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WOTY 2014: Zenith Academy Planet Bleue


Highly Commended. Luxury Watches of the Year 2014.

A tourbillon simply wasn’t effective enough at cancelling out the negative effects of gravity on a watch escapement for Zenith’s Academy Christophe Colomb haute horlogerie watchmaking division.

Instead its boffins in Le Locle spent five years focusing on the kind of gyroscopic gimble principle that Harrison had initially used to preserve timekeeping accuracy at sea with his marine chronometers. The result was the Gravity Control module, an escapement platform that would remain on a constant horizontal plane no matter the orientation of the watch; no mean feat for a wristwatch.


The solution required that the circular escapement platform could freely rotate through any axis meaning a spherical void was required. Short of miniaturising the escapement, the only way to achieve this was to create a watch with front and rear sapphire crystals with mini domes providing the space needed.

This stunning addition to the series features fine stone marquetry depicting either the European and Asian continents (platinum version limited to eight pieces) or European and American continents (rose gold version limited to 10 pieces).


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