The Defy Lab firstly challenges 342 years of horological tradition by replacing the traditional principle of balance & hairspring regulation – developed by Huygens in 1675 and used ever since in mechanical watches – with an oscillator delivering stunning performance. Made all of a piece from silicon and measuring just 0.5mm thick, the Zenith gold watch 1960 Replica oscillator beats at a rate of 108,000 vph (15Hz) and guarantees the Defy Lab a mean daily precision of 0.3 seconds, thus enabling Zenith to introduce it as the world’s most accurate mechanical watch.
The oscillator draws all eyes to the heart of the openworked Defy Lab dial, but the second novel feature of this watch also attracts attention : the case made of Aeronith. This new hybrid, ultra-light yet extremely sturdy material is an aluminum composite with an extremely modern pointillisttype appearance. Initially issued in an entirely pre-sold 10-piece edition, the Defy Lab will subsequently go into serial production.
Case : Aeronith, water-resistant to 50m, glareproofed sapphire crystal, sapphire back
Size : 44mm, 8.3mm thick
Movement : mechanical self-winding, Caliber ZO 342, 60h power reserve, 108,000 vph, monolithic silicon Zenith oscillator
Functions : central hours, minutes and seconds
Dial : openworked, facetted rhodium-plated and varnish-coated hands and hour-markers
The second, more impressive feature, however, is its unusually high frequency. It beats 10 times per second, or 36,000 BPH, 25% faster than an ordinary modern watch, but an astonishing 100% faster than many watches at the time it was released. It quickly developed a strong reputation for accuracy and precision. In fact, the El Primero in this watch is, if the name didn’t give it away, a certified chronometer, and it thus carries with it a greater guarantee of accuracy than even most other El Primeros. Because it’s one of very few chronographs that beats 10 times per second, it can also measure events in 0.1 second increments, supposing that your reaction time is up to the challenge.One reason that our Timeless Chronomaster Heritage has been able to avoid the obesity that’s befallen many of its counterparts is because the El Primero is what is commonly called an integrated chronograph. In general, there are two kinds of chronographs, integrated ones, like you see here, and modular chronographs, which are also very common. Modular chronographs take an ordinary, non-chronograph movement and add a chronograph module to it. This makes it relatively easy for a company to produce chronographs because it doesn’t require the creation of an all-new movement from scratch, but it generally results in thicker than necessary movements.
Strap : rubber coated with alligator leather, titanium double folding clasp
10-piece limited edition