6 Things to Know About the Zenith Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane Grand Voyage II

Zenith Grand Voyage II thumb 150Christmas really comes to Geneva in January, when a host of watch brands present their new releases in the city and get a jump on the spring fair in Basel. One of Zenith’s debuts this year was the Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane Grand Voyage II: a new, richly decorated take on the Christophe Colomb model from several years ago. The watch has a number of distinctive features, so here we’ll take you through what you need to know about Zenith’s latest.

1. That’s not a tourbillon you’re looking at.

The dial opening at 6 o’clock might look like a tourbillon at first blush: the balance wheel is visible, and there’s a bridge of sorts crossing the center of the aperture. But look again and you’ll find Zenith’s patented “Gravity Control” system. This gyroscopic mechanism facilitates consistent timekeeping: it keeps the balance in a horizontal position no matter how you turn the watch. Like the gimbals that would counteract the effects of gravity on classic ships’ chronometers, the Gravity Control system makes sure the balance is always upright, no matter how you twist or turn the watch. It also allows Zenith to adjust the rate for the movement in just the horizontal position, so no compromise among different positions is required. The underside of the balance mechanism is decorated: lift up the watch and look under the balance to find a micro-painted half-globe, showing the Southern hemisphere. Originally introduced in 2011, the Gravity Control system is used in all of the Christophe Colomb models.

Zenith Grand Voyage II soldier 560


Zenith Grand Voyage II gimbal CU 560

2. It has a fusée-chain transmission.

The fusée system was popular in antique clocks and pocketwatches, but it’s rarely seen in a wristwatch. It can be very valuable, though: it helps ensure that the mainspring winds down evenly. As the watch winds down, the 18-cm-long chain unwinds from the fusée at 2 o’clock and wraps itself around the mainspring barrel, at 10. Thanks to the sapphire-crystal dial, all these machinations are visible, and you can see past the blued-steel hands on the time display at 12 o’clock to watch the chain as it moves. Additionally, the Grand Voyage II has a power-reserve indicator at 3 o’clock, so you can chart the course of its 50-hour span. Then, when you wind the watch again via the crown, you can see the chain transfer, spinning off of the barrel and winding back around the fusée.

Zenith Grand Voyage II fusee 560

3. The movement has a whopping 939 components.

The fusée chain alone has 585 parts, so the Grand Voyage II is already in the stratosphere when it comes to components. Separate from the fusée, the movement – known as El Primero 8805 – has 354 components, and 173 of those make up the Gravity Control module. The 8805 runs in 53 jewels; it’s a high-beat, turning at 36,000 vph. By itself the movement is 5.85 mm thick and 37 mm in diameter.

Zenith Grand Voyage II packshot 560
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  1. daPhantom

    One could buy an awful lot of base el primeros for that money.
    ….and, perhaps one could only store safely as it could prove unsafe to wear it in the wrong place.

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