The oversized and masculine Defy Extreme collection elevated the standard Defy models with a larger, angular case and bolder overall design. The latest variant trades titanium (and optional gold) for a material synonymous with auto racing: carbon fibre. Zenith is the official timekeeper and founding partner of the world’s first off-road electric rally racing championship, the Extreme E that debuted in 2021. The new carbon fibre Zenith Defy Extreme was inspired by the state-of-the-art, off-road electric vehicles in the international racing series.
The case, pushers and crown are all lightweight, durable and aesthetically futuristic carbon fibre. The fibre displays an abstract, random pattern in lieu of the more familiar twill weave seen on performance cars and motorcycles. The monolithic case comes in at 45mm in diameter and 15.4mm in height and features a 12-sided micro-blasted titanium ring just under the carbon fibre bezel. The pusher protectors/crown guard are also titanium. There are sapphire crystals front and back, with the latter integrated into the 12-sided carbon fibre caseback. Water-resistance is rated at 200 metres.
The slightly tinted sapphire dial is a visual treat with a partial view of the underlying movement and use of several printed colours. Large, barely overlapping sub-dials monopolise much of the space with a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock with blue accents, a 60-second counter at 6 o’clock with green accents and small seconds at 9 o’clock with white accents. The outermost track with yellow print allows for a time measurement of 1/100th of a second via the central chronograph hand. If you were wondering why there’s a 60-second counter at 6 o’clock, it’s because the central hand spins once per second instead of once per minute for incredibly precise timing. Faceted and rhodium-plated indices are filled with Super-LumiNova SLN C1, along with the partially openworked hour and minute hands. A power reserve indicator sits at 12 o’clock.
Powering the latest Defy Extreme is the advanced El Primero 9004 automatic. This in-house calibre is as extreme as the watch with two escapements and two barrels. It’s not unique to the new model but remains the fastest and most precise automatic chronograph movement. It has a high frequency of 36,000vph (5Hz) for the time escapement and 360,000vph (50Hz) for the chronograph escapement. Twin barrels allow for a 50-hour power reserve for time and approximately one hour of continuous timing via the chronograph. Timing can be measured to 1/100th of a second with the central chronograph hand. The movement has 53 jewels and is a certified chronometer by Time Lab. The rotor has a black treatment and is shaped as an openworked Zenith star.
The Zenith Defy Extreme Carbon Fibre comes with a black or red rubber strap with a titanium triple folding clasp (with black DLC coating). There’s an additional black Velcro strap with a carbon buckle. The price is CHF 24,900. It’s not a special edition, although special editions will be introduced for upcoming Extreme E races starting with the DESERT X Prix in Saudi Arabia in February 2022. For more information, please visit www.zenith-watches.com.