While the main novelty for Zenith at the 2020 LVMH Watch Week will be the reintroduction of the Elite collection (more on that soon), there will be some more watches introduced by the brand, including several limited editions based on existing models. Part of the show is a rather good-looking, modern and stealth version of the Defy 21, resulting from a partnership with a British car manufacturer… Meet the new Zenith Defy 21 Land Rover Defender Edition.
It isn’t the first time Zenith teams up with the famed British SUV specialist; previous editions were based on Range Rover cars, such as this El Primero, this Chronomaster or this Defy Skeleton. However, the main focus this year at the British brand isn’t on the luxurious, countryside stars that are the Range Rovers, but on the rugged, entirely redesigned and slightly controversial Land Rover Defender. It thus feels natural for Zenith’s 2020 edition to follow the same path.
The base watch for this Land Rover Edition is well-known since it is the modern, highly technical Defy 21. This bold watch, with its tonneau-shaped case of 44mm, integrates a deeply modified version of the legendary El Primero movement (more on that later). Often presented in contrasting materials with skeletonized movements, the choice was made to have a stealthier, more rugged design to match the 2020 Land Rover Defender.
Monochromatic and matte tones are used on this Zenith Defy 21 Land Rover Defender Edition. The 44mm case retains its distinct shape, with integrated lugs and faceted casebands, but is now crafted in matte grey ceramic – case, caseback, bezel, pushers and crown. Following this style, the strap is a matching grey rubber with a square pattern – note that a second grey fabric strap with orange stitchings is also included in this package.
Regarding the dial, Zenith opts for more discretion, with a matte grey surface, and a plain dial (no skeletonization here). The markers and inscriptions are discreetly transferred, in white for better contrast and legibility. Here too, subtle touches of orange add some colour to the watch. Specific to the Zenith Defy 21 Land Rover Defender Edition is the power reserve indicator, displayed in a linear way.
The pièce de résistance here, just like all Defy 21 watches, is the movement. Based on the architecture of the legendary El Primero, it has been deeply transformed to now integrate two escapements. The first one, beating at the traditional (at least for Zenith) 5Hz frequency or 36,000 vibrations/hour is in charge of the timekeeping part of the watch. The second escapement is in charge of the chronograph and only runs once the pusher has been actuated. It runs at a super-fast 50Hz frequency or 360,000 vibrations/hour, allowing the Defy 21 to be a 1/100th of a second chronograph watch.
The hyperactive central seconds hand goes around the dial once per second in a smooth movement and a 100th/s track on the inner flange allows precise calculations. The movement features a specific decoration and a rotor shaped like an alloy wheel of a Land Rover Defender.
The Zenith Defy 21 Land Rover Defender Edition (reference 97.9000.9004/01.R787) is a limited edition of 250 pieces. It will be priced at CHF 13,900.
More details at www.zenith-watches.com.