster Heritage Chronometer and learn more about both its predecessor and the limited edition.The aesthetic heart of any watch is its dial. Almost everything that defines a model as a unique, distinctive piece can be found there. For this watch we wanted to use a dial that was extremely understated and clean, yet never boring. That meant removing almost everything that was superfluous. I find that the need for simplicity is greatest in chronographs, and other watches with intrinsically busy dials. This watch, therefore, would have no date and it would have no “El Primero” or “36,000 VPH” writing on it. It had to be reduced to the essence of what a chronograph must have while nonetheless balancing some of those traits that defined its ancestor.
Let’s step back a bit and discuss why this fast operating, silicon material technology is all a big deal. The name of the game here isn’t just to be exclusive with something different, but more importantly – about wristwatch performance. In the words of Jean-Claude Biver, “I imagine this is what Abraham-Louis Breguet would be excited about if he were alive today!” While we’ve seen an enormous level of variety in timepiece design over the years, there is very little new in terms of actual performance increases. That means that most mechanical watches produced are similarly accurate. Of course, there are major differences in terms of how well regulated a movement is, or how well it is constructed, but at the end of the day you can only tweak a standard mechanical watch movement to be so accurate.
Aeronith is very light (2.7 times lighter than titanium, and 1.7 times lighter than standard aluminum) and also durable. The formation process (which is patented by Hublot) boils aluminum in some manner as to create air bubbles. When it dries, Aeronith takes on a foam-like texturing, and the pores are said to be filled in with a special polymer. I don’t know how much Aeronith will be used in future watch production, but I have a feeling Hublot and its sister brands will make use of the exotic material when they see fit – such as for these 10 unique watches. The issue is that each case is simply very time consuming to produce.Each of the 10 debut Zenith Defy Lab watches has a slightly different look mixing silver and gold-toned hour markers and hands with different dial and strap colors. It feels a bit like Zenith’s prototype collection where they tested out what the production models might look like – but honestly each looks cool (I’m partial to the green). Buying one of these 10 pieces (which are all sold out) came with some special perks. Not only do you as a customer get to be at the launch event with us members of the watch media, but they also get to take a watch home with them. The buyers of each of these piece unique watches also get a Zenith manufacture visit, an “exceptional gift box,” (which I will admit is pretty nice) as well as rare bottles of Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes white wine.
Today, Zenith announces the brand new Zenith Defy Lab collection that contains what they claim is the world’s most accurate mechanical movement. The in-house made caliber ZO 342 automatic operates at 15Hz, which is faster (a good thing) than the vast majority of mechanical watches out there, including Zenith’s legendary 5Hz “high beat” frequency El Primero automatic chronograph movement. This is a bold new step not only for Zenith, but also for the entire watch industry as it further legitimizes a controversial but ultimately wise creative direction. Zenith will debut the Defy Lab as a very limited set of 10 “piece unique” watches – at comparably “exclusive” prices. What about everyone else who will want one of these very compelling timepieces? Zenith makes it clear that the initial 10 Defy Lab watches are “only the beginning.” The Defy Lab’s movement will not only be put into regular production, but it will serve as a base for future complications. The first set of Defy Lab watches after this initial debut collector’s set is planned for production in 2018.
I want to also mention that it is a huge deal that Zenith even went so far as to make a claim about accuracy performance in their press release. I’ve read over a thousand wristwatch press releases and aside from Seiko (who routinely under-reports their wristwatches’ accuracy performance – for reasons again outside the scope of the conversation), Zenith is among a very small number of brands who actually make a specific claim about accuracy performance in their documentation. For Zenith and LVMH it is about increasing transparency according to Jean-Claude Biver (who is the head of watchmaking at the group).By Zenith indicating the average accuracy (performance varies under different wearing conditions) of the Defy Lab’s movement, they more or less put other brands at notice that if they want to boast about a watch “designed for high accuracy,” they actually need go the distance and make a specific claim about accuracy. This is a good time to discuss mechanisms like a tourbillon and how watch makers typically deal with such features. While a tourbillon was originally designed to increase the accuracy of a mechanical watch or clock movement, it doesn’t actually do that in many real world wristwatch applications. Thus, watch brands often rode a thin line by not actually commenting on a watch’s performance, while trying to bolster the story about what the mechanism was originally designed for. I have to applaud Jean-Claude Biver along with Zenith’s management and communication teams for going the distance and not only promoting an accurate watch, but actually telling people the type of performance that they can expect.
Another important goal for us was to avoid the overlapping dials found in so many modern Zeniths. These are often criticized by collectors, even fellow Zenith fans, although I’ve never personally found it to be troubling. The overlapping sub-dials matched the effortless avant-garde nature of the tri-color El Primero quite well, being almost flippant with its design. That sort of brashness works well on overtly sporty models, should a brand be gutsy enough to actually try it, but for a much dressier, more austere model like the Timeless Chronomaster Heritage it wouldn’t do. Naturally, we wouldn’t dare modify the El Primero within to space the sub-dials out further, so we were necessarily restricted as to where the sub-dials must be located. The solution was self-evident: the sub-dials had to be smaller. Although reduced in size, they’re now as large as they can possibly be without overlapping, and to aid in legibility, there is a subtle ring, a change in texture, around each sub-dial which helps separate it from the surrounding dial without need for an outline or applied marker.One of the other important changes we made was moving to a new case. We chose the Heritage 146 case due to its size and classic design. As is so often the situation for our limited editions, we opted to use a 38mm size. In general, we use 38mm cases because we find it to be a very versatile size, and in a small run limited edition we want to reach the broadest variety of collectors possible. You’ll also notice in this photo that the crown is quite a bit thinner than the Heritage 146’s crown. The A273’s crown was also fairly thick, but again, we felt that the slightly thinner crown was more consistent with its dressier image. Being an accurate, automatic watch with no need to set the date, the crown won’t be needed particularly often to begin with. You’ll also notice that the pushers have a small groove in them, another subtle difference from the original.