Zenith Defy Lab

written by YWH team 19 December 2017
Zenith Defy Lab 27.9000.342/78.R582
Quick specs Zenith Defy Lab
Price: CHF 29,900 | approx. € 25.700 | approx. £ 22,700 | approx. $ 30,200
Size: 44 mm
Reference: 27.9000.342/78.R582
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A revolution in watchmaking. A hollow phrase that is often used in the watch world. But actually, this time around it is quite correct. The new Zenith Defy Lab is the most accurate mechanical watch in the world. So far.

How accurate? The movement beats at the incredible frequency of 15 Hertz, with an amplitude of +/- 6 degrees. And it has a power-reserve of roughly 60 hours, which is over 10 percent more than that of the El Primero. Despite a three times higher frequency.

This means that its daily accuracy is within 0.3 seconds. To compare: a COSC-certified chronometer has to be accurate from -4 seconds to +6 seconds. The precision of the Defy Lab will be the same for 95 percent of its power-reserve. Pretty impressive to say the least and understandable that the always bombastic Jean-Claude Biver – CEO of the LVMH watch division – was ecstatic when he presented the watch.

Zenith has accomplished all this through a change of a principle that has not really changed a long time. In fact, not since the invention of the balance and hairspring principle (sprung balance) in 1675 by Christiaan Huygens.

The trick? A new oscillator forming a monolithic whole, made of monocrystalline silicon (with details finer than a human hair), replaces the sprung balance. The approximate 30 components of a standard regulating organ are now replaced by a single element measuring just 0.5 millimeter in thickness. Usually this is around 5 millimeters. Also, it does not require assembly, adjustment, timing, testing and lubrication.

The Zenith Defy Lab is limited to 10 pieces and sold out

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In addition, it is insensitive to temperature gradients, gravity and magnetic fields. This brings the Zenith Defy Lab a triple certification with a chronometer certification by the Besançon Observatory. An ISO-3159 certification due to the little influence of temperature on the movement. And finally, an ISO-764 certification due to its anti-magnetic qualities, the watch can withstand 1,100 Gauss.

All this is housed in a 44-millimeter case of Aeronith, an aluminium foam composite. The watch comes on a black rubber strap with alligator leather coating and there are 10 models. These 10 unique pieces in different colors have all been sold, but serial production will commence in 2018.

Zenith has been making mechanical watches for 152 years. They have produced the iconic El Primero movement in that period. Now they have, yet again, produced a movement that will definitely be one for the history books. Watch the video below the specs to see the technical aspects of the watch.

Zenith Defy Lab 27.9000.342/78.R582 side

technical data Zenith Defy Lab
27.9000.342/78.R582 (limited to 10 different pieces)
Zenith ZO 342 | Automatic | Diameter: 32.80 mm / 14¼ lignes | Thickness: 8.13 mm | Frequency: 108,000 vph (15 Hz) | Jewels: 18 | Parts: 148 | COSC certified | Côtes de Genève | Monolithic regulating organ made out of silicon | Hours, minutes, seconds | Power-reserve: 60 hours
Case & dial:
44 mm | Aeronith (aluminium foam composite) | Thickness: 14.5 mm | Anti-reflective domed sapphire crystal | Anti-reflective sapphire case back | Open-worked dial | Rhodium-plated hour markers and hands faced and coated with black varnish | Water-resistance: 5 ATM / 5 bar / 50 meters / 165 feet
Black rubber with alligator leather coating | Titanium double folding buckle
Price Zenith Defy Lab:
CHF 29,900 | approx. € 25.700 | approx. £ 22,700 | approx. $ 30,200

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