Equipped with two of Zenith’s most complex movements, the Defy Zero-G and Defy 21 Double Tourbillons (limited to 10 pieces each) focus on the watchmaking industry’s continuous efforts to eliminate the gravitational effects of mechanical escapements.
Both are modern reimaginings of these movements using “contemporary construction and finishing techniques” and showcased using sapphire crystal cases.
Both movements have a blue PVD treatment, with “inscriptions and decorative elements like miniature stars” engraved on the bridges, and the chamfered bridges are rhodium-plated PVD for contrast.
The Defy Zero-G uses Zenith’s “gravity control mechanism,” a gimbal that ensures the escapement remains in a fixed, flat position regardless of the watch’s orientation. The watch’s complex, multi-layered dial features “meteorite, aventurine glass and Grand Feu enamel inlays” depicting Mars forming the small seconds hand, and the gyroscopic gravity control at six o’clock.
Zenith’s Defy 21 Double Tourbillon is a chronograph with two independent tourbillon escapements, a 60-second example responsible for timing tasks and a second ultra-fast 5-second tourbillon that rotates on demand to 1/100 chronograph to adjust the watch.
Zenith is offering 20 watch owners a once-in-a-lifetime experience on a parabolic zero-G flight planned for February 2022 in a manufacturing partnership with Novespace, a subsidiary of CNES.
Zenith Defy Extreme Double Tourbillon Yoshida 87.9100.9020 /22.l200
The double tourbillon “YOSHIDA SPECIAL EDITION” is now available from Defy Extreme, a chronograph that can measure 1/100 of a second.
MOVEMENT El Primero
FREQUENCY 36,000 VpH (5 Hz)
POWER RESERVE approx. 50 hours
Hours, Minutes, Small Seconds, Date, Chronograph, Column wheel, Tourbillon Escapement
MATERIAL White Gold, Rose Gold
DIAMETER 45 mm
WATER RESISTANCE 3 ATM
CLASP Titanium double folding clasp
I’ve always considered Zenith to be one of the most intellectually responsive watch companies past or present. My opinion is correct when wearing the Defy Extreme, even if its naming convention sounds like a syrup haze from Mountain Dew marketing.
Zenith is one of the very few major watch companies that only uses its own mechanical movements. The company uses a zero-source movement in any currently produced watch. This is a very rare thing. For a luxury brand, Zenith also operates with a particular focus on accessibility. If you appreciate the technological edge inside, the Defy Extreme offers an impressive value proposition.
Finally, the Defy Extreme runs as a larger platform – 45mm x 15.4mm – to showcase Zenith’s overall technical capabilities. Similar to the way we look at A. Lange & Söhne and drool over their high-tech achievements in the Double and Triple Split, we should look at Zenith’s high-tech achievements on the El Primero 3600 and El Primero 21 in the same way.
Some of you may have read these dimensions and groaned. But if you happen to find yourself in a room with a Defy Extreme, go ahead and try it. You’ll realize that the combination of size and weight makes a difference to wear. The presence of the wrist is definitely there, but it won’t let you down or cause undue attention. I wore it to GPHG with a blazer and also ran around Geneva to different auctions over multiple days wearing different dress shirts. I legally forgot it was on my wrist multiple times.
I also showed it to the assembled collectors and as much as possible to the media. guess what? People think it’s cool — because it’s really cool. Among them was John Goldberg, wearing a vintage Longines watch, who nodded to me in agreement.
I’ve had a few people say that the Defy Extreme represents Zenith’s jump on the integrated bracelet bandwagon. Or perhaps showing a degree of undue influence by the hubris of Hublot, Zenith’s young – albeit more successful – steady partner in LVMH’s watchmaking department. I don’t see it that way. I showed these people the same photo of the vintage Defy I showed you to prove my point.
Zenith was always there and did it.