Zenith recently announced the creation of their Defy Xtreme Tourbillon ZERO-G El Primero, a $500,000 monster of a watch that has certainly drawn an equal amount of praise and criticism from watch lovers.
Zenith’s gyroscope cage Tourbillon uses an escapement mounted on cardan joints similar to marine chronometers. The instrument, which is sensitive to changes of position, is kept in a constant horizontal position which ensures optimal amplitude for the spiral balance-wheel. Coordination is provided by a second gear train which is the reference point for the swinging of the escapement axles and a differential gear with inverter compensates all the relative movements of the framework.
Zenith’s Zero-G Tourbillon, whose cage alone comprises 166 of the 294 parts that make up the device, 10 conical geared wheels with spiral teeth and 6 ball-bearings, was developed from the El Primero automatic caliber that beats at the record speed of 36,000 vibrations an hour.
The Zenith Zero-G features a multi-layered dial made of Hesalite glass, carbon fibre and aluminium beneath two sapphire glasses, a blackened titanium case that is waterproof at 1000 meters, a black shot-peened titanium case, a protected crown, helium valve and titanium bracelet with Kevlar inserts.
This is certainly not a watch for the faint of heart (or light wallet-ed)…