Upon a first glance, it’s immediately clear that the DEFY Fusee Tourbillon’s calibre is out of the ordinary. The spoke design of the bridges is amplified by their bicolor finish, where the top satin-finished surface is given a black treatment, while its polished sides are a lighter grey rhodium tone. The layout of the bridges offers a balanced layout of the various functions and complications. On the top half of the movement, one can admire the uniquely conceived fusee and chain constant force mechanism. The chain, which consists of 575 individually hand-assembled components, features a bold blued treatment: a first for a wristwatch fusee and chain system. On the opposite end at 6 o’clock, a tourbillon cage with an entirely new construction featuring an off-centered balance wheel makes a full rotation every 60 seconds. Like the chain, the tourbillon cage is embellished with a striking blue colour, reinforcing the visual effect of the DEFY Fusee Tourbillon’s unique moving parts. Positioned at the edge of the dial between 4 and 5 o’clock, a red-tipped hand indicates the power reserve, a handy feature when manually winding the DEFY Fusee Tourbillon with its 50-hour power reserve.
Since the dawn of precision timekeeping, watchmakers have sought to produce timepieces that offer unfaltering performance through the use of “constant force”. Zenith reinterprets the fusee & chain constant force mechanism in a modernistic style in the new DEFY Fusee Tourbillon. Housing the new El Primero 4805 SK calibre, a manual-winding movement that follows the DEFY code of avant-garde movement architecture with an open three-dimensional impact, the DEFY Fusee Tourbillon is available in two distinct editions in Carbon and Platinum.
As a mechanical movement’s mainspring unwinds, the torque it delivers to the regulating organ drops, resulting in less efficient chronometric performance of the movement. A centuries-old solution to counter this and achieve constant force lies within the power source and its transmission. Known as the “fusee and chain” system, it features miniature chain is coiled around a conical “fusee” and attached to the mainspring barrel. As the mainspring unwinds, more of the chain wraps around the barrel, detaching itself from the wide conical base of the fusee. The greater turning movement provided by the fusee compensates the weakening mainspring pull, thus maintaining the torque and, consequently, the amplitude of the regulating organ constant throughout the duration of the mainspring’s autonomy. Highlighting the unique technical and aesthetic prowess of the piece, the model is produced in two different editions. While each version will appeal to a different kind of forward-thinking watch aficionado, one thing is certain: the DEFY Fusee Tourbillon solidifies Zenith’s position as a leader in building the future of watchmaking.