Zenith’s Fusee-and-Chain Constant Force System

From the time of Zenith’s origins more than 150 years ago in Le Locle, Switzerland, the company’s top goal of maintaining precision in its watchmaking techniques has never faltered. The brand has grown in popularity and is now known worldwide for quality and reliability. To commemorate Zenith’s milestone of 150 years in business, the company released its Academy George Favre-Jacot watch. This wristwatch is named after Zenith’s founder. It embodies top concepts from the past and present and elements from Zenith’s maritime timepieces.

What Makes The Academy George Favre-Jacot Watch Unique?

At the time of Zenith’s founding, George Favre-Jacot was only 22 years old. His vision and passion that resulted in one of the top brand names for timepieces is reflected in this commemorative namesake watch. It features an intricate fusee-and-chain system.

The head movement designer at the atelier in Le Locle shared in an interview how this unique watch was made.

The fuse-and-chain system provides a constant force for the timepiece. However, the watch’s functionality lies much deeper than in the combined action of the fusée and chain. There are other issues to consider such as how to protect the chain and keep the watch going while winding it. First, it is important to understand the main components. These include the barrel, fuse, and chain. In the barrel, there is a mainspring. The fusée connects it to the chain. As the barrel unwinds, the chain pulls the fusée by following its slope form. To visualize this system in action, imagine a bicycle derailleur, which switches gears automatically.

If a mainspring in a watch setup is weak at the point when it is unwound, it starts pulling from the bottom. The large affected radius compensates the force drop, which regulates the barrel’s force. Think of this as low gear on a bicycle. There is a power reserve of 50 hours, which results in a straight line of force and a clean drop instead of the line dropping in accordance with the barrel’s level of depletion. This is the classic design for watches.

 

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