Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot: what a preview
Baselworld 2015 is a year of anniversaries, such as that of Zenith which celebrates its 150th, and is about to celebrate it with the launch of some important new timepieces. In January, during the SIHH 2015, the maison from Le Locle has previewed the timepiece that celebrates this anniversary, dedicated to its founder Georges Favre-Jacot: a high-end complicated timepiece (therefore an Academy) that faces one of the greatest challenges in the ongoing search for chronometric precision: the “constant force”.
A brain-teaser for any master watchmaker and that, two years ago, has seen Girard-Perregaux relaunch it, before any others, with its Constant Escapement LM. The maison from Le Locle, with its Zenith Academy George Favre-Jacot adopts a more traditional approach, that is more than three centuries old: the fuse-chain transmission chosen to solve the problem related to the loss of torque connected to the loss of power reserve into the barrel, something that negatively affects the rate of a mechanical watch.
The fuse-chain mechanism, a micro-structure that in this Zenith is made of 575 parts and is 18 cm long, keeps the torque delivered to the gearing and the silicon escapement wheel constant since, as the force released by the barrel decreases, the arm of this force along the fuse's elycoid increases.
The entire mechanism occupies half the dial, and is coupled with the hand-wound Zenith El Primero 4810 caliber: as you wind up the movement, you may see the fuse and the barrel turning counter clock wise, to let the chain roll up. The two bridges on the dial secure the fuse and barrel axis to the main plate.
In the lower part of the dial one can see the small seconds counter at 7:30 and the power reserve indicator at 4:30. The Zenith Academy George Favre-Jacot's case is in rose gold and is 45mm wide and 14,35mm thick. No information has yet been released about the price of each of the 150 pieces of this limited edition watch that at first sight seems to be a combination between the mechanical complication of an Academy and a neat, sleek design that reminds of the reassuring style of a Captain, from which in my opinion this watch clearly draws inspiration.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Zenith-Watches; Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter®