Swiss watchmaker Zenith has revealed their newest timepiece the Defy Lab, touted as the world’s most accurate mechanical watch. The watch is innovative mainly because it improves upon the sprung balance principle which has been a staple of watchmaking and remained relatively unchallenged since it was first introduced in 1675 by Christiaan Huygens.
In the Defy Lab an oscillator forming a monolithic whole, made of monocrystalline silicon (with details finer than a human hair) replaces the sprung balance. Thus the balance’s 30 components are replaced by a single element measuring just 0.5 mm thick.
This oscillator beats at the frequency of 15 Hertz, with an amplitude of +/- 6 degrees, and is endowed with an almost 60-hour power reserve. Notably, it remains accurate far beyond 24 hours of operation, which is the checkpoint at which most mechanical watches start losing accuracy.
This new oscillator maintains the same degree of precision for 95% of its power reserve. The Defy Lab’s ZO 342 caliber measures just 32.8 mm in diameter and is 8.13 mm thick and rests above the Zenith Oscillator which is just beneath the dial.
The exterior is equally impressive. The 44 mm case is made from Aeronith, the world’s lightest aluminum composite material. This new material is 2.7 times lighter than titanium, 1.7 times lighter than aluminum and 10% lighter than carbon fiber.
Ten unique pieces of the watch have been created and unfortunately all of them have already been sold to collectors!