December 9, 2022

Today, Zenith declares the brand new Zenith Defy Lab collection that comprises what they claim is the world’s most precise mechanical motion. The in-house made quality ZO 342 automatic operates in 15Hz, which is faster (a good thing) than the vast majority of mechanical watches on the market, including Zenith’s mythical 5Hz “high beat” frequency El Primero automatic chronograph movement. 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 “just the start.” The very first set of Defy Lab watches after this initial debut collector’s collection is intended for production in 2018. Let us step back a little and talk why this speedy operating, silicon material technology is all a big thing. The title of this game here is not only to be exclusive with some thing different, but more importantly — about wristwatch performance. While we’ve seen an enormous level of variety in timepiece design through time, there’s very little new in terms of actual performance increases. That means that many mechanical watches produced are likewise accurate. Obviously, there are significant differences in terms of how well regulated a motion is, or how well it’s constructed, but in the end of the day you can only tweak a normal mechanical watch movement to be so accurate.
Moving back into the Defy Lab we have a motion which is not a chronograph. If you’d like a quick Zenith chronograph, then permit me to recommend the also newly released Zenith Defy El Primero 21. Both the Defy Laboratory and Defy El Primero 21 discuss a case design and are clearly in the same household. Silicon is exactly what makes movements like the ZO 342 even possible. Replacing metal with silicon is the way that these pieces are able to move quickly and faithfully. Unlike metal, silicon isn’t affected by temperature or magnetism, also because it has considerably lower friction, so it does not require lubrication. More so, the ability to cut very small, very exact parts permits for mechanisms not previously available when metal has been more or less the sole material option. These manufacturing options combined with computer modeling software have allowed for a new production of mechanical watch movements like the ZO 342 that combine traditional notions of how a little machine tells the moment, with a lot of contemporary know-how.
Today, Zenith announces the brand new Zenith Defy Lab collection that comprises what they assert is the world’s most precise mechanical movement. What about everybody else who will want one of these very persuasive timepieces? Zenith makes it crystal clear that the first 10 Defy Lab watches are “only the beginning.” The Defy Lab’s motion will not only be put into regular production, but it will serve as a foundation for future complications. The very first pair of Defy Lab watches after this first debut collector’s set is intended for production in 2018. Let’s step back a little and discuss why this fast operating, silicon material technology is all a big deal. The name of this game here isn’t only to be exclusive with something different, but more importantly — about wristwatch performance. From the words of Jean-Claude Biver, “I imagine that is exactly what Abraham-Louis Breguet will be enthused about if he had been alive today!” While we have seen a huge level of variety in timepiece design over the years, there is very little new in terms of real performance increases. Meaning that many mechanical watches created are similarly true. Obviously, there are significant differences regarding how well controlled a motion is, or how well it is constructed, but at the end of the day you can only tweak a standard mechanical Zenith Watch 6150 movement to be this accurate.
Moving back into the Defy Laboratory we’ve got a motion that’s not a chronograph. If you want a speedy Zenith chronograph, then allow me to urge the also newly published Zenith Defy El Primero 21. Both the Defy Lab and Defy El Primero 21 share a case design and are definitely in precisely the exact same family. The Defy Lab is a 15Hz time-only watch, whereas the Defy El Primero 21 is a time and chronograph Zenith 3100 Watch with a 5Hz oscillator for the time and a secondary 50Hz oscillator for the chronograph.For all-purpose watch nerdiness, both are persuasive timepieces but clearly distinct. Silicon is what makes moves like the ZO 342 even potential. Replacing metal with silicon is how these parts are able to move fast and faithfully. Unlike metal, silicon is not affected by temperature or magnetism, also because it has much lower friction, it doesn’t require lubrication. More so, the capability to cut quite small, very exact parts permits for mechanisms not previously available when metal was more or less the only material option. These production options combined with computer modeling software have enabled for a new production of mechanical watch movements such as the ZO 342 that unite traditional concepts of how a small machine informs the moment, with a great deal of contemporary know-how.
The conversation about mechanical wristwatch accuracy can be extended and is way beyond the range of us introducing the Zenith Defy Lab. Suffice it to say that Zenith’s claimed accuracy of 0.3 seconds every day for the caliber ZO 342 movement in this first model will cause a good deal of people to do a double take because of how impressive it’s (for a mechanical watch). Be aware that for generation models down the road (when there is less opportunity to invest as much time choosing the right components), accuracy will be guaranteed to +/- 0.5 seconds a day… with no reduction in speed results as the torque of the mainspring winds down. To put it differently, the rate results are a level horizontal line, which is something which silicon technology has made much more readily available in mechanical time measuring tools.I wish to also mention that it is a huge bargain that Zenith actually went so far as to make a claim about accuracy performance in their media release. I’ve read more than a thousand wristwatch press releases and besides Seiko (who regularly under-reports their wristwatches’ accuracy performance — for reasons again beyond the scope of the dialog), Zenith is among a tiny number of brands that really make a specific claim about accuracy performance in their own documentation. For Zenith and LVMH it is all about raising transparency according to Jean-Claude Biver (who’s the mind of watchmaking at the group).
I have not talked about the way 108,000 bph sounds yet. You can certainly hear it. The many pieces of the Aeronith-cased Defy Lab I had evaluated sounded just a tiny bit different. That tells me that as more watches have higher-frequency moves, more care will need to be paid to the event materials because of how sound waves leak out. Even minor alterations in the cases (given the structure of foamy aluminum) altered the audio profiles in the 15Hz movements. It’s a nice noise, but fast paced awarded its manic rapidity. The Zenith Watches With Price is also comfortable on the wrist — and looking at the dial with its ever-vibrating Zenith Oscillator delivers a fun animation to watch if you want something to divert your eyes.Upcoming models of this Zenith Defy Lab will maintain the same 44mm wide, 14.5mm thick case (water resistant to 50m), but I don’t think they’ll maintain Aeronith. They’ll also cost considerably less than those more exclusive bits. The watch community will be amazed with the relatively reasonable price, which I believe will be around 10,000 Swiss Francs. It is a price that no longer requires watch lovers to think about involving a new timepiece and a new car. The watch also permits watch addicts to have new conversations about precision and the operation of watch movements as being something worth caring about. For years mechanical watch lovers more or less convinced themselves that considering precision was kind of absurd because your regular cheap quartz watch will most always best even a costly mechanical watch in regards to accuracy.With that said, I’m among a large population of mechanical watch lovers who do care about precision. That there’s still advancement in the traditional watch industry to produce systems that actually pioneer new accomplishments in accuracy will be something which pretty much any watch collector could stand behind. I know that not everyone is going to be a lover of the aesthetic layout of this Defy Lab, or the Defy El Primero 21 for that thing, but I believe that they will want the tech for certain. Zenith and LVMH now take a major part in the pursuit of accuracy, how will the others react? Attached to the case of this Defy Laboratory is a rubber strap with an alligator exterior liner and a titanium buckle.
The watch we’re looking at today does have an El Primero, but it’s not the A273. It is the new Vintage Chronomaster Heritage Chronometer limited edition. It’s closely inspired by that A273, of course, but it isn’t a reissue or a new version. Instead, it requires a leap forward, rather than only concerning the movement as we have made subtle updates during the watch. Let us take a close look at the Vintage Chronomaster Heritage Chronometer and also find out more about both its predecessor and the limited edition.The aesthetic heart of almost any watch is its own dial. Almost everything that defines a model as a unique, identifying piece can be found there. With this particular watch we desired to use a dial that was extremely understated and clean, yet never dull. That meant eliminating almost everything that has been superfluous. I find that the demand for simplicity is greatest in chronographs, and other watches with intrinsically busy dials. It needed to be reduced to the character of what a chronograph must have while nonetheless balancing some of those traits which defined its ancestor.

Swiss watch manufacture Zenith has a century and a half behind it and is resolutely taking its place in the third millennium with a new 100th of a second chronograph movement.

The 21st century Defy El Primero houses a COSC-certified in-house movement driving a hundredth of a second display by means of a central hand, with its unique signature of one rotation per second.

Its double-chain structure is based on two regulators, made of Carbon-Matrix Carbon Nanotube composite, a patented new material that is insensitive to magnetic fields and temperature gradients to a degree well above existing norms.

“With its powerful 44 mm titanium case, Defy El Primero 21 becomes the master of extreme precision. The world’s most accurate series-made chronograph in 1969 enters a whole new era,” Zenith says.