The timekeeper from the Zenith Academy series is truly an interesting timepiece with a unique set of complications. It runs on a manual movement from the legendary El Primero lineage which is distinguished with the high operating frequency of 36,000 vph. Additionally, the watch includes a special gyroscopic mechanism inspired by the old marine chronometers, which ensures that the balance is standing in the optimal horizontal position regardless of which way the watch is tilted. Finally, the accuracy is likewise enhanced with a fuseé and chain constant force system attached to the barrel of the caliber. The last of the traits greatly contributes to the fact that the movement consists of no less than 939 components.
Gimbal Mechanism Keeps the Regulating Organ Horizontal
Zenith Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane stands out from the rest of the novelties from SIHH 2013 due to its unique traits. It revives some of the ancient principles and solutions and presents them combined into a modern horological product of immense complexity. The first one of those unusual characteristics is the special gyroscopic mechanism. Though it resembles a tourbillon complication, this feature is actually a function which is in a way actually opposite to it. While the tourbillon carriage rotates in order to nullify the harmful effects of gravity on the caliber, Zenith’s solution is the reverse one. Inspired by the marine chronographs from the old days, Academy Christoph Colomb Hurricane has a mechanism which is very similar to the ones used by them. This system keeps the regulating organ level and horizontal in its optimal position whichever way the watch is turned. Quite a neat and imaginative feature looks amazing when observed from the back side of the housing because it is shaped like a globe, evoking the explorative spirit of seafaring that inspired the piece.
Constant Force Regardless of the Remaining Power Storage
The suspension system used to keep the balance flat which has been used ever since the 16th century is a trait which was already presented in the pieces with the Cristophe Colomb designation. This cannot be said for the next trait. It is a fusée and chain constant force system that assists into achieving the constant force regardless of the remaining power reserve. By the way, the power storage is 50 hours.
It is all possible since the impressive timekeeper by Zenith includes El Primero 8805 hand-wound movement which has 939 parts altogether. As it is the practice of El Primero movements, it oscillates at the frequency of 5 Hz. Just for the 18cm long chain and fuse mechanism, it was necessary to use 585mm. On the other hand, the gimbal mechanism itself includes 173 parts. The diameter of the movement is 16.5 lignes, while its thickness is 5.85mm. El Primero 8805 integrates 53 jewels into its construction.
Besides, Zenith applied a lot of effort in the visual presentation and beautification of the caliber, which can be seen through the exhibition case back. One of the most prominent ornaments is the motif of a globe used on the counterweight of the gyroscopic contraption. Other fine decorations are cotes de Geneve motifs, perlage on the plates, anglage and finally, circular graining.
The watch has a fine looking face that suits its technical complexity. It is made from gold and includes a hand performed guilloche motif. Apart from the main dial with Black lacquered roman numerals and blued steel hands, the timekeeper sports two subsidiary dials for small seconds and for the remaining power reserve. On the top of it all, there is a domed sapphire crystal. Zenith Academy Cristophe Colomb Hurricane timekeeper is made with a round case made form 18K rose gold. Its diameter is 45mm, which is not really that much considering the intricacy of the caliber which consists of nearly thousand parts. On the other hand, the thickness of the watch measures to 14.35mm.
As far as the attachment is concerned, the new timekeeper from Zenith which was premiered at Geneva has a brown alligator leather strap with a protective rubber lining. The wristlet fastens with an 18 K gold triple folding clasp. Considering the level of complexity and technical skill presented in the new Zenith timepiece, it comes as no surprise that it is made in a very limited edition which consists of no more than 25 pieces.