Michaud Weekend Adventures in Thurgau with the Zenith Defy Extreme
On the shores of Lake Constance with 900 km of bicycle lanes and some of the world’s wackiest hotels, the Zenith Defy proves to be the perfect partner for a weekend adventure
If the pandemic has done one thing right, it has forced us to explore our own countries better. Instead of booking the first flight out of Switzerland to some exotic location on the other side of the world, we have been looking for cool destinations on our own doorstep. And the beauty of living in Switzerland is that you really don’t have to go far to hear a different language, discover new food, and marvel at an ever-changing landscape and architecture.
Steckborn and the Rhine © WorldTempus/Sophie Furley
Thurgau is situated on the southern shores of Lake Constance in northeast Switzerland and has 1,000 km of hiking trails, 900 km of bicycle lanes,150 km of roller-skating paths, and even a 7 km barefoot path, making it vacation heaven for those who love the great outdoors. Also known as the apple canton, Thurgau has 210,000 apple trees and over 200 different apple varieties that grow happily in this clement climate.
Calling an Expert
Before setting off on the adventure to Thurgau, I needed a watch to accompany me, so I called Laurent Michaud, one of WorldTempus’ retail partners for some ideas about which watch to take. He suggested the all-new Zenith Defy Extreme.
Zenith Defy Extreme © WorldTempus/Sophie Furley
“This timepiece is one of Zenith’s latest releases and I had the immense pleasure of discovering it recently,” shared Michaud. “At first, I was afraid that the 45-mm size would be large on the wrist, especially in the matt micro-blasted titanium version, but it fits even a small wrist absolutely perfectly. It has a wonderfully contemporary look, great finishing, and comes with three strap/bracelet options that can be changed in a couple of seconds. I chose this for an e-bike adventure for both the notions of sport and technology that are present in the watch.”
Zenith Defy Extreme, micro-blasted titanium and rose gold © WorldTempus/Sophie Furley
Tour de Suisse
So, with the Zenith Defy Extreme on my wrist, I began this weekend adventure with a tour of the region’s bespoke e-bike manufacturer, aptly called Tour de Suisse, to find out how they make the latest generation e-bikes. Situated directly on one of the key bicycle paths, visitors can tour the showroom and get advice about building their very own made-to-measure e-bike. In many ways, the Tour de Suisse factory is very similar to the Zenith factory, with state-of-the-art technology but also artisanal operations that are carried out entirely by hand. The only thing that differed was the size of the parts!
Biking around Thurgovia
The best way to get around Turgau is by bicycle. It almost feels like the rolling hills were designed for cycling. There is really something for every level of cyclist. Those in Lycra (you know who you are!) will adore taking a two-day 150-km tour around Lake Constance, while for youngsters who haven’t yet ventured off of their stabilizer wheels, there is even a special family circuit. And for those who want to go faster and further, the e-bike is the perfect solution to explore this picturesque region.
Spokes assembly and Tour de Suisse E-bike © WorldTempus/Sophie Furley
I took one of the Tour de Suisse’s latest e-bikes and the Zenith Defy Extreme for an afternoon adventure, timing myself from village to village with the chronograph just for fun. This stealthy-looking watch looked great flying through the apple orchards. It performed perfectly thanks to its El Primero 9004 automatic calibre that has two escapements – one for the timekeeping and the other for the chronograph. It is also water-resistant to 200 metres, making it the perfect sports watch.
© michelphotography.ch, IvoScholz Photography, Raffael Soppelsa, Celine Conrad
The Most Unusual Hotels in Switzerland
Even if this region is on the rural side, its tourist board has probably one of the most innovative and modern approaches to tourism. Not only do most of the hotels offer e-bikes in their packages, but there is a vast array of unusual sleeping options. The most famous is the bubble hotel, where you can sleep under the stars in a luxury plastic bubble, but there are also tree houses, gypsy wagons, mini houses, and a tractor that will pull your bed under the tree of your choice! Don’t worry if these weird and wonderful options don’t appeal to you, there are also many delightful hotels with curtains.
See und Park Hotel Feldbach © WorldTempus/Sophie Furley
Things to Do
There is also plenty to do and see. We visited the maritime museum in Kreuzlingen that is housed in an old granary building that dates back to 1680 and traces the history of life on the lake. We also stopped at the Vinorama to taste some of the local wines and visit their Lindwurm Museum, one of the oldest houses in the region that has been left exactly as it was at the beginning of the 1900s. Visiting the house felt like time had stopped for a moment.
Maritime Museum and Lindwurm Museum © WorldTempus/Sophie Furley
Zenith Defy Extreme
A glance down at the Zenith Defy Extreme and I was projected back into the present as I had left the chronograph running and the seconds’ hand was doing its mind-boggling one rotation around the dial each second. I loved the semi-see-through dial, great legibility and all-round ergonomy of the watch. I was as reluctant to return it as I was the e-bike, but like the proverb goes “all good things come to an end”…unless of course, you want to pop into Michaud and acquire this watch for yourself!
All the Details
Sophie travelled to Thurgovia by train from Geneva and explored the region using the Thurbo regional railway and Rhein boat service. She stayed at the See und Park Hotel Feldbach in Steckborn – hotel-feldback.ch. For all the crazy sleeping options – Thurgau-bodensee.ch. For museums, go to seemuseum.ch and vinorama-ermatingen.ch. To visit the Tour de Suisse showroom and café – tds-rad.ch. For all your watch needs – michaud.ch.