Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is ‘World’s Most Accurate’

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is ‘World’s Most Accurate’

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

Today, Zenith announces the brand new Zenith Defy Lab collection that contains what they claim is the world's most accurate mechanical movement. The in-house made caliber ZO 342 automatic operates at 15Hz, which is faster (a good thing) than the vast majority of mechanical watches out there, including Zenith's legendary 5Hz "high beat" frequency El Primero automatic chronograph movement. This is a bold new step not only for Zenith, but also for the entire watch industry as it further legitimizes a controversial but ultimately wise creative direction. Zenith will debut the Defy Lab as a very limited set of 10 "piece unique" watches – at comparably "exclusive" prices. 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 "only the beginning." The Defy Lab's movement will not only be put into regular production, but it will serve as a base for future complications. The first set of Defy Lab watches after this initial debut collector's set is planned for production in 2018.

Let's step back a bit and discuss why this fast operating, silicon material technology is all a big deal. The name of the game here isn't just to be exclusive with something different, but more importantly – about wristwatch performance. In the words of Jean-Claude Biver, "I imagine this is what Abraham-Louis Breguet would be excited about if he were alive today!" While we've seen an enormous level of variety in timepiece design over the years, there is very little new in terms of actual performance increases. That means that most mechanical watches produced are similarly accurate. Of course, there are major differences in terms of how well regulated a movement is, or how well it is constructed, but at the end of the day you can only tweak a standard mechanical watch movement to be so accurate.

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

The discussion about mechanical wristwatch accuracy can be long and is way outside the scope of us introducing the Zenith Defy Lab. Suffice it to say that Zenith's claimed accuracy of 0.3 seconds per day for the caliber ZO 342 movement in this first model is going to cause a lot of people to do a double take because of how impressive it is (for a mechanical watch). Note that for production models down the road (when there is less opportunity to spend so much time choosing the right parts), accuracy will be guaranteed to +/- 0.5 seconds a day... with no loss in rate results as the torque of the mainspring winds down. In other words, the rate results are a flat horizontal line, which is something that silicon technology has made much more readily available in mechanical time measuring tools.

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

I want to also mention that it is a huge deal that Zenith even went so far as to make a claim about accuracy performance in their press release. I've read over a thousand wristwatch press releases and aside from Seiko (who routinely under-reports their wristwatches' accuracy performance – for reasons again outside the scope of the conversation), Zenith is among a very small number of brands who actually make a specific claim about accuracy performance in their documentation. For Zenith and LVMH it is about increasing transparency according to Jean-Claude Biver (who is the head of watchmaking at the group).

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

By Zenith indicating the average accuracy (performance varies under different wearing conditions) of the Defy Lab's movement, they more or less put other brands at notice that if they want to boast about a watch "designed for high accuracy," they actually need go the distance and make a specific claim about accuracy. This is a good time to discuss mechanisms like a tourbillon and how watch makers typically deal with such features. While a tourbillon was originally designed to increase the accuracy of a mechanical watch or clock movement, it doesn't actually do that in many real world wristwatch applications. Thus, watch brands often rode a thin line by not actually commenting on a watch's performance, while trying to bolster the story about what the mechanism was originally designed for. I have to applaud Jean-Claude Biver along with Zenith's management and communication teams for going the distance and not only promoting an accurate watch, but actually telling people the type of performance that they can expect.

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

How will other watch makers respond? Will it become expected for watch makers to make claims about the accuracy of their watches? I am not sure that there will be an industry-wide move to mention actual numbers, but if there is a watch that comes out with a story about accuracy and some special technical elements, you can be damn sure we will point out if they omit actual performance numbers. I think what is more important is that a watch like this, with such a big emphasis on silicon, that isn't stupid high in price, will force the industry to adopt next-generation watch movements with haste.

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

Only a few companies in Switzerland are able to produce silicon parts. The tools needed for this task are very expensive, which includes the labor needed to operate and program them. Most watch brands that use silicon parts don't make the components themselves. Is now a time to start given clear levels of increased need? Note again that investments by watch makers into silicon technology in traditional watchmaking has been going on for well over a decade. Though, little of this technology has trickled down into what we might call "affordable" timepieces. Jean-Claude Biver said watch makers will not produce their own silicon parts until they can also make parts for other companies in different industries.

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

Biver's vision for relevancy by watch makers in the future includes the bold but practical notion that watch makers need to use their skills to produce parts for other companies such as those that produce medical equipment or robotics. If the silicon part-making arm of a watch maker only needs 30% of the capacity of its output, then it is only possible to do business if the other 70% of that output is used to sell products others can buy. Biver feels there are loads of applications watch brands could thrive in being successful at serving, which could help them earn income allowing them the luxury to keep making mechanical watches on the side. I've not heard better ideas for how to maintain the complicated and arguably too-large-for-the-current-market industrial core of the Swiss watch industry.

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

Going back to the Defy Lab we have a movement which is not a chronograph. If you want a speedy Zenith chronograph, then allow me to recommend the also recently released Zenith Defy El Primero 21. Both the Defy Lab and Defy El Primero 21 share a case design and are clearly in the same family. The Defy Lab is a 15Hz time-only watch, whereas the Defy El Primero 21 is a time and chronograph watch with a 5Hz oscillator for the time and a secondary 50Hz oscillator for the chronograph.

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

For all-around watch nerdiness, both are compelling timepieces but clearly different. Both also share a fondness for silicon – which Zenith is backing in a big way these days. Silicon is what makes movements like the ZO 342 even possible. Replacing metal with silicon is how these parts are able to move quickly and reliably. Unlike metal, silicon isn't affected by temperature or magnetism, and because it has much lower friction, it doesn't require lubrication. More so, the ability to cut very small, very precise parts allows for mechanisms not previously available when metal was more or less the only material option. These manufacturing options combined with computer modeling software have allowed for a new generation of mechanical watch movements such as the ZO 342 that combine traditional concepts of how a small machine tells the time, with a lot of modern know-how.

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

In the watch community – conservatism being king and all – adoption of new technologies and techniques (such as silicon in watch movements) has been controversial at best. It was around 2001 that Ulysse Nardin – located right down the road from Zenith in Le Locle – released the Freak. As the first production watch that used silicon parts in the movement, it took years before it gained widespread acknowledgement. We now live in a time when even Patek Philippe and Rolex produce some watches with important silicon parts. The irony of course is that when techniques to cut silicon wafers into watch parts was new, Patek Philippe, Rolex, and the Swatch Group combined their efforts to research and develop the technology for wristwatches. I think it is safe to say that if you want a "modern, traditional watch" (yes, that unintentionally seems like a contradiction), you go for something with silicon in it.

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

Zenith Defy Lab Watch With 15Hz Movement Is 'World's Most Accurate' Hands-On

When is it a good idea to go "all metal" and invest in a truly classic timepiece? I would say when you are looking for hand-finished decoration and other aesthetic elements which define a particularly classic look. If you want something more contemporary, then you go with something like the Defy Lab, or many of the timepieces that Jean-Claude Biver has helped usher in at the various LVMH brands including Hublot, TAG Heuer, and Zenith.

What do you think?
  • I want it! (77)
  • Interesting (43)
  • Thumbs up (42)
  • I love it! (14)
  • Classy (5)
  • Pete Pete

    very impressive stuff. finally the swiss answer to spring drive accuracy.

    but I have to say, the watch itself is plain fugly.

    • proudAmerican702

      +1. At least we know where the “Defy” name came from; I ‘defy’ anyone to actually be able to read the time against that skeleton dial!! 😉

  • Word Merchant

    Bloody hell. That’s astonishing, and I love the look of the case and dial – and I’m not normally a fan of skeletal dials. In the video, the movement of the oscillator is a little off-putting, so not sure I’d want to see that on my wrist, but I understand why Zenith are showcasing this movement in such a transparent way.

    Also interesting that Zenith gets to use this technology first, even though it was built in conjunction with Tag and Hublot. I’d have expected this movement to go into a Hublot, so nice that Zenith gets the spotlight.

    Even the price doesn’t seem so terrible for all that you’re getting.

    • PleaseSpellRoman4AsIV

      I think it has a lot to do with Zenith needing to boos their sales numbers much more than the others. But I’m honestly happy and feel that it is a nice fit with my image of Zenith.

  • PleaseSpellRoman4AsIV

    Completely agree with Ariel on how the watch industry needs to get back to pushing the innovation and accuracy further. It’s too easy to put the hands up and say that this is the way it was always done so this is the way it will remain. And then wonder why they have an issue engaging new audiences.

    Also great to see the experimentation with the different colors. I long felt that the world needs more British racing green watches. This watch together with the Defy 21 show that Zenith are heading for a grand rebirth.

    I’m personally not a big fan of this new case material; the numbers look impressive, the actual looks is much less. But when they release the non-limited versions without this new material next year I’ll rush to an AD to try them on, especially if the price point will be around the 10k mark.

    And also looking forward to the chronograph version.

  • Hydra

    Freaking awesome! But in all honesty…the oscillator gives me a headache..give it a proper dial!

    • Pete Pete

      they might be required to put an epilepsy seizure warning on that thing in some jurisdictions.

    • I hope they realize they need additional work in case acoustics. While initially cool to hear 15Hz, past 5 min the whirling will be annoying.

    • Omegaboy

      I wouldn’t want to be looking down at this nervous thing that looks like it’s had too much coffee, much less housed in a case that looks like it’s made from a rusted boat hull. I shouldn’t have mentioned that last part because now some manufacturer will start doing it: The Titanic Watch! Timeless Time!

  • MEddie90

    Neat, reminds me of the Parmigiani Fleurier Senfine, similar concept with the use of silicon blades as a pivot though a completely different escapement. The Senfine had a PR of 70 days (much more then this) but didn’t state the accuracy, the +-0.5 on this guy is quartz level accuracy.

    Not the biggest fan of the design but all in all I dont think it matters. this is a proof of concept watch that like the Senfien and GP constant force is a real horological step forward. I hope this sort of stuff starts to trickle down into more typical watches over the next 5 years or so though i wont hold my breath.

    (also, has anyone heard any updates on the GF nano project? 180 days of PR supposedly yet not a peep after their initial press release)

  • Dr. Renato Lazarus

    “…if there is a watch that comes out with a story about accuracy and some special technical elements, you can be damn sure we will point out if they omit actual performance numbers.”

    -Perhaps. Unless you think they might revoke future access. I’m not damn sure.

    “Buying one of these 10 pieces (which are all sold out) came with some special perks. Not only do you as a customer get to be at the launch event with us members of the watch media, but they also get to take a watch home with them.”

    -OK, the second thing is not so much a “perk” as a thing that everyone who buys a watch gets to do. As for the first thing, that’s debatably a perk. And both of the above quotations are grammatically inconsistent with respect to pronouns/number. It’s a little sloppy. Particularly the second sentence of the second quotation. If you read it out loud it sounds really weird.

    Prick Phase Adjourned; How smoothly does the seconds hand sweep? (can’t see the video)

    • David Bredan

      To answer your points: We’ve put our access more times on the line than you can imagine, so I’ll leave it at that.

      Zenith wanted 10 people to think it’s a good deal and 10 people thought it was a good deal. On a personal note, I’d love to have one of these watches — there objectively are very few new watches as revolutionary as this with such a long term perspective and even less often do people get a chance to get to be the absolute firsts while getting such a complete package (not to mention the price).

      Very smoothly.

      • Dr. Renato Lazarus

        Thank you for addressing points 1 and 3.

    • MEddie90

      Sold Out? SOLD OUT? That’s Luciano’s job.

  • Potentially extremely impressive! I cant wait to learn more about this thing, and possibly see one in a proper case!

  • SuperStrapper

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b6d71526291163b807747cf119db3aff341390182f64952a0b3b42f63fe33b7f.jpg

    Actually, the finished watch is not all that aesthetically pleasing, but the movement update is really exciting. Especially considering Zenith will certainly be working to bring it forward in standard releases in more approachable designs. Surprised about the lack of Biver hate so far but he’s really done something special here, and in the case of this entire watch made really excellent utilization of the prowess found at several brands under his umbrella, including what is probably the industry’s leading material dev team at everyone’s favourite brand.

    Can’t wait to see this tech in an integrated chronograph, which is sure is on the slate somewhere. An updated striking 10th with this movement update and freq and I’ll hit the switch again without hesitation.

    • PleaseSpellRoman4AsIV

      I’m sure someone will suggest that he uses his silicone blades to cut cheese instead of making watches. 😉

      • Lindsay

        A silicone blade won’t be cutting anything in a hurry

  • Yan Fin

    Thanks for an informative article, Ariel!
    Ignoring the case, which is a definite no for me, a few questions.
    Very interesting movement, but how come only 19 jewels? Accuracy guarantee is great, but what about service intervals guarantee?

    • Fewer jewels as things like pallet stones are all silicon with this movement.

      • Yan Fin

        Thanks. Makes sense

  • #The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

    Well written article – Bravo !
    This type of piece is gradually changing my previously jaded opinion of Mr. Biver.

  • BNABOD

    Ok the cricket movement sound would drive me nuts I hope it isn’t this loud in real life. Please tell me it isn’t so. While technically interesting the whole package is just butt ugly. Thanks Hublot for intervening and manufacturing the case in aeronith aka tin foil. No dial I suppose to show off the movement at work but man is this thing ugly. Biver no doubt is involved and it didn’t tale long to Hublotize a favorite brand of mine. I like discreet, well made , sporty yet classy. this is just in your face and it isn’t me

  • Raymond Wilkie

    ” Ok guys let’s bang our heads together and see if we can’t come up with something a bit different.”. Unfortunately the cement look case does nothing for me, legibility is always a problem with a skeleton design. The noise and the movement of the oscillator would drive me nuts. That said i can’t help but love the innovation of the movement and for whatever reason loooove that sweeping seconds hand

    • IG

      Your enemies get cement shoes though, right?

  • Marius

    Technically, this is a very interesting as well as innovative concept. What’s more, as the Word Merchant pointed out, CHF 29,000 is not such a terrible price considering the new technology involved; I expected at least three times more.

    Nevertheless, my biggest problem with the new silicon “heavy” movements is that — as Stephen Forsey recently explained — currently, silicon components cannot be finished & decorated. This means that you’re getting a technically interesting caliber, but the downside is that it looks rather unrefined and spartanly-finished. Personally, I find this caliber quite ugly; it doesn’t look any better than an unfinished Seiko movement. Not to mention that the case makes even the Giuliano Mazzuoli cement watch look like a beauty.

    Another aspect that I don’t particularly like is that this new technology takes a bit away from the soul and character of a mechanical watch. Sure, accuracy is important, but, in the case of a high-end timepiece, even more important are the fit, finish, decoration, and the fact that, at some stage in the production, human hands were involved. To me, these new calibers give a rather impersonal, soulless, and robot-esque appearance.

    According to this article: “Not only do you as a customer get to be at the launch event with us members of the watch media, but they also get to take a watch home with them. The buyers of each of these piece unique watches also get a Zenith manufacture visit, an “exceptional gift box,” (which I will admit is pretty nice) as well as rare bottles of Château d’Yquem Sauternes white wine.”

    Well, as my friend Bill pointed out, these aren’t really “perks.” The fact that you can take the watch (for which you paid in advance) home is pretty much the standard procedure. The fact that the members of the watch media — i.e. Aaron Sigmond aka the watch guy aka the pen guy aka the cigar guy aka the shoe guy — is not really a perk. The “exceptional” presentation box looks like a slightly pimped out standard Zenith box. As for the wine, I agree that bottles of Château d`Yquem can get very expensive. How do I know? The Thai ladyboy with whom I live is a heavy drinker.

    • It is going to be particularly interesting to see how Greubel Forsey overcome that finishing challenge with their mechanical nano project. It’s also something that Parmigiani are currently at odds with. However, the El Primero was never a very well finished movement and I don’t think Zenith are seeking to entice people who are looking for a watch with Geneva stripes, chatons and anglage. This approach is very well suited to a brand like Zenith.

      • David Bredan

        This silicon component replaces 31 parts that used to be in the escapement (balance wheel, spring, pallet fork and its jewels, jewels, etc), you tell me when was the last time you appreciated the finishing in a balance wheel or any of those other 30 parts. Periphery screws can be fun, but in a running movement more than difficult to appreciate. The rest of the movement could be dressed in hand applied anglage and whatever (I saw today how Zenith does that in-house from Academy pieces which cost many times this Defy).

        Soul by definition comes from a human being, who in this case dedicates his/her time to work on the piece, and what many seem to forget is that new technologies don’t exactly fall out of the sky on their own. It took thousands upon thousands of hours in R&D and assembling and testing prototypes and the, admittedly quite inspired engineering work of a few scientists and mathematicians (which many real watchmakers also were, and whose names brands with alleged soul bear these days).
        Zenith admittedly worked with TAG Heuer on the silicon movement assembly because it’s one of the only manufactures with the people capable of assembling something like this correctly.

        We’re very far from all-silicon movements so traditional decoration can live long in other parts of the movement, and just because modern technologies are involved in shaping a material, it doesn’t mean there isn’t the painstaking work of a handful of very clever people who take the time and effort to push watchmaking into this century.

        • Fair argument, but personally I love the look of a large 2.5hz free sprung balance with inertia screws, jewels, cocks/bridges AND a sexy little silicon escape wheel and lever. A wheel and lever that small is capable of far more interesting design via ion etching than traditional finish for sure….

          To judge watches only on finish is a great loss because these things are like tuning fork movements, everything you loose in slick Genevan finish you gain in engineering porn. And as for soul, I’ve got plenty to say about that David – did you catch my meander on Q&P a couple weeks back?

          • SuperStrapper

            what if you love both? yes I’m a slut.

          • You filthy…

        • P. Leavell

          I keep you end up vote for a valid points.But iamcalledryan when’s the war in the end it is collectors who will be the final judge and that is to their personal taste and their tastes alone. And this battle has been won by no one for it will take possibly a decade to find out where this watch really Falls with collectors

          • I think it’s win win. So long as the technology works, when they put these into higher production at or below 10k they will do well and deservedly so. I am already interested in their Defy chrono – they are doing a great job, dodgy cases aside…

          • P. Leavell

            With the new innovation yes it’s a win-win but as far as this watch goes because of the ugh factor it will go to the collectors to decide

          • This particular watch already has its collectors. The main production models can look exactly like other Zenith models with Swiss lever so I don’t see an “ugh” factor..

          • P. Leavell

            The ugh factor for me is a skeletal face I’m not a fan of it beauty is in the eye of the beholder ur so if you like it go for it

    • Word Merchant

      I get completely what you write about soul and agree. But if we’re going to have advanced technology in a watch (and this is damn advanced) then much rather this than a faster chip running a newer Android Wear.

  • Pingback: Zenith DeFy Lab Timepiece with the Zenith Oscillator()

  • Nicolas Avellaneda Novella

    Mr. Nivarox, don’t call us, we will call you!!

  • egznyc

    This is an impressive technological step and glad to see that Zenith is being rather precise regarding accuracy. I just wish the movement were a little … prettier. Interesting Aerosmith case. Rock on.

  • Very interesting movement technology. Absolutely hate the case material appearance. I will look forward to seeing other references with more traditional metal or ceramic cases.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      Yes, the case looks like the floor in my laundry room.

  • Roy Andersen

    Amazing movement, love it.

    Does it hack?

    • It’s made from silicon, so it should *hack*.

      Ba dum tss…

  • TrevorXM

    Don’t care much for the looks of this watch, but the direction that Zenith is going in is GREAT. As a former 1950’s vintage Zenith owner, I am excited to read about this. This movement concept is exactly fitting with their heritage — which was to destroy the competition in accuracy. They did that with near complete domination of the chronometer competition in the 1950’s. Rolex quit entering at that point. https://monochrome-watches.com/case-study-chronometer-zenith-calibre-135/

  • Sheez Gagoo

    This is an interesting, ugly watch.

  • DanW94

    While the movement concept is exciting and pushes accuracy to a new level (supposedly), the aesthetics certainly takes a backseat at this point. Will be interesting to see see how this movement is framed in future iterations. And that case is absolutely repulsive.

    • egznyc

      “Repulsive” might be a tad too strong a word ;-). I called it “interesting” and left it at that, but I will admit that it does not appeal to me. If they wanted to use aluminum, fine; but why make it look like they blew it full of little holes first? I love the name, Aeronith: makes me think of that long-lived American rock band …

      Impressive new movement technology (notwithstanding the unattractive nature of the beast).

      • IG

        Yeah, I’d use “vomit-inducing” instead of “repulsive”.

        • Raymond Wilkie

          Tried to reply to your message but it was removed. Apparently inciting murder is a no no 🙂

          • P. Leavell

            Sorry was my fault I deleted myself sorry about the loss a up votes

      • DanW94

        I stand by repulsive. I turned away in horror and disgust and felt physically ill when I saw it 🙂

        • Dr. Renato Lazarus

          It’s made of Aero chocolate bars. You got a problem with chocolate?

          • DanW94

            I once slapped the shit out of Willy Wonka, boycotted the screening of “Chocolat” and tried to burn down the whole damn town of Hershey, PA, so yeah I do….

          • Dr. Renato Lazarus

            Well, I would have been with you for the second thing. I think you may be more anti-Depp than anti-chocolate. Search your soul.

          • DanW94

            Anti-Depp goes without saying….Phil and Berndt don’t have enough turds in their arsenal for his load of cinematic crap.

    • Ayreonaut

      The case looks like a pumice stone used to remove calluses from feet.

  • P. Leavell

    I’ve always been a fan of Zenith watch. but I’m definitely not a fan of skeletal face and the aluminum slage look case of is definitely a turnoff to me but kudos on the advancement of the movies

  • Berndt Norten

    Dizzy with success.

  • Spangles

    Perhaps reminiscent of early quartz watches made by Swiss companies.

    As DIRE tech gets cheap, we’ll see more mechanicals using it, Let’s see where it leads. There will always be a place for ALS and FPJ doing things their way, of course.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    After seeing the video I have to admit, this is the most fascinating watch I’ve seen in a while. Maybe even at all. This is groundbreaking. I have no idea how it works but I am very interested to learn. Wow. Looking at the “dial” for too long would probably cause a epileptic attack, but wow. Even the styroporlike case is stunning. I am deeply, deeply impressed. This one must win the highly corrupt GPHH, or they proof that they’re even more corrupt than I thought.

  • John Stevens

    Great engineering, but is half a second a day worth buying if it looks bug ugly over 5 seconds a day on something that looks wonderful ?

    • Lindsay

      One would think this movement will never be found in any other case…

  • Berndt Norten

    It makes one wonder….if this watch truly is as innovative as it appears, and it’s on offer for about 23 large Swiss francs, we get a sense of how high the margins must be at other firms.

  • Less parts and made from silicon >> cheaper (in price, not engineering feats) watch.
    No?

    Not counting the hideous concrete looking, feather light case.

  • Chaz

    Oh Dear…

    The Biver Effect has fully kicked in and he’s given Zenith a full frontal, facial money shot of Hublot DNA.

  • I don’t understand all this “revolutionary” talk. Seriously guys, this is NOT revolutionary, but evolutionary. They’re really “just” replacing parts / consolidating them into a single big, flexible part.
    Quartz was revolutionary because it did away with basically everything a mechanical watch stands for, and because you couldn’t predict quartz from mechanical. You can predict simplification and reduction of parts always.

    This is just an incremental update. Unexpected? Maybe. Fascinating? To a degree. Revolutionary? Absolutely not.

    • Marius

      Excellent comment!

      • David Bredan

        You have to understand the confines of mechanical watchmaking to consider this revolutionary. Guess what, anything electronic is revolutionary compared to something mechanical.
        I’d also challenge you to point out any other industry (or you yourself come up with a solution) where you take a mechanism as complex as a 31-piece escapement and comprise all that into *one* piece.
        Dedicating a bit more effort to understanding the amount of work that goes into some of these developments would possibly show how incredibly easy it is to never ever be impressed by anything.

        • Failing to think of a device in ANY other industry that can be bettered by less and better parts is just a lack on your part, ignorance of ANY other industry. It doesn’t prove upgrades are revolutionary.

          No one said it wasn’t impressive, or that it was trivial.

    • SuperStrapper

      Youre right! All they did was replace a few parts. They really pulled the wool on this one!

      Thank goodness for contemporaries like yourself to point out what everyone else was so oblivious to.

      Fuck you and your scumbag marketing hogwash, Zenith.

    • Lindsay

      I don’t think I’d call replacement of the entire timekeeping mechanism merely “incremental”.

      • Well Lindsay, you can! First you have to understand they’re not “replacing the entire timekeeping mechanism”, that’s what quartz did; they’re *merely* upgrading it with less and better parts. And as that is predictable, it’s simply an incremental update.

  • Yanko

    Very disconcerting and, basically, a real danger. Where is the revolutionary here?

    • cluedog12

      Danger to what, exactly?

  • cluedog12

    This is a significant milestone, even if the aesthetics of the watch are polarizing.

    It’s exciting to think of the possibilities when the accuracy of quartz is combined with the “beating soul” of an old fashioned mechanical. Once the oscillator is shrunk down and standardized, it might turn out to be an interesting replacement for the usual balance wheel and escapement assembly.

  • Marius

    According to this article: “Buying one of these 10 pieces (which are all sold out)…”

    Initially, I was quite sceptical about this statement, as whenever a watch brand introduces a limited edition watch, it’s almost always presented as being sold out. As a result, I conducted a very thorough investigation, and I’m happy to report that all ten buyers of this watch are credible purchasers. Here is the complete list, including names and city of residence:

    1. Jean-Claude; Le Locle
    2. Biver; Geneva
    3. Jean-Claude Biver; Zürich
    4. The Biver; Luxembourg
    5. Biv; Mexico City
    6. Alec Monopoly; La Chaux des Finds
    7. The Cheeseman; Neuchatel
    8. Lapo Elkann; Torino
    9. Aaron Sigmond; he currently resides at the Berluti factory
    10. José Mourihno; Manchester

  • Berndt Norten

    The material is probably necessary to dampen the vibrations. It’s being used for that purpose in the audio sector.

    • egznyc

      I wonder if we’ll see a case made from genuine kryptonite before the decade is over. It would work well in causing feelings of envy among those who can only afford standard metals. Only one individual would be well advised to avoid this material.

  • Mikita

    Piece of hublonith

    • egznyc

      Could we find a suitable name for the amalgamation (“fusion”) of the Hublot name and its alter-ego, hubris?

      • Dr. Renato Lazarus

        Hubzpah

      • Mikita

        Hublotris? Hubrilot?

        • egznyc

          Those are worthy “fusions.” Guess the former would be pronounced as “hew BLOW ris,” and the latter as “hew brih LOW” ?

      • Berndt Norten

        Hublingot

  • 200 Fathoms

    Feels like all that movement would be quite distracting on the wrist.

  • Incredibly cool, innovative movement….to bad it’s in such a desperately ugly watch.

  • Kuroji

    I support this direction. Perhaps the dial is a bit too skeletonized, though I understand why.

  • Ulysses31

    This is exactly the kind of thing i’ve been wanting them to do for years now. The mechanical watch as it is, is an inferior time-keeping device and with advances in materials and manufacturing there’s no reason why it should remain that way. It’s a positive step forward and hopefully such accuracy will eventually become ubiquitous. The weird design of these watches is growing on me too. It is certainly somewhat crude but that doesn’t matter to me as much as the prospect of finally having fully mechanical watches that are halfway decent at keeping time.

  • Kuroji

    Wood u liek too no about metal foam?
    http://www.ergaerospace.com/Aluminum-properties.htm

  • Bozzor

    OK, the watch design…no. Just doesn’t gel. But the movement? This is a breakthrough at the same level as the first Seiko Astron quartz. Why? Simply because it is so radically different from anything before it in approach, that it brings a huge leap in real world performance, it is actually a simplification that removes components (an absolute target of real world mechanical engineering) and simplifies production using a radical new technology.

    Absolute kudos to Zenith, they have just rewritten the rules of mechanical watchmaking.

    • Pete Pete

      I’m with esteban on this topic. a great step in the evolution of mechanical watches, but certainly no revolution (like the astron).

      • Bozzor

        The Astron was a revolution because it introduced a radical new technology into the mainstream: this is a revolution because it takes an “old world” idea of mechanical timekeeping and takes it to an incredible level of accuracy. And it will only get better with improved tech, which is still early days. Still, evolution or revolution, this will be something discussed long into the future.

  • TechUser2011

    It’s little wonder that TAG Heuer developed the movement. They are the masters of the in-house movement. Great company. No wonder they are doing so well.

    • palettj

      Hahahaha, well played.

  • Rob D

    While I get why they did it, but I really wish they’d used something a little less hideous for the case material, or produced a few in a ceramic case and some in titanium to show off a few different styles.
    The movement looks fantastic, and I love how they’ve incorporated the star into it, but it’s not something I’d be able to wear.
    When the non limited editions of this come out and are toned down a little I’d be very interested.
    Good to see a pretty reasonable price for something that’s a unique piece, I was expecting the price to be at least £50k

  • Shinytoys

    That is a super cool watch with even cooler, more outrageous build and design. Love the cosmetics as well. Make mine green…

  • frauss

    This is an incredible watch! Now imagine if instead of the little air bubbles, each space were filled by a tiny diamond. That would kick bling up to a new level!

  • Chemistman

    Amazing!!! Love it

  • Pingback: The Zenith Defy Lab is the world’s most accurate mechanical watch()

  • Norbs K

    This new movement is really cool. I wonder if they could reach Bulova Accutron level in frequency. That would be amazing.
    I have the strange feeling this tech won’t get into the affordable category in my lifetime.
    Need to plan a bank heist then…

    • Lindsay

      It’s just* a piece of etched and coated monocrystalline silicon, which I suspect could be driven down to the order of double-digit (or even single-digit!) dollars per part. The big cost is in its development.

      * This is not to belittle the achievement, which I think is very impressive.

      • Norbs K

        I’m more concerned about how much patenting they did on the stuff. And how that will impact the market. It will make harder for other manufacturers to reproduce this, or just to come up with something similar.
        Although, there is a good chance a Chinese manufacturer will copy it as it is and sell it $10 a pop.

  • Mark1884

    Movement is interesting.
    Hate the case!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bill Cook

    Well, this has been an experience, no disrespect intended but you should have a cover charge to keep out riff raff like myself. I probably love and respect watches as jewelry, not timepieces more than anyone that has ever entered this watch Disneyland, I came sliding in here like Alec Baldwin…..and quickly became Ed Harris, and if you do not understand the reference then you are guilty of missing the most iconic watch one liner in the history of American cinema, which is axiomatic with most which in itself is an oxymoron, allow me………1992`s Glengarry Glenross…first 20 minutes or so. I have 12 watches, the majority of which came from tv`s Evine channel where they let me make 6 payments. If your not reaching for something to wipe the tears from your eyes from just pure laughter by now I dont know why, my biggest purchase to date has been the 8 ounce Invicta Pro Diver Scuba edition, the payments were a mind blowing 12.00 a month I believe with their msrp being approx. 300.00, caught it on 4th of July or something, I like having a watch that I can also use as personal protection if given the need to remove and throw like Oddjob`s hat. In closing I have to share one more scene you have not or probably will not ever see……Peter Falk`s Columbo is in Van Cleef and Arpels on Rodeo Dr waiting to talk to the owner, while he is waiting he asks a young lady if they sold watch bands, his watch was in his pocket, she says yes of course as she takes it and says let`s see….uh 7 jewels, shock resistant, etc, she says we have a large selection starting at 20.00, he says no maam I dont need a watch, just a band, she of course says that is just for the band and he says he will wait to another time. Now I know why I watch Columbo……and for the car guys here Jaguar just came out with the Pace suv, first one they ever made, the short video says sometimes having the correct time opens doors……that`s right the actor holds his watch up to the emblem on the hatch and it opens it, with my watch I can always bust out the glass in a pinch.
    Thanx fellas it has certainly been an education about how the other half lives. I apologize about the Tolstoy length of this thing.

    William H. Cook

  • Norbs K

    Don’t understand why people hate the case so much.
    Yes, it’s not the prettiest of the bunch, but I think the reason they left it so raw and didn’t give it a coating of some sort is to show the material as it is.
    Having something that is lighter as titanium and still have similar properties is awesome.
    Think about the watch as a tech demo on the outside as well as on the inside.

  • commentator bob

    This is the kind of thing I would like to see “American” watch companies making instead of Unitas 6497/6498 clones.