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tema: ZENITH - The Alliance of two pioneers - The Manufacture Zenith climbs aboart the hydroptere

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    Određen forumom ZENITH - The Alliance of two pioneers - The Manufacture Zenith climbs aboart the hydroptere





    ZENITH - THE ALLIANCE OF TWO PIONEERS - THE MANUFACTURE ZENITH CLIMBS ABOARD THE HYDROPTÈRE







    In the world of sailing, the mythical 50-knot barrier was long considered the equivalent of the sound barrier in aeronautics. Yet, at a speed of 56.3 knots (104.27 km/h) – 6.3 knots over this legendary limit – Alain Thébault’s Hydroptère was able to shatter existing speed records thanks to a truly extraordinary performance. While setting these records, the Hydroptère clocked up a speed twice that of the wind blowing over the water, without using any other means of propulsion other than the wind itself. A perfect laboratory for high-tech experimentation, the Hydroptère incorporates numerous new technical developments. This is what prompted the watchmaking Manufacture ZENITH, a pioneer in high-frequency movements, to climb aboard the flying sailboat. Alain Thébault and Jean-Frédéric Dufour, CEO of ZENITH, have recently entered into a partnership agreement that unites these two innovative leaders. Both men enjoy rising to technical challenges and are leaders in their respective fields: fluid kinematics for one, and the finest division of time for the other. A genuine meeting between two bold spirits…







    To no longer float, but to fly at the confluence of air and water: this is the operating principle behind the Hydroptère. To achieve this feat, the multi-hull sailboat is equipped with hydrofoils (or underwater wings) that lift the hulls of the boat out of the water as speed increases. The hulls leave the water entirely at a speed of 10 knots (18.52 km/h), which reduces hydrodynamic drag considerably. The hydrofoils are thus the only parts left in contact with the water, and the trimaran flies, between air and water, at up to two times the speed of the wind propelling the boat. Although the operating principle is relatively simple to understand, the technology and computer models developed to apply it are extremely sophisticated. New, optimized carbon and titanium composite materials were needed to endure the enormous forces exerted on the boat’s structure. Propelling a machine such as the Hydroptère at more than 100 km/h meant developing a boat that could withstand forces of up to 20 tons per square meter. By way of comparison, the pressure exerted on a hydrofoil is two times greater than that exerted on a fighter jet.

    Setting new records
    Alain Thébault’s flying trimaran is currently the fastest sailing craft on the planet over a distance of one nautical mile. The boat’s record average speed of 50.17 knots (92.91 km/h) is over 8 knots faster than its nearest competitors’ speeds. The goal of breaking the legendary 50-knot barrier – the equivalent of breaking the sound barrier in aeronautics – has been achieved and largely surpassed by Alain Thébault.

    World speed records
    Nautical mile: 50.17 knots - 92.91 km/h
    Maximum speed: 56.30 knots - 104.27 km/h






    The special edition El Primero Stratos Thébault

    Built to withstand great stress, this model’s black case is crafted from Alchron, a high-strength aluminum alloy. This material was designed and developed especially for watchmaking; its magnetic permeability is 50 times lower than that of any steel. Alchron is especially resistant to corrosion and boasts very impressive mechanical properties: its Vickers hardness number is 210 HV. In addition, before being used to bring the Stratos Thébault watch to life, the Alchron alloy was subjected to a wide range of tests: its corrosion-resistance was tested in saline mists that mimicked tropical climates and human perspiration, while its shock-resistance was tested using a pendulum-impact testing machine, comprising a hammer-like steel pendulum fixed on the end of a swinging arm that drops down and hits the case at full force. It goes without saying that the true goal of these tests is to provide the high-precision El Primero caliber with the best high-strength alloy technology available. Only 500 of these special edition El Primero Stratos Thébault chronographs will be produced. This edition revives one of the unique features of the original El Primero model from 1969: three different colors are used to distinguish the three counters on the dial, a now-iconic characteristic of El Primero models.

    ZENITH timepieces have participated in some of mankind’s greatest adventures: the discovery of the North and South Poles by the explorer Roald Amundsen, Mahatma Gandhi’s peaceful struggle for Indian independence, the beginnings of ecology through the work of the “Prince Savant” Albert 1st of Monaco, Louis Blériot’s crossing of the English Channel, John F. Kennedy’s political actions, Dr. Jean-Louis Étienne’s first solo flight over the North Pole in a hot-air balloon and, from this moment on, the design of sailing craft featuring revolutionary technology and awe-inspiring performances.
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