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

4.The tableau on the back of the watch is entirely made by hand.

Turn the watch over and you discover a world of hand-crafted imagery. Through the nonreflective sapphire crystal caseback, you can see a tableau suited to the watch’s namesake. At right, Christopher Columbus carries the waving flag of the Spanish crown. On the opposite side of the Gravity Control aperture, two indigenous Americans face Columbus, flanked by palm trees and a large orange parrot. At the top of the view, Columbus’s three ships sail over the Atlantic. All the elements are in gold and are hand-engraved; some are painted, while others (like the human figures) retain a silver-colored patina. The back of a watch isn’t always the ideal place for immense artistry, but the Columbus tableau has excellent composition: just look at how the tail-feathers of the parrot mirror and invert the feathers in the American’s headdress, and how both elements are echoed by the palm fronds.

Zenith Grand Voyage II back 560

5. The decorations were done with extreme precision to fit against the movement.

Manual-wind Caliber 8805 was used on previous Christophe Colomb models, as was the 45-mm rose-gold case. But in order to make them work with the highly decorated back of the Grand Voyage II, the movement had to be pared away. (From the front of the watch, the mainplate can only be glimpsed at the edges, where Zenith and the brand’s signature stars are engraved.) The decorations are also extremely close to the movement: in some places, there is less than 0.10 mm of space between the engraved figures and the caliber. Given the sparseness of the movement, it was also a challenge for the Zenith manufacture to anchor the appliques to the mainplate, keeping the whole tableau in place.

Zenith Grand Voyage II columbus engraving CU 560
Zenith Grand Voyage II native engraving CU 560

6. If you want one, it might be easier to discover a new continent.

Not unlike the Americas before 1492, the Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane Grand Voyage II is going to be distinctly hard to find. Zenith is producing the watch in a limited edition of just 10 pieces. And, like Columbus, you might want a royal court to fund your venture: the watch costs $353,000. Still, for that price you’ll get a true original, and a timepiece that’s sure to surprise anyone who discovers it on your wrist.

Zenith Grand Voyage II micropainting 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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