To mark Zenith’s 150th anniversary in 2015, the Le Locle-based manufacture is set to introduce the “Academy Georges Favre-Jacot”, a 150-piece limited edition series in rose gold case featuring a high-frequency hand-would El Primero caliber with chain and fusée mechanism. The fusée and chain is a rarely seen mechanism in the world of high watchmaking — names like Breguet, A. Lange and independent Romain Gauthier (to name a few) all have their own variation of such a system. On this watch, the chain and fusée transmission is fully visible through the upper dial opening, with the barrel between 10 and 11 o’clock and the fusée around which the chain wraps itself located between 1 and 2 o’clock. In total, the caliber comprises a whopping 797 parts, most of which are part of the 18cm long chain.
The name of this anniversary piece also pays tribute to Zenith’s founder, Mr. Georges Favre-Jacot. Certainly not a household name as far as “famous founders” go, but it was in 1865 that this youthful native of the village of Le Locle founded his watch factory (he was 22) which we know today as Zenith. 150 years is certainly a milestone worth celebrating, and you can be Zenith has plenty of festive events — and watches — to mark the occasion. Stay tuned! For now, though — a quick sneak peak at the Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot…
We all know of Zenith’s high profile involvement with extreme athlete/adventurer Felix Baumgartner (which most recently culminated in this outstanding and exclusive turquoise-dialed Christophe Colomb Gravity Control timepiece), but I thought we take a moment today to look at a less high profile form of adventure that the brand has more recently become involved with, sailing. In its capacity as official timekeeper for the Spindrift racing team since 2014, it was only natural that Zenith might issue a commemorative timepiece or two.
In what I would describe as a spectacular fusion of materials, mechanics, and adventure, Zenith pays tribute to one of the great explorers of this century and a true champion of extreme challenges, Felix Baumgartner, with the this new Academy Christophe Colomb . You may recall the Baumgartner, an experienced parachutist and base jumper, and his historic jump from a stratospheric capsule in 2012. This epic and unprecedented project was known as the Red Bull Stratos Mission. Baumgartner jumped from an altitude of 128,100 feet above earth, and reached a top speed of 833.9 miles per hour (Mach 1.29!) — and he did it wearing a Zenith watch. So it is only fitting that Zenith pays tribute to this man in a an exceptional ten-piece DLC-coated platinum limited edition of the Academy Christophe Colomb model. What an incredible timepiece this is — I’ve got some great high-res close-ups and full details for y0u, below.
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This is the Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 “Tribute to The Rolling Stones”, a limited edition of 250 pieces. The 12-hour chronograph register is overlaid with the famous Rolling Stones red tongue and lip design/logo.