With the Oscillator control system, Zenith revolutionised watchmaking by replacing the traditional spring balance used for more than three centuries. With just a single element (compared with the 30 or so components of a standard regulating organ), this high-tech device powers the new Defy Inventor, which is being produced in a run of several hundred units and equipped with its own patented regulating organ. Like its predecessor, the Defy Inventor offers great technical performance and a modern aesthetic with cutting-edge materials. It beats at the extremely high frequency of 18 Hz (compared to the usual 4 Hz) and has a two-day power reserve.
This Oscillator innovation offers a number of benefits. Firstly, increased reliability, given that this unique ultra-thin element (0.5 mm) 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. Also, its escape-wheel is made of flexible blades, a first in the watch industry.
The Inventor has a heart that pulsates on the dial side, beneath a sophisticated open-worked construction. It is carved out of ultra-light materials: brushed titanium for the 44 mm diameter case and aeronith for the textured bezel. This is an aluminium composite that is the lightest in the world, three times lighter than titanium, and made of open-pore aluminium foam, stiffened with a polymer. The open-worked dial forms a stylised propeller, of which the five ‘blades/branches’ evoke the Zenith star. Broad hours and minutes hands sweep over the mechanism, while a slender star-tipped central sweep-seconds hand – equipped with a stop-seconds system enabling ultra-accurate adjustment – marks off the seconds. It comes with a black rubber strap with a midnight blue alligator coating.