Swiss watchmaker Zenith recently revealed its new Defy Lab, which it claims is “the world’s most accurate mechanical watch” according to a press release from parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Top brass from LVMH hosted a press conference in Le Locle, Switzerland, where the Zenith Defy Lab was presented as “both an evolution and an improvement on the balance and hairspring regulator invented in January 1675 by the scientist Christiaan Huygens.” Huygens invented the pendulum clock and was instrumental in the development of other timekeeping devices.
The timepiece owes its timekeeping prowess to a “groundbreaking oscillator.” Measuring .5mm in thickness, the oscillator replaces the usual balance-and-spring assembly. The Caliber ZO 342 oscillator vibrates at at 15 Hz, “which is faster (a good thing) than the vast majority of mechanical watches out there,” according to aBlogtoWatch. This is also three times the frequency of Zenith’s El Primero movement, itself already a benchmark in accuracy.
The one-piece oscillator is made from monocrystalline silicon, and replaces the standard 30-piece mechanism, which simplifies assembly and reduces the wearing out of components. If you want complete lack of movement, check out our comparison of three top smartwatch models.
The Defy Lab daily rate is precise to .3 seconds, and hit has a 60-hour power reserve. To put this in perspective, for a watch to receive Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC) certification, a time piece must have a daily accuracy between -4 and +6 seconds. Just 3 percent of Swiss watches are COSC certified.
This mechanical timepiece is resistant to changes in temperature, gravity, and magnetic fields.
The case is made from Aeronith, an aluminum composite that is “2.7 times lighter than titanium, 1.7 times lighter than aluminum and 10% lighter than carbon fiber,” as reported by Forbes.
The Defy Lab is beyond the concept stage and has been made in a series of 10 introductory pieces, which have all been sold. It was made in a series of 10 introductory pieces, all of which have been sold, but it is expected to see production in 2018. It is priced at 29,900 Swiss francs, which works out to about $31,000 USD at current exchange rates.
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