The Zenith Academy Minute Repeater.
2012 - A fortuitous year for Zenith? I'll say. Jean-Frédéric Dufour, the brand's CEO has overseen a restructure which has brought them back into the limelight, back to their classical styling and traditional values and back in to favour with their customers.
This year's splendid trio of Pilot watches were the darlings of the watch media, a new El Primero 1969 Chronograph was the perfect blend of retro and cutting edge and the new Star Open Collection for ladies, a cushion-shaped beauty, certainly caught my eye.
So - how do you crown such a year? Zenith do it with a hat-trick of Masterpiece models to add to their Academy Grand Complications Collection, one of which we feature here, the Zenith Academy Minute Repeater.
A Minute Repeater is a notoriously tricky complication and its complexity would confound all but the most skilled and patient Master Watchmakers. Zenith bring to the bench a new patented mechanism - one track, three chimes, designed to ensure clarity, consistency of tone and perfect precision. Integrated into and working alongside the Minute Repeater is an automatic high precision chronograph - that's a total of 461 micro engineering components packed into a 45mm case - superb.
The El Primero 4043 movement is housed in the elegantly rounded Elite case, and wisely Zenith choose to construct it from 18 carat Rose Gold, warm and luxurious. Finishing is meticulous including a 22-carat gold oscillating weight embellished with Côtes de Genève decoration.
Add a silver-toned guilloché dial, a little snailing on the counters, a combination of blued and gold hands and some slender elongated Roman Numerals and the result is unconditional and understated perfection. More if it were needed comes in the form of a look-see through to the tiny hammers on the dial between 2 and 4 o'clock.
The Zenith Academy Minute Repeater comes presented on a lined alligator strap with an 18 carat gold triple folding clasp.
Dip into our Zenith archives for the whole shebang of 2012 pieces and more.