Ticking the future of haute horlogie, Zenith unveils the most accurate mechanical watch to date.
The Swiss manufacture has created a novel oscillator that guides the exceptional precision of Defy Lab, a watch the exhibits masterful mechanical performance. Defy Lab, Zenith states, is the first mechanical watch to advance the core operating rudiment of its kin – the balance and hairspring principle, which Christian Huygens defined in the distant 17th century and has since been regarded as timeless.
Forming a monolithic whole of monocrystalline silicon, the new oscillator serves as a replacement to the traditional 30-component sprung balance, beating its usual 5mm thickness the remarkable 10 times. Defy Lab thumps with a frequency of 15 Hertz, which spurs a mean daily precision of just 0.3 seconds.
If this is not remarkable enough, the watch is able to preserve its accuracy beyond 24 hours of operation – the mark when traditional mechanical pieces begin to lose energy and thus precision. Defy Lab is able to maintain its accuracy for the striking 95 percent of its 60-hour power reserve. Those astounding characteristics withstand the forces of temperature gradients, gravity and magnetic fields, which weaken the precision of the current balance-and-spring assemblies.
While the innards of the watch attract the attention, its exterior does not remain unnoticed. Defy Lab flaunts a 44mm case that is made from Aeronith, the world’s lightest aluminum composite, which resembles a solid metal foam and is often used in naval applications.
Adorned with 18 jewels and linked to a black rubber strap with alligator leather coating, Defy Lab flaunts the chronometer-certification of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures – as indicated by the “viper’s head” emblem that embellishes it. It also meets the requirements of the ISO-3159 variance standard and ISO-764 magnetic criteria.
Exemplifying Zenith’s commitment to groundbreaking timepieces, Defy Lab debuted at a press conference at the brand’s headquarters in Le Locle. The event was hosted by Jean-Claude Biver, LVMH President of the Watch division, Zenith CEO Julien Tornare and Guy Semon, CEO of the Science Institute LVMH.
At the time of its premiere, the timepiece – coming in the extremely limited 10 pieces – had already been pre-sold to collectors.