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Zenith Calibre 135 Observatoire Limited Edition: The Reincarnation of Calibre 135-O

Zenith Calibre 135 Observatoire Limited Edition: The Reincarnation of Calibre 135-O

Zenith Calibre 135 Observatoire Limited Edition

The Zenith Calibre 135 Observatoire Limited Edition is the result of a collaboration between Zenith, watchmaker Kari Voutilainen and Phillips with Bacs & Russo. The small edition celebrates the manufacture’s success in chronometer competitions held in the last century. Indeed, the in-house Calibre 135-O won the most awards in the history of watchmaking. For this release, Zenith placed ten historic movements in the hands of Kari Voutilainen. The latter restored the calibres together with his team. The limited edition appears in a platinum case and will be auctioned by Phillips.

The Case

The case of the Calibre 135 Observatoire Limited Edition measures 38 mm in diameter and is made of platinum 950. It is completely round with tapered lugs. The polished bezel and case back complement the satin-finish middle section. On the side is a fluted crown bearing the Zenith star. Meanwhile, on the back, the see-through case back allows a glance inside the watch. The case back not only bears the limitation number, but also the names of the three collaborators.

The Dial

For the dial, the watchmakers drew inspiration from references dating back to the 1950s. Accordingly, the slightly domed sterling silver dial bears a guilloched fish-scale pattern. This is complemented by faceted, wedge-shaped indices and polished dot markers in nickel silver. The hands are of gold and indicate the time together with the seconds at 6 o’clock. Zenith also places the serial number of the movement on the corresponding subdial. Hidden at the very bottom is another detail that illustrates the watch’s historical connection. Where you would normally find “Swiss Made”, here it says “Neuchâtel”, the place where the chronometer competitions took place.

The Movement

For this series, Zenith placed ten historic examples of calibre 135 in the hands of Kari Voutilainen. Together with his team, he restored the movements. However, they took care to retain the original construction and did not even touch the regulation. Instead, they decorated the movements with bevelled and polished edges, polished screw heads, circular grinding on the main plate and snailed brushing on the ratchet wheel. The calibre 135 is manually wound and has a power autonomy of about 40 hours.

Price & Availability of the Zenith Calibre 135 Observatoire Limited Edition

The Zenith Calibre 135 Observatoire comes on a black calfskin strap. It also features a white gold pin buckle. The watch is delivered in a walnut box, which recalls the containers in which the historic timekeepers were delivered to the Neuchâtel Observatory. Only ten pieces are available. Phillips sells these exclusively together with Bacs & Russo. The price is 132,900 Swiss francs.



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Calibre 135 Observatoire Limited Edition

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Diameter: 38 mm

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3 bar (~30 m)

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Sterling silver with matt black finish

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Black calfskin with white gold pin buckle

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Calibre 135

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40 hours

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18,000 vph (2.5 Hz)

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Hours, minute, small seconds

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CHF 132,900 – Limited to 10 pieces