In October 2007, Swiss luxury watch brand Wyler Genève and Italy’s Atelier Zagato unveiled a special-edition watch to seal the long-term partnership between the two companies announced at the Geneva Motor Show 2007. The Wyler-Zagato watch is the first timepiece to bear the hallmark of the famous Italian atelier.
The high-end timepiece uses the same case, made of highly resistant titanium, as Wyler Genève’s exclusive tourbillon models and features a shock-absorbing case design in which the movement is housed in a water resistant titanium container that is cushioned between the bezel and case back in a carbon-fibre resin frame that is fixed on four sprung titanium screws. This gives the movement a form of shock protection that is similar to a car’s suspension. Additional shock protection is provided by the crown protector, which has to be opened on either side of the crown before the crown can be used to adjust the time.
Working within the micro-mechanical tolerances required in watchmaking, the designers at Zagato have succeeded in translating the unmistakable signature of Zagato cars on to a watch dial that is no bigger than a car’s door lock. The key to this is the use of a brushed aluminium look that is divided into two zones by the familiar “double bubble” shape seen on roof line of many of Zagato’s creations. The applied “Z” trademark in red at 9 o’clock reaffirms the model’s pedigree and, together with the red-tipped seconds hand, adds a sporty touch to the watch. Applied hour markers and the individually applied letters of the Wyler name complete the luxury finish of the dial and a closer look at the power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock gives a clue to the unusual heart that beats inside.
The Wyler-Zagato watch is powered by a manual winding manufacture movement that has an 8-day power reserve, which is achieved by the use of two barrel springs operating in series. Taking its inspiration from a car’s dashboard, the power reserve display stands out with its “E” (empty) and “F” (full) markings.
Following Zagato’s philosophy of producing strictly limited editions of its automobile’s, the Wyler-Zagato watch is also a limited edition of only 25 pieces, each of which has its individual number engraved both on the case back and the movement itself.
For perfect legibility, the time is displayed by the familiar hollowed-out Wyler Genève hands with luminous SuperLuminova inserts. The front and back glass is made of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal to ensure a perfect view of the dial and movement. The automotive theme of the watch is rounded off by the distinctive Wyler Genève rubber bracelet, which bears the brand’s signature tyre-tread pattern and is fitted with a standard buckle fixed with a titanium pin and screw.
The limited-edition Wyler-Zagato watch is presented in a special black presentation box reminiscent of a car tool kit that bears the Zagato name.