Daring, today as in yesteryear... 150 years of creations infused with a sense of daring and an enterprising spirit deserve a celebration! For this occasion, Zenith keeps its sights on the highest peaks with an exceptional piece of Haute Horlogerie: the Academy Georges Favre-Jacot. Limited to just 150 examples, this technical masterpiece demonstrates the Manufacture’s full expertise, revealing the fusée and chain mechanism.
An asset as precious now as in yesteryear: daring...
One of the first industrial watch manufactures in the modern sense of the term was born in a small Swiss village. To fully grasp the revolution such a company represented at the time, it is well worth trying to imagine the winter of 1864 in
Le Locle, nestled in the Neuchâtel mountains. Like every other year, the season was far too harsh for tilling the soil, which drove farmers to become watchmakers. In 1865, Georges Favre-Jacot, a village youth barely 22 years old, founded his watch factory. It was not the first, nor the only one, but it would change forever the way of producing watches. He had spacious light-filled workshops built in a location where they still stand today. They were the first to be fitted with electric lighting, and he assembled all the region’s key talents there. Over the years, the factory grew into an international company renowned for the excellence of its production, and Georges Favre-Jacot became a captain of industry such as one encounters only a handful per century. While the firm remained under his guidance, the young visionary would consistently inspire his teams with a unique mind-set.
Mastery engenders daring…
To mark Zenith’s 150th anniversary, the Academy Georges Favre-Jacot offers a magnificent compendium of the multiple skills exercised within the Manufacture. More than a mere tribute, this Haute Horlogerie model testifies to a profound respect for the spirit of the founder without whom nothing would have ever have taken shape.
On the technical side, the Academy Georges Favre-Jacot naturally houses – what else? – a high-frequency hand-wound El Primero 4810 movement. Occupying the entire lower right-hand side of the dial, the power-reserve display between 4 and 5 o’clock, topped by the inscriptions “Force constante” and “High frequency”, gives an immediate indication of the movement’s high quality.
The small seconds subdial between 7 and 8 o’clock bears the logo of the Manufacture with the guiding star.
But the feature that immediately catches the eye and will strike connoisseurs is the upper dial opening revealing the fusée and chain transmission 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. While the movement takes more than
50 hours to unwind - for the chain to coil around the barrel -, a few seconds of winding the stem are enough to see the fusée and barrel turning counter-clockwise to the running direction in order for the chain to once again wrap around the fusée. Two bridges screwed to the mainplate support the arbors of the fusée and barrel, giving the watch the look of a late 19th century architectural accomplishment. The barrel is engraved with the inscriptions Zenith/Manufacture Le Locle.
The finest talents of the Manufacture were enlisted in achieving this masterpiece, fittingly issued for this exceptional occasion in a 150-piece limited edition. The incredible technical sophistication of the Academy Georges Favre-Jacot is combined with an equally refined aesthetic approach to its appearance, combining modern lines with perfect proportions while evoking the brand’s glorious past. The 18-carat rose gold case, along with the brown alligator leather strap, undoubtedly contribute to its noble bearing. The slender bezel rims a grained silver-toned dial crafted according to the finest watchmaking traditions. Its hours and minutes hands are blued and its seven hour-markers are gold-plated and faceted.
Daring, today as in yesteryear…
150 years of creations infused with a sense of daring and an enterprising spirit deserve a celebration! 2015 will be a festive year brimming with events that will be announced in due course. Watch this space…
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