Off the Chain: The Zenith Defy Fusée Tourbillon

The fusée and chain mechanism has held its place in horological history since the 15th century as the equalizer which evened out the pull of the mainspring. Its purpose? To improve the precision of timekeeping throughout the entirety of a watch’s power reserve. Zenith has long been a well-regarded name when it comes to implementing the constant force of the fusée and chain system in its timepieces. We are, of course, talking about the Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot watch. Named after the founder of the Le Locle-based brand, the timepiece was recreated in 2016 to commemorate 150 years since Zenith’s inception.

Fast forward to 2019 and the new Defy Fusée Tourbillon has been introduced as an avant-garde attempt by the brand to modernize the movement architecture of the “constant force” mechanism by combining it with a tourbillon. Available in two distinct case materials in carbon and platinum — both sized at 44 mm — the latest addition to the Defy collection features the manual-winding El Primero 4805 SK caliber.

The caliber features an integrated fusée and chain mechanism visible in the upper portion of the dial. The chain consists of 575 individually hand-assembled components in a very bold blue hue. At the 6 o’clock position, a new tourbillon cage design for Zenith can be found with an off-centered balance wheel that makes a full rotation every 60 seconds. The tourbillon cage matches the vibrant color of the fusée and chain. To the right of the tourbillon cage is a red-tipped power reserve indicator that showcases the 50 hours of running autonomy.

The first version of the Defy Fusée Tourbillon comes in a lightweight carbon case, crown, and buckle head. The open dial features a carbon fiber treatment including the central skeletal element. Limited to 50 pieces, the carbon watch sits comfortably on a black rubber strap with a “Cordura” fabric effect and blue stitching. Price: $80,900

The second platinum version, limited to 10 pieces, offers a vibrant view of the open dial in anthracite and blue. The strap is made of a black rubber core coated with black alligator leather. Price upon request.

All images by Petro Onysko

A version of this article first appeared on WatchTime India

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