Tomorrow the SIHH in Geneva opens its doors. Zenith is not part of the SIHH, but the manufacture has organized a presentation for the press and friends here in Geneva. Zenith-CEO Jean-Fred Dufour has just shown me his novelties 2013.
You know that tomorrow the SIHH 2013 will start here in Geneva. I came a little earlier to quickly take the opportunity to meet Jean-Fred Dufour. Just a couple of minutes ago he showed me some of his novelties 2013.
The focus this year lies on the line extension of the Pilot collection. Last year Zenith presented the 57,5 mm big aviator´s watch Montre d´Aeronef Type 20 Special in a very limited edition. Now some little brothers and sisters will come to the markets.
I had the chance to take a picture of all the new pilots watches, comparing them in one picture with the last year´s maxi size edition.
So from left to right you see four new models belonging to the Pilot collection:
Zenith Montre d´Aeronef Type 20 “Chronograph” Annual Calendar (48 mm), Zenith Montre d´Aeronef Type 20 Special from last year (57,5 mm), Zenith Montre d´Aeronef Type 20 “Chronograph” Tourbillon (48 mm), Zenith Montre d´Aeronef Type 20 GMT (48).
To enlarge my photographs please click on them. I do of course apologize for the quality, but with the light and time available this was the best I could do for you.
All the watches shown are equipped with Zenith in-house movements and they do not cost the world. The Zenith Montre d´Aeronef Type 20 GMT for instance in steel is priced at 7200 CHF including taxes, the Zenith Montre d´Aeronef Type 20 Chronograph Annual Calendar at 9900 CHF including taxes.
Besides the Pilot collection Jean-Fred showed me his new technical masterpiece the Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane with fusée-and-chain transmission.
The gradual discharging of a mechanical watch causes a loss of amplitude and a corresponding loss of precision. On the contrary, with a fusée-chain transmission system, the driving force remains entirely stable throughout the duration of the power reserve. Whereas the spring at its heart imparts its strength to the barrel, the helicoidal shape of the fusée – stemming from a complex calculation performed specifically for the mainspring – compensates for the variations in force of the barrel that will progressively occur. The transmission between the barrel and the fusée of the Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane is handled via an 18 cm-long chain composed of 585 parts. This extremely complex component features a construction based on alternating double and intermediate links, while the dimensions of the rivets are the object of sophisticated calculations designed to control their clearance. While handling the chain calls for infinite expertise and care, it is capable of withstanding over three-kilogramme tensile force once it is fitted in place. Throughout the duration of the power reserve, the barrel transmits its force to the fusée via the chain that is wrapped around the barrel. By adjusting variations in tension, the fusée transmits its constant force to the going train that in turn imparts it to the silicon escape-wheel inside the gyroscopic carriage. While it takes over 50 hours – the entire duration of power reserve – for the chain to wrap itself entirely around the barrel, the stem-winding process is a fascinating sight. The few seconds it lasts provide a chance to see the fusée and barrel turning the opposite way in relation to the operating direction, so that the chain can once again wrap itself around the fusée and thereby wind its spring.
This is NOT a tourbillon but still a very clever construction that keeps the escapement steadily in a horizontal position to avoid the influence of the earth´s gravity.
This mechanism is not new but now with the fusée-and-chain transmission gets even more accurate. The watch is limited to only 25 pieces worldwide and will cost 257.000 CHF including taxes.
Zenith-CEO Jean-Fred Dufour was my host this afternoon, he personally showed me his first novelties. At his writs he wears the 48 mm Zenith Montre d´Aeronef Type 20 GMT and the 57,5 mm Zenith Montre d´Aeronef Type 20 Special.