To mark its 150th anniversary, Zenith presents another amazing horological creation, we are talking about the Academy Georges Favre-Jacot which offers a magnificent compendium of the multiple watchmaking 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 houses a high-frequency manual 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. To its left, the small seconds subdial between 7 and 8 o’clock bears the logo of the Manufacture with the guiding star.
The finest talents of the Manufacture were enlisted in achieving this masterpiece logically issued in a 150-piece limited edition. The incredible technical sophistication of the Academy Georges Favre-Jacot is teamed with an equally refined aesthetic approach to its exterior, combining modern lines with perfect proportions, while evoking the brand’s glorious past. The highly polished 18K rose gold case measuring 45 mm in diameter and 14.35 mm in thickness features the typical cues of the Zenith classic design, accentuated by a brown alligator leather strap with protective rubber lining and triple-blade folding clasp also in 18K rose gold.
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, meaning for the chain to coil around the barrel, a few seconds of winding via 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.
Equipped with a grained silver-toned dial crafted according to the finest watchmaking traditions, the elegant dial features blued hours and minutes hands and seven hour-markers that are gold-plated and faceted. While the bottom of the dial features subsidiary seconds register on the left and power reserve indicator on the right, the top of the dial is pure 'grandeur' and a real treat for the eyes.
Powered by the manual wound calibre El Primero 4810 composed of 797 parts —222 parts for the main movement and 575 for the fusée and chain system— the transmission on this calibre is linked to the barrel to ensure constant force. This COSC certified movement is fully visible via the display case back. The movement includes 30 jewels and beats at a frequency of 36,000 vph to provide a minimum power reserve of 50 hours when fully wound. While the movement is beautifully finished and well decorated, we feel it falls short when compared to what's going on in the front of the dial from a pure aesthetics standpoint. For a timepiece of this calibre, we would've expected greater finesse when it comes to the finish of the main plate.
On the wrist, the watch wears quite comfortably and slightly bigger than its actual size. If you have a small wrist, this watch will likely look to big on you. The elegant and classic lines of this timepiece, make this watch one that is hard to be worn with jeans or with a casual outfit. Now, don't get us wrong, this timepiece exudes 'haute horlogerie' from every angle and the fusée and chain system will for sure be a nice conversation starter.
Sticker Price $82,700 USD. For more info on Zenith click here.