At LVMH Digital Watch Week 2022, Zenith showcases some of its latest creations. This year the spotlight is on the DEFY collection as a platform for innovation and unprecedented expressions in the art of watchmaking. At the forefront is the new DEFY Skyline, building upon the heritage of robustness and performance that has defined the line since its “Defi” pocket watches of the early 20th century. It reinterprets elements from the original 1969 DEFY A3642 in a contemporary context and packs the performance of the latest generation of its iconic El Primero movement.
The DEFY Skyline features a geometrically structured and star-studded dial, with a sunburst finish adorned with a pattern that includes engraved four-pointed stars, which are in fact a modern reimagining of the Zenith “double Z” logo of the 1960s. The central hour and minute hands and a date window at 3 o’clock are finished in the same color as the dial. On the small counter at 9 o’clock, a constantly running 1/10th of a second hand makes steady jumps in fixed increments, reminding the wearer of the ephemeral nature of time and the precision of the 5Hz movement within and completing a full revolution every 10 seconds.
The watch is fitted with the new El Primero 3620 caliber. Built with similar architecture as the El Primero 3600 1/10th of a second chronograph, this automatic manufacture movement drives the 1/10th of a second hand directly from the escapement, which beats at 5Hz (36’000 VpH). It is also given a stop-second mechanism for precise time-setting. The efficient automatic winding mechanism with a bi-directional rotor with a star motif delivers a power reserve of approximately 60 hours.
The DEFY Skyline comes on a steel bracelet with a satin-brushed surface with chamfered and polished edges. A matching rubber strap with a starry sky pattern is also offered with a steel folding clasp. The watch is priced at $8,400 USD.
Other releases include the colorful Defy Midnight Borealis and Defy Midnight Sunset featuring guilloché engraved dials in wave patterns of blue and orange. Housed in a 36mm stainless steel case embellished with brilliant-cut white diamonds on the bezel, the DEFY Midnight Borealis evokes the aurora borealis or northern lights phenomenon witnessed around the arctic circle, featuring a midnight blue dial that gradually shifts to a bright emerald green towards to bottom. In both watches, white diamonds are applied on every hour marker, except at 3 o’clock where the date window is placed.
The $14,500 USD Defy 21 Chroma offers Zenith’s unique take on a rainbow and highlights its expertise in high-frequency precision. Its matte-finished white ceramic case gives way to a refracted rainbow spread evenly across the open dial and movement, in a transitioning gradient of colors spanning the entire spectrum. The red-painted marker at 12 o’clock shifts through orange, yellow, green, blue, violet and pink in a clockwise manner. The meticulously applied colors on the markers and 1/100 of a second scale extend beyond the dial and out of the case, with the crown’s rubber grip ring as well as the white cordura-effect rubber strap’s stitching following the color arrangement of the dial. The chronograph counter hands are tipped in a different tone.
Housing the world’s fastest and most precise 1/100th of a second El Primero chronograph, the Defy Extreme Carbon is a celebration of the Defy line’s exceptional performance and is inspired by the Manufacture’s partnership with Extreme- E, an off-road electric car race. The case as well as the pushers and crown of the watch are made of highly durable layered carbon fiber. The pusher protectors and the twelve-sided bezel are crafted using micro-blasted titanium. Within the monolithic case, the open multi-layered dial features a mix of racy colors inspired by the EXTREME E’s “X Prix” color schemes adapted for each race. The 1/100th of a second chronograph scale features yellow markers, while the tinted sapphire crystal dial’s chronograph counters are in bright blue, green, and white, with matching-colored small hands.
The $11,400 USD Defy Midnight Borealis & Sunset models and the $25,100 USD Defy Extreme Carbon all feature a quick-release strap mechanism and come with a variety of straps for versatility.
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