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Wowee weewow. I am amazed. Almost magic. Zenith FTW.
 
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Really looking forward to reviewing one of their full production incarnations of this movement down the road. I wonder if the accuracy will need to be scaled back to produce thousands per year. Given the match-perfect production of silicon components though, we might be lucky and see this amazing accuracy be on all of them.

It seems like Zenith is on the precipice of achieving quartz precision on a "true" mechanical, albeit a mechanical that no one, before this year anyway, would recognize.

It's a good time to be a Zenith fan.

As per the wild case and its Hublot input, at least it's not a Defy Xtreme.
 

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I read more about this watch here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolb...s-the-mechanical-watch-movement/#47149d9f9278

"To give you an idea of what that all means, lets go back to the 17th century, when a Dutch scientist named Christian Huygens improved upon the clock pendulum by inventing the balance spring – also called a hairspring – coupled with a balance wheel, which regulates the entire mechanism. Huygen’s invention meant clocks were newly accurate to within five minutes per day, thus giving the minute hand a reason to exist." That gives the obsession about accuracy to within seconds per day some perspective, when being off up to 5 minutes per day was the norm way back when!

"The problem with high-beat movements, however, is the wear and tear they create, which can degrade components and require more frequent lubrication. They also take a lot of power from the mainspring, draining the power reserve, which affects amplitude. Zenith solves these problems by making its new oscillator out of monocrystalline silicon, an indestructible material that holds together even when used in micro-thin components." Hmm, would have thought that nothing is indestructible. I guess the author meant the silicon is highly resistant to wear and tear, requiring no lubrication?

"The watch is an important achievement considering that accuracy and performance have been the ultimate preoccupation of watchmakers for the past few hundred years. It will keep time better, last longer and need fewer repairs – if any – than any other watch." Maybe fewer repairs to the oscillator part of the watch, but the rest of the watch still need maintaining/repairing. They said nothing about the rest of the watch being much different from other mechanical watches. I would want the watch more if the whole movement require less or no servicing.

It is an achievement for sure, in terms of accuracy of pure mechanical watch.
 

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^ Let's hope the innovation and engineering prowess did not stop with the oscillator. Obviously, the case is something to consider. That they reduced the number of components and achieved such accuracy suggests that the whole watch is of a never-before seen caliber (pun intended) and it may indeed need less servicing due to less wear. Maybe they can borrow some ideas from Sinn while they are at it.

Again, Zenith FTW. They are doing so many things right these days. Other than the size of some of the watches, there is practically nothing from the catalog that I would not wear.
 
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Homerun. Grandslam.
Yes - case and look is controversial - but being new modern movement - it was the right design approach to roll-out.
I expect they'll make it available in a more traditional\conservative cases and dial designs, and it will be a hit.
That oscilator is just sexy. Throw in the accuracy and beat frequency - and it being purely mechanical... I have to say this is watch-making at its finest
The oscillator finish is pretty bland nothing like on traditionnal zenith movements but sure it is innovative. Again it is over two or three decades that we will see if this movement if that great and that reliable.
 

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^ About the asethetics of the Zenith Oscillator: I thought it looked amazing (turquoise looks nice) when I first saw it in this video with the TAG prototype on Biver (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_GZEEExTPo time stamp 4:37), without a closer look.

Now that I've had a closer look, it's not a bad-looking oscillator, but there is something elegant about the traditional round, smooth balance wheel, and the (somewhat or totally) concentric expansion and contraction of the hairspring.

More about the technology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWh0p9Irznw time stamp 9:56: "This approach with this new oscillator and new escapement is to make the anchor and the oscillator into one piece where every motion, the whole kinematics is made by flexible parts instead of traditional mechanical joints. You don't have anymore solid friction in your axis so it allows the damping of this oscillator to be a lot less and this can be a great improvement for the energy consumption and the precision of the watch. Also, since it's now made in one part you can really optimize every bit of this part to get the best of the computer simulations."

"With this movement, you place the oscillator on top of the base and that's it. You have many less parts, 30 in fact, you don't have anti-shocks. Many problems are resolved and you let therefore many less chances for bad luck to happen. There are many less points to control and you gain in reliability. We have three possible adjustments: two are eccentric and an additional one for the lead-lag adjustment like on any ordinary classical mechanical watch. The two eccentric ones enable us to bring closer and adjust the anchor position next to the escapement wheel. And this is plenty enough to have a good running of the oscillator."

I don't understand what they mean by the three adjustments, but interesting to know that there are many less points to adjust, which makes for higher reliability.

The video also mentioned that this oscillator might be used by other brands outside of LVMH at some point. Maybe I could wait for the oscillator to come out as a $200 watch! :)

In 20 years' time, if there are no issues with this oscillator, I wonder if all mechanical watches would have this oscillator instead of lever escapement.
 

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If you like that.. now is the time to buy it.

Soon Tag Heuer will be flooding the market with cheap iterations of this oscillator. It will give a lot of money to Tag but ultimately will destroy the finesse of the novelty.

Relax .. its just my opinion
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
More about the technology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWh0p9Irznw time stamp 9:56: "This approach with this new oscillator and new escapement is to make the anchor and the oscillator into one piece where every motion, the whole kinematics is made by flexible parts instead of traditional mechanical joints. You don't have anymore solid friction in your axis so it allows the damping of this oscillator to be a lot less and this can be a great improvement for the energy consumption and the precision of the watch. Also, since it's now made in one part you can really optimize every bit of this part to get the best of the computer simulations."

"With this movement, you place the oscillator on top of the base and that's it. You have many less parts, 30 in fact, you don't have anti-shocks. Many problems are resolved and you let therefore many less chances for bad luck to happen. There are many less points to control and you gain in reliability. We have three possible adjustments: two are eccentric and an additional one for the lead-lag adjustment like on any oridinary classical mechanical watch. The two eccentric ones enable us to bring closer and adjust the anchor position next to the escapement wheel. And this is plenty enough to have a good running of the oscillator."
As usual, Watches.TV has some of the best coverage. Honestly, if you're not excited by this watch then you just ain't a watch geek. Period.
 

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I don't understand what they mean by the three adjustments, but interesting to know that there are many less points to adjust, which makes for higher reliability..
First 2 - physical location.
Think x+y, essentially to correctly located the oscillator to the escape wheel

The oscillator itself only has the one adjustment for rate.

* * *

Guy Semon's goal is to be able to market this at the same cost as a traditional escapement, they question is how will they achieve it.

Rough figures says they can produce 1million of them a year but they personally don't need that many so the options are to invest in production to provide more to third parties, or to investigate parts production for other industries; think how it sorta works the other way around with SII and their MEMS that primarily supplies surgical and electronic industries.
 

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Beats SD on accuracy. Its accuracy is in line with quartz.
Come again? In the theWATCHES.tv video, I believe I heard it said that this new oscillator is rated to +/- 1 second a day, whereas the Spring Drive is rated to +/- 15 seconds a *month,* or roughly 0.5 seconds per day. Meanwhile, the best quartz watches are rated to about +/- 10 seconds per *year.*

This new oscillator is impressive as heck, but let's not start getting crazy now.

Regards,
Alysandir
 

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Finally something a little new in watch movements. I find the large silicon oscillator (the size of the movement) to be quite interesting.

I guess Zenith wanted to show off the new technology with an aluminum foam case. However, at 44mm I will not be getting one of the 10 pieces.

Anyone know the price?
 
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Come again? In the theWATCHES.tv video, I believe I heard it said that this new oscillator is rated to +/- 1 second a day, whereas the Spring Drive is rated to +/- 15 seconds a *month,* or roughly 0.5 seconds per day. Meanwhile, the best quartz watches are rated to about +/- 10 seconds per *year.*

This new oscillator is impressive as heck, but let's not start getting crazy now.

Regards,
Alysandir
It's really hard to say at this point. For one thing, they make spring drives rated for 10 seconds per month, but for another, I don't think anything is going to match SD's stability with regard to position and power reserve. That said, it's a spring drive, so it's a whole other ball game really.
 

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If it's very easy to get good accuracy with this oscillator, would watches with this oscillator become... boring like quartz?

As in, e.g. there is no playing around with positional variance. Or no noting of changes in time keeping over time.

Part of the intrigue of mechanical watches with traditional lever escapement is that it's interesting to see the inaccuracy or variation in inaccuracy over time. The watch is like a living being, like it has moods that change, and you need to take care of it or bring it to the watch doctor once in awhile. With quartz-like accuracy and maybe less need for repair/regulation/adjustment, that part is missing. If you could take it for granted that the watch is accurate, then it's more quartz-like than traditional-mechanical-like. Not putting down quartz, I wear quartz most of the time, but there is less intrigue or less involvement as an object of thought/study with quartz or this oscillator.

Really can't please some people sometimes, right? Not accurate enough, and some people complain about it. Too accurate, and some people could complain about it too! :)

If the technology make the time keeping too easy, then there's less differentiating between watch companies that do many things and work so hard to make the lever escapement watch accurate, versus watch companies that don't. If all watch companies could take this oscillator (or take quartz) and cheaply and easily give good accuracy, then there's one less thing for luxury/expensive watches to be luxury/expensive about.
 

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It's really hard to say at this point. For one thing, they make spring drives rated for 10 seconds per month, but for another, I don't think anything is going to match SD's stability with regard to position and power reserve. That said, it's a spring drive, so it's a whole other ball game really.
Defy Lab version is also ~ 10 SPM, and the oscillator is supposed to be immune to PR. Not sure about position; it kinda seems the larger diameter might make it somewhat more position-sensitive, but that's also such an obvious thought that you'd expect it was considered, just as the other obvious issue, temperature sensitivity.

One other issue is the size. Not just diameter, but also thickness is gonna need to come down for me. They did mention they were looking at reducing the size, and it's expected the accuracy may suffer a bit, but the smaller diameter probably doesn't imply thinner. (But a different case material could help.)
 

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Hi Guys,

I don't understand how the mainspring transfers energy to the silicon wafer oscillator?

The location of the interaction between mainspring power and the oscillator is a mystery. Can anyone see that train of power from spring to oscillator?

Regards,


Edit: I just got it. The Silicon oscillator as a whole the takes the place of the escapement and absorbs the direct energy from the main spring and directs it back via the two teeth to power that escape wheel.
 
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