zenith defy lab


What’s new on the market? The Defy Lab by Zenith is exceeding expectations and revolutionising watchmaking with an oscillator that’s set to challenge the foundations of watchmaking mechanics.

Three centuries! For 342 years the principle of regulating time with a balance spring formed the foundation as you can see in any mechanical watch past and present. The concept was presented in 1675 by the Dutch astronomer, mathematician and physician Christian Huygens but has never been challenged until Zenith decided to do things differently.

zenith defy lab calibre

The Defy Lab is so much more than a new watch on the market. Following a project bringing together Zenith, TAG Heuer and Hublot (watch brands in the LVHM group), the Defy Lab marks a crucial step forward: its oscillator breaks the traditional balance spring norms to form a single piece, a monocrystalline silicon unit which doesn’t need to be set, lubricated with oil or assembled with however many components are usually required for it to work. This new regulating organ is also surprisingly slim (0.5mm as opposed to the usual 5mm) with an unusual frequency of 15Hz (108,000 beats/minute) at an amplitude of +/-6 degrees. This all means incredible accuracy at an average of 0.3 seconds per day which is quite something compared to the COSC requirements of -4/+6 seconds per day! Let’s not forget that the oscillator doesn’t lose more than 5% of this accuracy during the watch’s 60-hour power reserve whose 44mm case is made in Aeronith, the world’s lightest aluminium alloy.

zenith defy lab oscillator

Zenith, the renowned champion of the high frequency chronograph, has treated the Defy Lab to an oscillator that isn’t affected by magnetic fields, gravity or temperature. The ZO 342 calibre has been given an update and the Le Locle-based brand has proudly revolutionised Christian Huygens’ fundamental principle with ten unique pieces that were unveiled at the launch.

Price: CHF29,900 zenith.com

By Isabelle Guignet