ZENITH Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane Revolución

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HOLDING A COURSE TOWARDS EXCEPTIONAL TERRITORIES…
Three great revolutionary figures, three great watch discoveries

Zenith continues to hold its course towards exceptional territories by enriching the Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane line with three timepieces in tribute to three emblematic South American revolutionary figures: Simón Bolívar, Ernesto “Che” Guevara and Emiliano Zapata. These three revolutionaries echo the three major horological discoveries with which these models are equipped: gravity control (patented system); fusée-chain transmission; and an unparalleled cadence of 36,000 vibrations an hour. Available in an exceptional three-piece limited edition, the models are are sumptuously decorated using artistic crafts rarely seen in Fine Watchmaking: enamelling, micro-engraving and micro-painting. They bear eloquent testimony to the fact that the Manufacture well and truly masters the ancestral skills that have been adorning its creations for nearly 150 years.

Zenith and travel
Christopher Colombus and Georges Favre-Jacot could have been related. Did not one of the greatest sailors of all time and the insatiable captain of industry share the same thirst for victory, the same love of a good challenge, the same pioneering spirit – the former in setting foot on an unexplored continent, when he was seeking a new route to the East Indies; and the latter when he founded the first watchmaking Manufacture in the modern sense of the term in 1865? Today, more than 150 years later, this entrepreneurial spirit is still intact. It is even strengthened by an unshakeable will to excel. Witness the 300 patents and 2,333 prizes won in the realm of chronometry: an absolute record. Presented in 1969, and the first integrated chronograph in the world to beat at the unparalleled cadence of 36,000 vibrations an hour, the legendary El Primero in-house calibre is also a testament to this spirit. And if the Manufacture shines so brightly in the realm of beautiful watchmaking, this brilliance also stems from its determination to perpetuate the art of exquisite decoration.

This approach is admirably showcased in the exceptional three-piece edition grouped together in a set and called the Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane Revolución. Collectors and fans of rare pieces will appreciate the amazing work of the craftsmen who have taken on the challenge of adorning the movement with custom-made decorations, sometimes going to the very limits of what is deemed possible, and never compromising either precision or reliability. A new demonstration of Zenith’s creative daring and its ability to make completely new movements even more beautiful than they are already with decorations crafted by true artists.

An exceptional watch viewed from the front…
Like all the watches in the line, the Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane Revolución stands out immediately from the rest of the Zenith collection. The open dial architecture gives pride of place to the movement, making it possible to see and admire the three original mechanisms: the barrel with fusée-chain transmission appearing between 10.30 and 1.30 on the dial; the gravity control gyroscopic module – a revolution in Fine Watchmaking; as well as the high-frequency regulator at 6 o’clock. The incredible technicality of this timepiece also stems from intensive aesthetic research calling upon the talents of the best craftsmen, whose skills Zenith is committing to maintaining. The three gold subdials – hours/minutes at 12 o’clock, small seconds at 9 o’clock and power reserve at 4 o’clock – have been finely guilloché and then enamelled, equipped with blued steel hands reflecting the finest watchmaking traditions and screwed to the plate with blued steel screws. The plate has been hollowed out to fit the shape of the dials and the gyroscopic module. On the remaining super-light structure, five stars including Zenith’s, have been carved in relief and coated in midnight blue varnish. In parallel, the decor of the gravity control system’s counterweight shows an entirely hand-crafted micro-painting depiction of the Southern hemisphere.
 
… of watches featuring a revolutionary back
On the case-back, the Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane Revolución has three big surprises in store. As its name indicates, the timepiece is available in three versions paying tribute to three figures from South American revolutions: Simón Bolívar, Ernesto “Che” Guevara and Emiliano Zapata. These are veritable miniature paintings produced by the best craftsmen with the help of a sophisticated system of gold appliques fixed directly onto the movement. On the first model, in the foreground left of the counterweight of the gyroscopic module depicting the Southern hemisphere, is a portrait of general and politician, Simón Bolívar.

Above him is his sword, and to the right of the counterweight are his pistols. In the background is the man riding a white horse that one can see is prancing. Finely carved and painted by hand, these details are achieved with the utmost delicacy and under a microscope. On the back of the second model is the portrait of Ernesto Guevara, known as the “Che”, wearing his famous beret. This Argentinian, who was the man behind the Cuban revolution, is standing proudly above the counterweight of the gyroscopic module, while, on both sides, his followers are depicted brandishing their guns. The characters are in gold and carved by hand, while the details of the Cuban flag, on the left, and the ocean with the island of Cuba, in the top right hand corner, are painted under a microscope. The back of the third model catches the eye with its reference to Mexican art, with bright colours surrounding an openworked portrayal of a rider and his horse astride the gyroscopic module. On the bottom right, a cactus sits opposite the portrait of the revolutionary. Here too, this exceptional work on the tiniest details was done under a microscope. Completely hand-finished by skilled craftsmen, these extraordinarily delicate adornments transform the three Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane Revolución into authentic collector’s items.

Simón Bolívar (1783-1830)
What politician today can boast that he gave his name to a country? At a very young age, Venezuelan Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios showed his aptitude for a military career rather than academic pursuits. At the age of 14, he enlisted in the army and became a Second Lieutenant two years’ later. In 1798, he travelled to Europe for the first time, studying politics and political theory – such as natural law and contractualism, both pillars of political rule at the time. In 1802, he left for Europe again and got to know the prevailing thought patterns governing the Old Continent, on which he would base his convictions a few years later. After becoming a general and a politician who was both a nationalist and an anti-imperialist, he played an active role as of 1813 in the struggle for independence of Bolivia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

It was during this year that he was awarded the honorary title of Libertador, which today remains associated with his name. Sent on a mission to London, Bolívar managed to persuade the English to put pressure on the Spanish in favour of Venezuelan interests. In 1815, he went into exile in Jamaica to think about the future of the Americas and the fate of various countries such as Venezuela, Mexico and Argentina. It was thus from there that he wrote his “Letter from Jamaica” in which one can see the influence of the Enlightenment and its great thinkers such as Montesquieu, his favourite author.

Back in Venezuela, from 1819 onwards, he contributed to the creation of Grand Colombia, a name he chose in tribute to Christopher Columbus, and of which he became the first President in 1821. The country created that year was subsequently divided into three countries in 1830: Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Simón Bolívar remains an emblematic figure in the emancipation of Spain’s South American colonies. Aside from Bolivia, a city in Venezuela is also named after him – Ciudad Bolívar – as well as a Colombian department.

Ernesto “Che” Guevara (1928-1967)
Che Guevara’s early ambition was to be a doctor. Ernesto Guevara (“Che” being a nickname used by Argentinians to label a “man”) travelled to South America during his studies and discovered the poverty in which much of the population lived. He decided that a revolution would get rid of these inequalities. He studied Marxism and went to Guatemala to learn from the reforms undertaken by the president in power: Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán, who was overthrown by a coup backed by the CIA.

To give his ideas some substance, he joined a Cuban revolutionary group led by a certain Fidel Castro and engaged in guerilla warfare for two years. The group overthrew dictator, Fulgencio Batista, in 1959 and took over power. Guevara held several positions in the new government, contributing among other things to Cuba’s transition to a Marxist type economy and to a rapprochement with the Eastern bloc, yet failing to industrialise the country. After having written several theoretical works on the revolution and guerrillas, and denouncing the exploitation of the third world by both sides in the Cold War, he disappeared from political life and left Cuba in an attempt to export his ideas and extend the revolution. He thus went to the Congo but received a lukewarm response, and then to Bolivia where he was captured and summarily executed by the Bolivian army, which was trained and guided by the CIA.

After his death, Che Guevara became an icon for revolutionary movements all over the world. A Cuban photographer, Alberto Korda, took his picture on the fly during a meeting held by Fidel Castro. This portrait is one of the most famous in the world, although the photographer never received a cent in royalties.

Emiliano Zapata (1879-1919)
 
Emiliano Zapata Salazar (the name of both his father and mother) was born in Mexico to a large and wealthy family of landowners. At a very young age, he started a transport company for construction materials and cultivated the land that belonged to him. Since 1857, the collective ownership of the land belonging to villages had not been guaranteed by the constitution. And the landowners – or hacendados – took advantage of this to seize them.

A landowner himself, Zapata adopted a style of dress akin to the hacendados, but would always be on the villagers’ side. Loved and respected by the inhabitants of his hometown, Zapata became the protector of their interests by taking the lead of a defence committee. He became involved in their fight against the powerful. From 1910, groups of guerilleros were created in which Zapata played an important role. The Mexican revolution of which they were the instigators officially started on November 20th of that year and ended with the capitulation and subsequent exile of President Porfirio Díaz on May 27th 1911. On November 25th, Zapata published the Plan of Ayala, a liberation program which included reforms. Its slogan “Reform, freedom, justice and law” was taken up by his followers and used on coins and bank notes that they began to issue.

In April 1919, Colonel Guajardo tricked Zapata into an ambush. To win his confidence, he organised an attack on his own men and went as far as killing more than 50 of them, thus instilling belief in his credibility, and promising Zapata men and weapons. Zapata fell into the trap – and armed men awaited him at the agreed meeting place and shot him at point blank range. Despite this betrayal, Emiliano Zapata still remains the architect of Mexico’s liberation, although his name has been repeatedly misused by all the presidents and politicians who followed him. 

Three original mechanisms delivering incredible precision
While Christopher Colombus was the man behind a major discovery in human history, the timepiece bearing his name houses a movement in which three major horological discoveries contribute to peerless precision: a regulator with a high oscillation frequency (36,000 vibrations/hour) serving to divide time into tenth-of-a-second units; a fusée-chain transmission system compensating for the variations in force of the barrel as it winds down; and a patented gravity control module neutralising the effects of gravity on the rate of the watch. In other words, the Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane solves problems relating to wearing the watch (gravity) as well as running duration (due to a drop in torque), all the while ensuring remarkably precise time measurement (thanks to the oscillation of the balance). These performances are powered by an exceptional movement comprising 939 parts, including 354 for the calibre itself and 585 for the fusée-chain transmission.
 
The secret behind constant force
As the mechanical movement gradually unwinds, it loses amplitude (due to a narrower angle of oscillation of the balance) and therefore also precision. Compensation must thus be made for the progressively decreasing barrel force. Thanks to the helical shape of its fusee, the fusée-chain transmission system of the Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane keeps the driving force perfectly stable even when the barrel spring is steadily slackening. While pocket watches were generally equipped with a fusée until the 18th century, very few watch brands today are capable of fitting this mechanism inside the limited space available within a wristwatch. After two years of research and development, the Manufacture Zenith has achieved just that. The transmission between the barrel and the fusée is accomplished through a 585-part, 18 cm-long chain. Once wound, this highly complex architecture featuring alternating double and intermediate links is able to resist traction of up to 3 kg. Throughout the duration of the power reserve (minimum 50 hours), the mainspring transmits its energy to the fusée via the chain that coils around the barrel. By adjusting the variations in tension, the fusée ensures the regularity of the force delivered to the gear train, and then to the silicon escape-wheel housed inside the gyroscopic carriage. While it takes over 50 hours for the chain to be entirely let down, meaning to wrap itself around the barrel, manual winding via the stem, which takes only a few seconds, causes the fusée and barrel to turn in a counter-clockwise direction so that the chain once again wraps itself around the fusée. The shape of the fusée is dictated by the optimal force with which the Zenith master-watchmakers wanted to endow the barrel. Its cone-like shape and its dimensions stem from extremely complex calculations made for each of the seven stages involved in its construction. The fact that such a clever mechanism could be developed within such a short space of time is because Zenith is a fully integrated Manufacture within which a wide range of professions, including movement prototype making, constantly interact and are backed by sophisticated machinery. Enhanced efficiency and time-saving thus become the allies of exceptional creations.
 
The solution to gravity
While the fusée-chain transmission does away with variations in isochronism (equal duration of oscillations), the movement cancels out another phenomenon that is detrimental to its smooth rating: the influence of gravity. Based on the principle that keeping the regulating organ in a horizontal position guarantees the balance the widest possible amplitude and thus optimal timekeeping precision, Zenith has devised and patented a revolutionary module enabling the heart of the movement and the escapement to remain permanently in this position. An avant-garde system brilliantly illustrating the creative daring of the Manufacture, the gravity control system is also a tribute to history, since it is inspired by the marine chronometers that Zenith used to produce. It notably borrows from these ancestral instruments the use of the gimbal suspension system, introduced on marine compasses in the 16th century to enable them to stay horizontal despite the pitching and rolling of the ship. Thanks to its self-regulating gyroscopic mechanism, the gravity control system thus keeps the regulating organ of the Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane permanently in this position, whatever the slant of the wrist. The result of five years of development, this system represents the ultimate evolution of the marine chronometer. Zenith is to date the only Manufacture to master this system, which was indeed rewarded at the 2011 Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix, in the Best Complicated Watch category.
 
Watch box or cigar box?
Such exceptional pieces deserve a fitting presentation box. The three timepieces composing the Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane Revolución edition are presented in a mahogany box adorned with corner trims and an oxbone lock. The effigies of the three characters after which the models are named are silkscreened onto a piece of papyrus embedded in the cover. The box also boasts another distinctive feature, in that once the watches are removed, it can be transformed into a case able to accommodate up to 200 cigars under excellent conditions.
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ACADEMY Christophe Colomb Hurricane RevoluciÓn
TRIBUTE TO Simón Bolívar

  • HIGH-FREQUENCY REGULATING ORGAN (36,000 VPH)
  • FUSÉE-CHAIN TRANSMISSION LINKED TO THE BARREL TO ENSURE CONSTANT FORCE
  • GRAVITY CONTROL SYSTEM VIA A SELF-REGULATING GYROSCOPIC MECHANISM
  • FRONT: CHAMPLEVÉ ENAMEL DIALS SCREWED TO THE MOVEMENT
  • BACK: HAND-CRAFTED GOLD ELEMENTS, MICRO-ENGRAVING AND MICRO-PAINTING
  • PRESENTATION BOX SILKSCREENED WITH THREE REVOLUTIONARY FIGURES,
    MAY BE TRANSFORMED INTO A HUMIDOR FOR 200 CIGARS

MOVement

 

  • El Primero 8805, hand-wound
  • Calibre: 16½ ‘’’ (diameter: 37 mm)
  • Thickness: 5.85 mm
  • Components: 939
  • Jewels: 53
  • Frequency: 36,000 vph (5 Hz)
  • Power reserve: 50 hours

FONCTIONS

  • Hours and minutes in an offset dial at 12 o’clock
  • Self-regulating “Gravity Control” gyroscopic module at 6 o’clock
  • Small seconds at 9 o’clock
  • Power reserve at 3 o’clock
  • Fusée-chain transmission between 10.30 and 1.30 on the hours/minutes dial

CASE, DIAL AND HANDS

  • Material: 950 platinum
  • Diameter: 45 mm
  • Thickness: 14.80 mm/21.80 mm
  • Glass: cambered sapphire crystal with glare-resistant treatment on both sides, protective domes for the gyroscopic module
  • Dials: three enamelled gold dials
  • Water resistance: 3 ATM
  • Hands: blued gold

DECORATIONS

  • Front: Champlevé enamel dials – Mainplate: blue varnish with hand-crafted Zenith logo and star
  • Back: Portrait of Simón Bolívar: hand-crafted gold – Simón Bolívar on his horse, sword and pistols: hand-crafted gold adorned with micro-painting – Barrel bridge and gear-train bridge: micro-painting – Gold gyroscopic balance-wheel counterweight: micro-painting depicting the Southern hemisphere

REFERENCE

  • 40.2213.8805/36.C714
  • Black alligator leather strap with 18-carat white gold triple-blade folding clasp

ACADEMY Christophe Colomb Hurricane RevoluciÓn
tribute to “Che” Guevara

  • HIGH-FREQUENCY REGULATING ORGAN (36,000 VPH)
  • FUSÉE-CHAIN TRANSMISSION LINKED TO THE BARREL TO ENSURE CONSTANT FORCE
  • GRAVITY CONTROL SYSTEM VIA A SELF-REGULATING GYROSCOPIC MECHANISM
  • FRONT: CHAMPLEVÉ ENAMEL DIALS SCREWED TO THE MOVEMENT
  • BACK: HAND-CRAFTED GOLD ELEMENTS, MICRO-ENGRAVING AND MICRO-PAINTING
  • PRESENTATION BOX SILKSCREENED WITH THREE REVOLUTIONARY FIGURES,
    MAY BE TRANSFORMED INTO A HUMIDOR FOR 200 CIGARS

MOVement

 

  • El Primero 8805, hand-wound
  • Calibre: 16½ ‘’’ (diameter: 37 mm)
  • Thickness: 5.85 mm
  • Components: 939
  • Jewels: 53
  • Frequency: 36,000 vph (5 Hz)
  • Power reserve: 50 hours

FONCTIONS

  • Hours and minutes in an offset dial at 12 o’clock
  • Self-regulating “Gravity Control” gyroscopic module at 6 o’clock
  • Small seconds at 9 o’clock
  • Power reserve at 3 o’clock
  • Fusée-chain transmission between 10.30 and 1.30 on the hours/minutes dial

CASE, DIAL AND HANDS

  • Material: 18-carat pink gold case
  • Diameter: 45 mm
  • Thickness: 14.80 mm/21.80 mm
  • Glass: cambered sapphire crystal with glare-resistant treatment on both sides, protective domes for the gyroscopic module
  • Dials: three enamelled gold dials
  • Water resistance: 3 ATM
  • Hands: blued gold

DECORATIONS

  • Front: Champlevé enamel dials – Mainplate: blue varnish with hand-crafted Zenith logo and star
  • Back: Portrait of Ernesto “Che” Guevara and his partisans: hand-crafted gold – Red part of the Cuban flag: hand-crafted gold adorned with micro-painting – Barrel bridge: micro-painting depicting the ocean and the island of Cuba – Gear-train bridge: micro-painting – Gold gyroscopic balance-wheel counterweight: micro-painting depicting the Southern hemisphere

REFERENCE

  • 18.2214.8805/36.C713
  • Brown alligator leather strap with 18-carat pink gold triple-blade folding clasp

ACADEMY Christophe Colomb Hurricane RevoluciÓn
tribute to Emiliano Zapata

  • HIGH-FREQUENCY REGULATING ORGAN (36,000 VPH)
  • FUSÉE-CHAIN TRANSMISSION LINKED TO THE BARREL TO ENSURE CONSTANT FORCE
  • GRAVITY CONTROL SYSTEM VIA A SELF-REGULATING GYROSCOPIC MECHANISM
  • FRONT: CHAMPLEVÉ ENAMEL DIALS SCREWED TO THE MOVEMENT
  • BACK: HAND-CRAFTED GOLD ELEMENTS, MICRO-ENGRAVING AND MICRO-PAINTING
  • PRESENTATION BOX SILKSCREENED WITH THREE REVOLUTIONARY FIGURES,
    MAY BE TRANSFORMED INTO A HUMIDOR FOR 200 CIGARS

MOVement

 

  • El Primero 8805, hand-wound
  • Calibre: 16½ ‘’’ (diameter: 37 mm)
  • Thickness: 5.85 mm
  • Components: 939
  • Jewels: 53
  • Frequency: 36,000 vph (5 Hz)
  • Power reserve: 50 hours

FONCTIONS

  • Hours and minutes in an offset dial at 12 o’clock
  • Self-regulating “Gravity Control” gyroscopic module at 6 o’clock
  • Small seconds at 9 o’clock
  • Power reserve at 3 o’clock
  • Fusée-chain transmission between 10.30 and 1.30 on the hours/minutes dial

CASE, DIAL AND HANDS

  • Material: 18-carat yellow gold case
  • Diameter: 45 mm
  • Thickness: 14.80 mm/21.80 mm
  • Glass: cambered sapphire crystal with glare-resistant treatment on both sides, protective domes for the gyroscopic module
  • Dials: three enamelled gold dials
  • Water resistance: 3 ATM
  • Hands: blued gold

DECORATIONS

  • Front: Champlevé enamel dials – Mainplate: blue varnish with hand-crafted Zenith logo and star
  • Back: Portrait of Emiliano Zapata: hand-crafted gold – Rider on horseback: hand-crafted gold adorned with micro-paintings – Cactus: hand-crafted gold adorned with micor-paintings – Barrel bridge and gear-train bridge : micro-paintings – Gold gyroscopic balance-wheel counterweight: micro-painting depicting the Southern hemisphere

REFERENCE

  • 34.2210.8805/36.C713
  • Brown alligator leather strap with 18-carat yellow gold triple-blade folding clasp

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