2006 Private Preview: Zenith Grande Class Traveller Répétition Minutes

“This watch,” asserts Zenith president Thierry Nataf, “shows our quality and capability to the world.” It is a familiar refrain for a Swiss watch company executive, but in the case of the Grande Class Traveller Répétition Minutes, a remarkable timepiece supports the declaration. Unlike traditional grand complications, the Zenith mixes modern features—such as alarm, multi–time zone, and chronograph functions—with ambitious engineering advancements.

The Grande Class Traveller Répétition Minutes is a power-hungry beast. Many of its complications, including the dual-chime minute repeater and the three-level alarm with six different ring tones (including vibrating mode), consume vast amounts of energy. To drive these functions, Zenith increased the amplitude of the movement from its already vigorous 36,000 vibrations per hour to nearly 40,000. The company engineers devised a cascading system of spring barrels wound by a single rotor to store the energy and another system that recaptures some of the vibration energy expended by the alarms.

A delicate touch with the minute repeater mechanism balances the power engineering; Zenith raised the device from its customary place at the bottom of the watch to a top position where it can be viewed through the dial. The company also hired a sound engineer and an orchestra conductor to help achieve optimum sound for this, its first venture into musical watches.

When it arrives next year, the Grande Class Traveller Répétition Minutes will be the most progressive grand complication on the market, which is quite an achievement for Zenith’s first attempt at watchmaking’s peak.

 

Zenith, 800.321.4832, www.zenith-watches.com

FREE PREVIEW: The Christophe Claret Maestoso is among Robb Report’s 2015 Best of the Best...
Thanks to its mind-blowing miniature movement, the thinnest of the new watches is less than a third...
The DB25 Quetzalcoatl’s dial features a solid-gold representation of the mythical serpent…
These watches prove that a simple design can be just as pleasing as a slew of complications…
The new timepiece has a fluid-based linear timekeeping display…
The new watch has multiple systems to ensure that its movement receives consistent power…
Computer-aided design is allowing watchmakers to push the boundaries of innovation...
The watchmaker puts its skill in guilloche and damaskeening on full display…
The two back-to-back auctions will offer hundreds of unique designs…
The new variation sports a dial crafted from a meteorite...