Monochrome Watches
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The Wildly Reflective Surfaces of the Zenith Defy Extreme Mirror

Defying detection, Zenith gives its 1/100th-of-a-second chronograph an ultimate camouflage makeover with mirror-polished surfaces from head to toe.

| By Rebecca Doulton | 2 min read |

Camouflage dials have been a big hit in the past couple of years, and we’ve covered several combat-ready models. Zenith pushes the camouflage concept to the extreme, giving its Defy Extreme a radical makeover with a reflective mirrored surface. Undoubtedly the boldest take on its high-performance 1/100th-of-a-second chronograph, the latest manifestation blends into its surroundings thanks to its distortion-free mirror-polished case, dial and bracelet.

Zenith’s Defy Extreme collection, released in 2021, is a high-testosterone brother of the Defy family, a lab rat of sorts to test out new materials on its powerful, angular case. Extreme in all senses, right down to the dual regulating organ, the regulator for the timekeeping beats at 5Hz while the second one for the chronograph whizzes at 50Hz to capture 1/100th-of-a-second chronograph readings.

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While we are still dealing with the same specifications as other Defy Extreme Chronographs, the look of the Defy Extreme Mirror is, well, like looking into a mirror. Crafted in stainless steel, the 45mm case with its signature 12-sided bezel and integrated steel bracelet are mirror-polished throughout to create a chrome-like surface that reflects its surroundings without distortions – something that was already experienced with sister-brand Bulgari here.

The openworked, multi-layered dial features a central sapphire crystal element with a metallic mirrored finish that is translucent and reflective at the same time. To assist legibility, the 1/100th-of-a-second chronograph scale is silver-coloured and snailed with black markings like those found on the three sub-dials. The applied rhodium-plated hour markers, the hour and minute hands, and the hands in the three sub-dials (small seconds at 9 o’clock, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and 60-second counter at 6 o’clock) are all treated with Super-LumiNova. Above the applied silver Zenith star at noon is the power reserve indicator corresponding to the chronograph. Racing around the dial at lightning speed of one second, the central chronograph hand is matte and bears the signature openworked star counterweight.

While the effect of the watch with the integrated mirror-polished steel bracelet is the most spectacular, the Defy Extreme Mirror comes with two additional straps – no doubt a practical option given the tendency of a mirror-polished bracelet to get scratched. One of the complimentary straps is black rubber and the second is a Velcro strap; all three options are fully interchangeable thanks to the quick-change mechanism on the back.

Powered by the El Primero 9004, this automatic calibre with its independent high-frequency regulators – 36,000vph/5Hz for the time and 360,000vph/50Hz for the chronograph – has a large star-shaped rotor in a silvery metallic tone to match the case and dial.

Available at the brand’s physical and online boutiques, the Zenith Defy Extreme Mirror retails for EUR 28,000 or CHF 25,900. More information at

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