The Zenith Christophe Colomb Hurricane Grand Voyage.
Zenith have just released a new version of their amazing Zenith Christophe Colomb, a part of the “Academy” collection its noted for its gyroscopic module named “Gravity Control” which was a unique technical feat in the world of watchmaking.
The “Gravity Control” module uses the principal of gimbal suspension used to correct the pitch and roll of a ship. The module apparently pushed complexity to the limit and required the creation of 60 new tools to develop the parts involved in its construction. The watch won the “Best Complicated Watch Prize”, the star category in the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix.
This new version the Zenith Christophe Colomb Hurricane Grand Voyage is a new colorful tribute to the famous navigator Christopher Columbus. A limited edition that stands out from the rest of the line by its calling upon the finest artistic crafts such as enamelling, engraving and micro-painting. It represented a challenge not only for the artisans, but also for the watchmakers and engineers who had to rework the movement. They occasionally pushed the boundaries of feasibility in seeking to accommodate these ornamental elements within the same 45 mm-diameter case in rose gold and beneath the same domed sapphire crystal – while making no compromises on precision and reliability. The result is a vivid illustration of Zenith’s ability to combine a dream mechanism with exceptional decorative touches stemming from the most prestigious artistic crafts.
Technical sophistication reigns supreme on the front
On the dial side, Zenith opted to give pride of place to the horological feats incorporated in the watch, while maintaining an open architecture providing a chance to admire its three original mechanisms in action: the barrel with its fusée and chain transmission (at 10.30 and 1.30), gyroscopic gravity control system, and the high-frequency regulating organ at 6 o’clock.
Yet this technical, three-dimensional appearance does not preclude considerable aesthetic sophistication, as well as the use of the finest artistic crafts that Zenith is devoted to perpetuating. The three gold subdials are finely guilloché, enamelled in white and fitted with blued steel hands and screws . The plate has been entirely hollowed out by hand so as to leave only the Zenith logo and a flurry of stars standing out in relief; and the troughs thus created have been filled with midnight blue lacquer. The counterweight of the gravity control system has also been enhanced with a sophisticated and poetic touch by a hand-crafted micro-painted depiction of the Southern hemisphere.
The back features a vividly coloured and lively evocation of the famous navigator’s many adventures.
While Christopher Columbus pushed back the frontiers of the known world, this model named after him pushes the boundaries of time measurement by combining three mechanisms guaranteeing enhanced precision: a regulating organ with a high oscillating frequency (36,000 vibrations per hour) for dividing time into tenths of a second; a fusée and chain transmission system compensating for the inevitable variations in the force of a barrel while it is unwinding; and a patented gravity control module serving to neutralise the effects of gravity on the rate of a watch.
These feats are achieved by an exceptional movement comprising 939 parts, including 354 for the calibre itself that in turn houses the 173 elements of the gravity control module; while the fusée and chain system comprises 585 parts.
El Primero 8805, hand-wound
A unique gyroscopic mechanism that maintains
the regulating organ in a perfectly horizontal position
Calibre: 16 ½’’’ (diameter: 37 mm)
Thickness: 5.85 mm
Gyroscopic carriage composed of 173 parts
Chain made of 585 parts
Frequency: 36,000 vph (5 Hz)
Over 50-hour power reserve
Off-centred hours and minutes at 12 o’clock
“Gravity Control” self-regulating module at 6 o’clock
Small seconds at 9 o’clock
Power-reserve indication at 3 o’clock
Fusée and chain transmission beneath
the hours/minutes dial
CASE, DIAL AND HANDS
18-carat rose gold
Diameter: 45 mm
Thickness: 14.80 mm/21.80 mm
(with domed sapphire crystal)
Cambered sapphire crystal glareproofed
on both sides, domes protecting
the Christophe Colomb module
Water resistance 3 ATM
Dial: 3 enamelled gold dials
Hour-markers: black lacquered
Hands: blued steel
Brown alligator leather strap with rose gold triple