Zenith has launched two new versions of their Zero-G and DEFY 21 Double Tourbillon, both in transparent sapphire cases.
For both of these models, the movement’s components, such as the main plate, are treated with blue PVD. Decorative elements like miniature stars are engraved onto the bridges, after which the chamfered edges of the bridges are finished with a rhodium-treated PVD.
First up, the DEFY 21 Double Tourbillon Sapphire Limited Edition, which comes in a 46mm sapphire case with a water resistance of 30m.
To this latest version of their groundbreaking 1/100th of a second chronograph Zenith has added a version of its ‘starry sky’ design to its highly technical piece. The open-worked dial also features rhodium-plated hour markers and hands, all of which have Super-LumiNova.
For those unfamiliar with it, it has two independent tourbillons – the timekeeping tourbillon completes a rotation in 60 seconds, and the chronograph tourbillon, in five seconds.
For the 1/100th of a second chronograph, the centre chronograph hand makes one turn each second, with a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, 60-second counter at 6 o’clock, and the power-reserve indication at 12 o’clock.
Powering all of this is the automatic Chronometer El Primero 9020 with a power reserve of fifty hours. The double tourbillon escapement for the watch is at 36,000VPH and for the chronograph, 360,000 VPH.
Coming on a black rubber strap with blue ‘Cordura effect’ fabric and grey stitching and a titanium double folded clasp, it is in a limited edition ten pieces and priced at CHF 180,000.
Next up is the DEFY Zero-G Sapphire, which is also in a 46mm sized sapphire case with water resistance of 30m. It is primarily characterised by Zenith’s Gravity Control mechanism, where the regulating organ is fixed to a gimbal that always remains in a flat position.
For this new piece, Zenith had to redesign the movement to open it up for this case. The dial is aventurine, meteorite and grand feu enamel on a gold base, and features the hours and minutes at 12 o’clock, a power reserve indication at 2 o’clock, the self-regulating Gravity Control at 6 o’clock, and a small seconds at 9 o’clock.
The small seconds doubles as a depiction of Mars, and the back of the gyroscopic module has texture with craters as a nod to the Earth’s moon.
Again, the hour markers and hands are rhodium-plated gold and coated with Super-LumiNova.
The DEFY Zero G Sapphire’s skeletonised movement is the manually-wound El Primero 8812 S, which beats at 36,000VPH and has a power reserve of 50 hours. The “Gravity Control” gyroscopic module ensures horizontal positioning of the regulating organ. The main plate and bridges of the movement are blue with grey rhodium chamfers, and decorated with white stars.
Also limited to ten pieces, it comes on a black rubber strap with blue ‘Cordura effect’ rubber, grey stitching, and a titanium double folding clasp. The price is CHF 160,000.
As a very special bonus, the twenty owners of the DEFY Zero-G Sapphire and DEFY 21 Tourbillon Sapphire limited editions will be offered the opportunity to take part in a parabolic zero-gravity flight that is planned for February 2022. It will be held in Bordeaux at Novespace, which is a subsidiary of the French National Space Center.
The flight will consist of 15 parabolas, where the plane ascends and then plunges in a free fall, reproducing the effects of weightlessness. In attendance will be French astronaut Jean-François Clervoy.
Is this the sort of add-on that might tip someone over into (budget permitting) buying a watch? It might very well be.
[Photo credit: Zenith]