by Kyle Stults on May 29, 2013
These are two of several impressive pieces from Zenith that I saw this year at Baselworld. I continue to be impressed with Zenith and the direction the brand is headed, and their Pilot’s collection is undoubtedly a part of their success. Shown here, the Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT in steel and the Special Edition (500 pieces) Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT “Rouge Baron” (Red Baron) with DLC-finsihed titanium case, have many admirable qualities. I’ve got all your details and analysis, below.
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Good looking piece.
939-piece micro-mechanical movement masterpiece…25 pieces @$280,000 per…
As part of the Geneva festivities last month, Le Locle-based Zenith presented two new watches. I will get to the classy Captain Winsor Annual Calendar (a boutique-only watch) at a later date; right now we are going to take a closer look at the new Zenith Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane. As you can see, this is a somewhat unusual looking piece — with its “bubble” and all the visible components — with impressive mechanics underlying it all. I’ll break it all down — with lots of high-res looks — below.
Click through to see more of the incredible Zenith Christophe Colomb Hurricance
by Kyle Stults on October 15, 2012
***RED BULL STRATOS MISSION SUCCESS***
AUSTRIA’S FELIX BAUMGARTNER EARNED HIS PLACE IN THE HISTORY BOOKS ON SUNDAY, OCT 14, 2012 AFTER SUCCESSFULLY JUMPING FROM AN ALTITUDE 128,100 FEET, REACHING 833.9MPH (MACH 1.24), AND PARACHUTING SAFELY TO EARTH.
AND HE DID IT WEARING A ZENITH WATCH! Perpetuelle brings you live photos of Zenith watch on Felix Baumgartner’s wrist at mission completion, below!
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL INVOLVED IN THIS HISTORIC ACHIEVEMENT.
Views from 128,100 feet above the Earth, on the way out and down!
Below photo: from a prior training mission
Felix Baumgartner said after his jump: “When I was standing there on top of the world, you become so humble, you do not think about breaking records anymore, you do not think about gaining scientific data. The only thing you want is you want to come back alive.”
Like the recent mission by James Cameron to the bottom of the ocean (taking a Rolex watch with him), this is a historic achievement and a huge win for Zenith watches.
Here are the first official images of Baumgartner and the watch – a Zenith El Primero Stratos Chronograph – on his wrist when he landed safely on Earth.
And here is the actual watch, post mission. Do you think a man can glance at his wrist while falling at Mach 1?
by Kyle Stults on October 09, 2012
Win a Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th Watch (Details at Bottom)
LIVE VIDEO FEED OF RED BULL STRATOS MISSION
LIVE52 years and 2 months ago, a man, his gondola and balloon ascended to 102,800 feet — the edge of space. That man, Col. Joe Kittinger, then jumped to Earth. That’s him, above, on the cover of LIFE in 1960. At this time, no one really knew if a human cold survive a jump from such an altitude. Kittinger lived to tell.
Update: slight weather delay again!–Launch @ 11:15 MDT.
Today, in less than 10 hours, extreme explorer Felix Baumgartner (and Zenith Watches Ambassador) will attempt to do the same — except from a record breaking, stratospheric 120,000 feet above the Earth. That’s almost 23 miles! The mission is called Red Bull Stratos. Zenith is also one of the main sponsors of the mission.
Wearing the all-new El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th chronograph, Felix Baumgartner will attempt to transcend human limits that have existed for more than 50 years and smash four world records:
- the highest manned balloon flight
- the highest freefall
- the longest freefall time
- and, for the first time in history, breaking the sound barrier with the human body
You can follow the mission live at http://www.redbullstratos.com/live/. There is also a wealth of information on Baumgartner, the science, the technology — basically everything involved in the Stratos Mission at http://www.redbullstratos.com
For me, my one and only hope is that the mission goes off safely. At 120,000 feet, there is no room for error. And because this has never been done before, there is also an element of the unknown that also makes the mission dangerous.
Life or death — there is no in between when you are at the edge of space. Kinda like Jim Cameron’s recent mission to the bottom of the ocean (with the Rolex Deepsea Challenge).
Godspeed, Felix Baumgartner, godspeed.
Now, there is one last thing — you can win a Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th, specially launched in celebration of this epic challenge! All you have to do is make a guess as to where Felix Baumgartner will land — just pick a point, any point, on the map. The closest pin to the final landing spot will win. .The five runners up will win a selection of Red Bull Stratos merchandise. Big thanks to Zenith for the wonderful contest to commemorate what is hopefully a safe, successful and world record setting event. Good luck!
Recalling a neat story I came across some time ago over at Watchuseek posted by this kid Mick Mooren, I now see that Mooren has launched his own brand of watches (pictured below) called Mooren Watch. Based in the Netherlands, Mooren is just 19 years old; trying to create something distinctive, he calls his watches “new vintage” and even states so on the dial. Mooren states that “the concept behind this watch is to incorporate vintage details in a modern, but still timeless design. In this way the New vintage watch is supposed to be a distinctive watch, but with respect for the watchmaking heritage.” I would say the design is distinctive, as is the lugless case design (like another brand here in the US, Xetum), and with youth and passion on his side it will be exciting to see what Mooren can make of the competitive world of independent watchmaking.
I wish you all the best, Mick! Perpetuelle readers check him out at http://www.moorenwatch.com
Mooren New Vintage Watch
42mm steel case, automatic mechanical ETA 2824, two dial options (black, white) and straps (black, brown)
Prices are about $833 in the U.S. and non-EU, 839 EUR in the EU (with 19% VA tax) – order direct at Mooren website
Don’t miss the aforementioned story on Watchuseek (HERE) –
The gist is that Mooren fortuitously acquires and restores a 1973 El Primero chronograph movement, writes a letter to Zenith CEO Jean-Frédéric Dufour proudly telling him of his work, whereupon Mr Dufour returns the love for the budding young watchmaker and Zenith fan by sending him a NOS dial for his vintage Zenith watch with El Primero chronograph movement….it’s a great story with a great ending…
Mooren’s fully restored 1973 Zenith El Primero Chronograph
Here is a jaw-dropping iteration on Zenith’s incredible Christophe Colomb that I recently came across (seems I just can’t stay away from Marcus London lately). What’s unique here vs. the original Christophe Colomb is the skeletonization of the watch. As a refresher, the original Zenith Christophe Colomb (as I reviewed in 2010) features a distinctive bubble which encases a gyroscope-balanced regulator — the visual is nothing short of awe-inspiring. The mechanism is kept horizontal at all times through a clever Cardan suspension system, a mechanism commonly found in gyroscopes whose origins date back to the early 1500s (the Cardan suspension allows the rotation of an object in multiple dimensions). This particular piece, one of just 25 to be made, is (was?) available at MARCUS London. MARCUS clearly has a thing for Zenith, because in addition to this piece they also have the standard Christophe Colomb as well as the Christophe Colomb Equation of Time. Given that the original white- and rose gold Christophe Colomb’s were priced at $209,000, you can expect this piece with its intricate skeleton work to sell for considerably more.
As an aside, it really amazes me how many “special edition”, “boutique specials” and/or other “limited edition” pieces that are out there but are essentially unknown to the wider world of watch enthusiasts. I manage to discover new watches like this every week — I enjoy highlighting them and I am pleased to know that Perpetuelle is often the only place you will discover such watches.
Zenith Christophe Colomb Skeleton
Limited Edition 25 pieces
45mm platinum case, skeleton dial, sapphire dials and blued steel hands
The “Original” Christophe Colomb
Here is the third — and my favorite — of three new Pilot’s watches that Zenith is introducing for 2012. The Zenith Pilot “Big Date Special” is very nicely proportioned with a 42mm steel case (note the polished and satin-brushed finishes), a matte black dial, and perfectly balanced chrono registers and big date window. The hands are treated with black ruthenium and Superluminova mark the hours and minutes in a decisively masculine and modern style. Behind the dial, the automatic mechanical El Primero 4010 calibre ticks away — actually it can be seen through the sapphire caseback. Available on mesh steel bracelet or top-stitched calfskin strap. You can check out Zenith’s other two Pilot’s watches for 2012 here: 57.5mm Zenith Montre d’Aeronef Type 20 Pilot’s Watch and Zenith Pilot Doublematic WorldTime Watch.
Zenith Pilot Big Date Special
42mm case, automatic mechanical Zenith El Primero 4010 caliber (36,000 vph)
Central hours and minutes; Small seconds at 9 o’clock; 30-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock; Sweep seconds hand; big date at 6 o’clock
Inspiration: Zenith 1960
2012 is the year of the “Pilot” watch for Zenith, with three new Pilot models out this year. Shown here is the Zenith Pilot Doublematic, featuing the “world time” function shown clearly on the outer flange of the dial. Personally, I have never been a big fan of worldtime watches, but no doubt the watch market has seen many many “world timer” watches launched by many different brands the past year or two (particularly this year, it seems). Anyway…a few things to note on this Zenith Pilot Doublematic: in addition to the world time capability, there is also a chronograph and an alarm function. The alarm is activated and set by a pushpiece button and crown at 8 o’clock. On the dial, a pierced Ruthenium black and red hand shows the time set for the alarm, while an opening at 8:30 confirms that it is turned on (alarm power reserve also shown). Personally, I’d go for the new Zenith Big Date Special (which I will show you soon) or theMontre d’Aeronef Type 20 Pilot’s Watch over this piece, given a choice. Thanks to my watch friend Lukasz who runs Chronos24 for the “live shot”, below.
Zenith Pilot Doublematic WorldTime Watch
45mm pink gold or steel case, automatic mechanical El Primero 4606 (two barrels — time and alarm)
Baselworld 2012: Let’s turn to a great new Zenith El Primero piece, the Espada. Although the Pilot collection is this year’s flagship, the El Primero collection has certainly received its fair share of attention this year. You’ve already seen the Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969, but I think this El Primero Espada is an equally attractive piece. It is a basic 3-handed timekeeper with a high frequency El Primero 4650B automatic movement (36,000 vph). The case is perfectly sized at 40mm, with a screw down crown. The watch is available in a wide variety of metals (rose gold, stainless steel, or bi-metal) and dial options (black, white, silver). The watch is overall fairly understated, but that’s what makes it attractive to me.
Zenith El Primero Espada
40mm steel or rose gold case, automatic mechanical Zenith El Primoer 4650B caliber
The case, in stainless steel or steel and 18kt rose gold, measures 40mm. It has an AR-coated sapphire crystal, a sapphire display back, and is water resistant to 100 meters.
Movement is the Swiss automatic Zenith in-house caliber El Primero 4650B with 22 jewels, 36,000 vph and a power reserve of 50 hours.
Dials can be had in black, white or silver sunray, all with Rhodium or rose gold plated indeces and markers.
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