Zenith doesn’t only have to be seen for being the creator of the El Primero. There’s more that the Le Locle-based manufacture is able to create. Alongside the Pilot watches and the racing chronographs, Zenith Watches can also imagine quite complicated (to say the least) timepieces, part of the haute horlogerie world, all integrated in a collection called Academy. We’ve already reported last year about a watch with fusée-chain, the very classical Academy Georges Favre-Jacot. This year, the same movement is encased in a sportier watch, in titanium and with a very modern execution. Here is the new Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot, now in Titanium.
Basically, this new Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot Titanium uses the exact same movement as the previous Academy Georges Favre-Jacot. It could be resumed to just a change of look, while having a movement cased in a differently shaped box. In a way, this statement is not totally wrong. However, Zenith did this change cleverly and the result is drastically different. The first Academy Georges Favre-Jacot is everything of a traditional watch. It features a gold case, with a classic shape, some blued hands, a slightly texture white dial, very nice but then again traditionally shaped bridges to hold the fusée and the barrel, a movement decorated in the most classical way… well, it’s not the most modern watch from Zenith (don’t get me wrong, this first iteration of the Academy Georges Favre-Jacot is an exceptional timepiece, with a very complicated movement and a superb execution. It just has a traditional look).
The new Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot Titanium might have the same technical base, all the rest (really ALL) is different. Just like the Zenith El Primero Chronograph Classic and the Zenith El Primero Lightweight are sharing the same base movement but in very, very different visual approaches, these two fusée-chain watches are playing in two opposite directions. What doesn’t change: the technical parts of the movement (gear train, barrel and escapement). The rest, from the case, the dial, the decoration and shape of the movement, are different. First, the case. It uses the masculine and sporty shape of the new El Primero collections (like the El Primero Sport), with a larger diameter and sculpted casebands. The 46mm case (rather large but the movement is large too) is made here in grade 5 titanium and alternates between brushed and polished surfaces. The overall look is faithful to the other Zenith collections and the feeling on the wrist is robust and sporty, while the Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot Titanium remains quite easy to wear (due to the lightweight and the curved lugs).
Then comes the dial. The indications are the same as the Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot – hours and minutes on the central axis, small second at 6h30 and power reserve between 3 and 6) but the design and the execution of all the parts is different. The hands use using the El Primero shape, same goes for the dial with its grey brushed pattern. The power reserve now has a gauge design, with a contrasting red hand. The fusée-chain is of course still the star of the show. Placed on the top half of the dial, we can see the barrel on the left and the conical fusée on the right, both linked by the 575-part chain. To keep these two elements in place, large bridges are placed on top of the dial. Even if this architecture is 100% similar to the classical Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot, the design is again sportier, more technical and more architectural.
The Calibre El Primero 4810 is visually updated. While the previous edition was featuring a large 3/4 plate, finished with Geneva stripes and plated in gold, the Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot Titanium adopts a radically different look. The main bridge is opened to reveal some parts of the gear train and the surfaces are engraved with a pattern reminiscent of carbon fiber, before being coated in black. Technically, the fusée-chain is supposed to bring a more constant torque to the escapement (and thus a more accurate rate over the entire length of the power reserve). This device is here combined to a typically Zenith feature, the high-frequency escapement (that is also supposed to be more precise than a slower escapement). This movement is providing 50 hours of power reserve.
This new iteration of the Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot, now in Titanium and with a sporty style is a limited edition of 150 pieces, priced at 69.000 CHF – which is, considering the amount of technology and the overall finishing of the movement, quite an interesting price (relatively speaking of course…). More details on www.zenith-watches.com.