A revolutionary timepiece

High frequency, chronometric precision, reliability and stability: The Zenith Oscillator continues to evolve making Zenith Defy Inventor amongst the best launches of the Baselworld 2019

With its disruptive new ‘Zenith Oscillator’ control system, Zenith is revolutionising mechanical watchmaking. High frequency, chronometric precision, reliability and stability: the oscillator developed and patented by the Manufacture replaces the traditional sprung balance used for more than three centuries.

Equipped with the ingenious silicon oscillator unveiled two years ago, the Zenith Defy Inventor is notable not only for that, but also the fact that it will be serially produced to the tune of several hundred pieces a year. A large silicon frame that functions as the balance wheel, hairspring, and lever, the Zenith Oscillator was first introduced in the Defy Lab in September 2017, heralded as the next evolution of the Swiss lever escapement. The Defy Lab, however, was a limited edition of just 10 pieces, essentially 10 experimental watches sold to the public. But Zenith promised to turn it into commercial reality and has made good on that promise at Baselworld 2019.

Beating at the extremely high frequency of 18 Hz (compared with the usual 4 Hz) and endowed with a comfortable two-day autonomy, Defy Inventor owes its exceptional properties to a disruptive technology: the single-piece Zenith Oscillator developed and patented by the Maison.

Its properties notably include increased reliability, given that this unique ultra-thin element (0.5mm) replaces the 30 or so components of a standard regulating organ and thus eliminates contact, friction, wear and deformation; and secondly, stability, since it is made of monocrystalline silicon and therefore insensitive to temperature variations and magnetic fields.

Its powerful stature is carved from ultra-light materials: brushed titanium for the 44mm diameter case, Aeronith for the textured bezel. This lightest aluminium composite in the world was developed using an exclusive high-tech process. Three times lighter than titanium, made of open-pore aluminium foam stiffened with a polymer, Aeronith is easily forgotten when worn, while asserting a unique modern style.

Both the Defy Lab and the Defy Inventor are certified for magnetism resistance (based on the ISO-764 standard) and immunity to temperature changes (ISO-3159).