ZRC Grand Fonds MN64 PHÉNIX Limited EDITION [The Search for the PHOENIX]

ZRC is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year, 2024. And much like the mythical bird, the brand has risen majestically from the ashes of history now with one of its most beautiful aesthetics. 

The Phoenix Q157 Expedition “La voix du souvenir” looks to write one of the most intriguing chapters of the brand’s fascinating story.


As the main partner of the Expedition Phoenix Q157 «La Voix Du Souvenir» ZRC has sent a support team of experienced divers who hope to find the lost wreck of a French Navy submarine that went missing on June 15th 1939.


For this expedition, a Limited Edition (numbered 200 pieces) of the Grands Fonds 300 will be unveiled. 

This model has the technical characteristics inherent to the collection (patented ECS system and Crown Protection System). 

It is nevertheless distinguished by its machined 316L stainless steel case waterproof up to 300 meters depth.


A luminescent SLN Old radium X1 paint adorns the hour and minute hands as well as the hour markers on the unidirectional bezel with a bright blue insert coordinated with the dial. 

Its case-back is also decorated with a specific engraving representing a mythical phoenix. 


The GF42168PH diving watch is powered by the Swiss made Sellita SW-300 caliber. This self-winding movement delivers 56 hours of power reserve. 

Highly efficient, this mechanism is also very precise with a 5-position adjustment.


The watch will come with an exceptional enhancement in an alcantara packaging featuring these stunning accessories: 

a Phoenix submarine replica, a miniature Phoenix souvenir mat, a tool for changing wristbands and a watchmaker’s loupe plus an additional bracelet in organic leather.


From ZRC: The story of the lost submarine begins in 1939; the start of WWII and the world is already at boiling point. France is surrounded by conflicts. 

Tensions between nations are escalating. A year earlier, Austria was annexed by Germany. Japan attacked China. 


The Spanish war ended with a fatal epilogue with the beginning of the Franco dictatorship. Mussolini approached Hitler, who signed a pact with Stalin. 

And fascism unfolds its sinister shadow. The dark hours put the armies in motion for the belligerents, in a state of alert for the States at peace.


The French navy was then one of the most modern. It consisted of multiple buildings, including 78 submersibles. One of them, on June 15, crosses off the Indochinese peninsula. 

With its 93.2 m long, 8.2 m wide, two diesel engines with a total power of 6,000 horsepower usable on surface, its electric thrusters developing 2,000 hp when diving, the submarine Le Phénix Q157 is one of the flagships of the fleet.


On this spring day, the weather conditions are ideal... An immersion exercise in the bay of Cam-Ranh where the funds exceed 150 meters of depth is programmed. 

The ship is not going up. The alert is given quickly. With the exception of an oil stain on the surface of the China Sea, there is no indication of the causes of the ongoing incident. 


The following day, the submarine was located northeast of Hon Chut Island. Refloating operations began on 22nd of June. 

On several occasions, attempts were made to pass a chain around the vessel to tow it to a depth at which divers could act.


A rescue ship arrived on 28th of June, but the excessive depth of the wreck, still floating between two waters around 95 meters, prevented any intervention. 

The search was halted. 71 crewmen disappeared during the sinking. It now lies at a depth of 105 meters.


The investigations conducted at the time and reported by the press gave nothing. Impossible at the time to locate precisely the wreck of the Phoenix whose secret will remain hidden in the archives of the National Navy. 

Eighty-four years have passed…


The memory of the tragedy remains. Tributes are regularly paid to the disappeared, highlighting the risk of being a sailor. On this shipwreck, different theories exist, none are corroborated.


In 2020, the law on documents classified as “secret defense” allows their declassification beyond a period of 50 to 75 years. 

The idea of an expedition using modern tools is emerging. Better yet, it was created by history-loving divers and the association “La Voix du Souvenir” in order to find the submarine and provide clear answers to families.


Thus, during the first phases scheduled for 2023‑24, a survey will be conducted to limit the search area. 

If the wreck is located, from the following month, dives will be carried out with the logistical support of the Maritime Institute of this expedition is mainly supported by ZRC.


No comments:

Post a Comment

OceanicTime Archives