Zenith debuts the Calibre 135 Observatory Limited Edition
You may not have seen this: Zenith, assisted by legendary watchmaker Kari Voutilainen, has teamed up with auction house Phillips to create a 10-piece collection using one of the most award-winning chronometer movements ever produced. Rub your eyes and read it again, because that's what we have in the Zenith Calibre 135 Observatoire Limited Edition. Zenith has put a lot of effort into its Defy collection in recent years (while keeping the burners under its flagship El Primero), but keep in mind that despite its modern aesthetic, the Defy collection is made up of the most basic timepieces The pursuit of driving: precise and precise timing. So when Phillips came to Zenith to suggest that it use the historic Calibre 135 chronometer movement, the brand saw an opportunity to celebrate its long quest for excellence in timekeeping. How did all this happen? How did Kari Voutilainen get involved? Let's start from scratch.
In 1949, after four years of development by watchmaker Ephrem Jobin, the production of the Calibre 135 began. Although around 11,000 movements were produced, in fact, the movement was divided into two versions: a commercial version and one dedicated to Neuchâtel, Geneva, Cheutdington and Besançon Time Trial at the Observatory. While they're not common today, time trials were serious business before the Quartz Crisis. A win meant a boost to the brand's reputation as a watchmaker of excellence and a corresponding boost to its sales. The competition version is called the Calibre 135-O (for the observatory) and is strictly regulated by Zenith chronométriers Charles Fleck and René Gygax in the brand's timing laboratory. While the Calibre 135 went on to win more than 230 timekeeping awards, perhaps its most impressive achievement was winning the first category in a row from 1950 to 1954.wholesale replica watches
Philips auctioneers Aurel Bacs and Alexandre Ghotbi fast forward some 70 years. The duo had previously collaborated with Zenith on several bespoke El Primero chronographs, but had new ideas in their minds. "Wouldn't it be great to do some kind of super limited edition with the Calibre 135?" Backus asked. After a streak from 1950 to 1954, Zenith came back with 10 of the original 135-O moves. Every move is regulated by Fleck and Gygax, and every move is awarded in the competition.
But remember, these moves are designed for competition, not for wearing. Zenith and Phillips had to find someone to get them ready for the show. They went to the best place: Kari Voutilainen. Voutilainen may be known for his exceptional watches, but he spent nearly a decade restoring some of the world's most important timepieces (he happens to own one of the best dial makers) before launching his own brand. Voutilainen took the movements apart, washed them, and added decorations and finishes by hand, while apparently not changing the stipulation that Fleck and Gygax had made: "The people who worked on these movements were the best watchmakers of their day. They had the power to make things change. Accurate expertise ... our job is not to touch that performance," Voutilainen said. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Carolina Bucci 77350CE.OO.1266CE.02
An updated movement powers the Zenith Calibre 135 Observatoire Limited Edition, a watch inspired by the time of its movement. The platinum case is 38mm wide, with a lug-to-lug thickness of 46.5mm and a thickness of 10.35mm (7.96mm without the domed sapphire crystal) – a modern size that complements the smaller cases of the 1950s. Its round bezel and chamfered tapered lugs are a timeless design: you can find a dozen watches from 1950 or 2020 with similar silhouettes. The case is almost completely polished, save for the sides, which feature clear brushing. The pull-out crown at 3 o’clock features a modern Zenith star, while the watch has a true vintage 30-meter water resistance.
Zenith cleverly took advantage of the Comblé mine dial workshop in Voutilainen, and the result is a work of art that captures the essence of the 50s in a modern design. The outer hour track has a fish-scale guilloche with rhodium-plated German silver triangular hour markers and minute dots. These markings are reminiscent of many watches from that era, and they can be found on original models equipped with the Calibre 135, for sure. All hands are made of pure white gold and are highly polished. The oversized embedded subseconds have radial grooves and an attractive touch: the number of the specific movement included in each watch. Zenith opted for "Neuchâtel" instead of "Swiss Made" as expected at the bottom of the dial to pay homage to the origins of the movement.high quality replica watches
The Zenith Calibre 135-O is on full display through a sapphire display caseback. The eccentric gear allows the oversized balance wheel to be equipped with a Breguet winding spring and a larger mainspring barrel, both of which allow for greater isochronism. The movement beats at 18,000 vph and has 19 jewels and a 40-hour power reserve. As mentioned, the gold-plated movements are all refurbished and hand-finished by Voutilainen, with chamfered and polished edges on the bridges, beveled and polished screw heads, circular graining on the main plate, and spirals on the ratchet and crown wheels. It's important to note that the precision of the movement is not offered; while these movements swept the competition for five years, they've probably been idle for almost 70 years.
The limited edition of the Zenith Calibre 135 Observatoire of just 10 pieces is also Zenith’s commitment to its history and timekeeping, and shows that brands are becoming more comfortable with creating decent-sized dress watches – where the market is paying for it. them. If the hand-finished historic movement and the Comblé mine dial weren’t enough, Zenith will ship the watch in a walnut box with brass fasteners, modeled after the container used to ship the movement in the 1950s. JACOB & CO ASTRONOMIA DRAGON