Zenith has reimagined two of its most cutting-edge calibers by adding the transparency of a sapphire case and a hint of galactic art.
The Defy Zero G Sapphire brings space travel to the wrist with the entirely skeletonized movement: El Primero 8812 S, a manual movement that is able to overcome gravity’s effects on chronometric precision with the new Gravity Control Mechanism, which has long been the holy grail of watchmakers. The mechanism contains a gimbal that maintains the balance and spring in a flat position regardless of its rotation.
Handcrafted in a mosaic of meteorite and aventurine glass, it displays Mars on the small seconds, partially eclipsed by the hour and minute dial, with the entire main plate and bridges of the movement finished in a blue tone with contrasting metallic-gray chamfers, speckled with white stars of varying sizes.
The 46mm timepiece will retail for $159,700.
The Defy 21 Tourbillon Sapphire, a nod to the cosmic universe and space exploration, has a domed crystalline case while the main plate of the movement is finished in a blue PVD tone, a first for Zenith. Portions of the dial-side bridges are engraved with stars.
Within the 46mm case, the El Primero 9020, a 1/100th of a second automatic movement, and two independent tourbillons power the piece, with the time-keep tourbillon making rotations in 60 seconds and and the chronograph’s tourbillon in five seconds. The watch retails for $180,300.
For those 20 people who buy the watches, Zenith has partnered with Novespace to offer a parabolic zero-gravity flight, planned to take place in February.
Guests will arrive at the Novespace facility in Bordeaux, France, where they will meet with their instructors and French astronaut Jean-François Clervoy at the pre-flight conference. The flight itself will consist of 15 parabolas, where the airplane ascends then plunges in a freefall to reproduce the effect of floating in weightlessness in a perceived absence of gravity.