Zenith Gets Colourful with the DEFY 21 Chroma II Limited Editions
 

Zenith Gets Colourful with the DEFY 21 Chroma II Limited Editions

4 min read
Charlotte Harris

Brands

Zenith

Categories

Industry News

Charlotte Harris

Brands

Zenith

Categories

Industry News

When the world of watches is going colour mad, you expect to see lots of bold and colourful novelties from our industry’s biggest watchmakers. What you don’t always expect, however, is a brand like Zenith casually dressing their watches in the entire rainbow. In what is one of their loudest designs to date, the Swiss powerhouse launches two new DEFY 21 Chroma II limited editions in black and white ceramic.

Zenith DEFY Chroma IIZenith DEFY Chroma II - Credit Zenith

Zenith’s DEFY watch collection has always felt like the place the Le Locle-based watchmaker feels free to experiment. We’re talking intricate skeletonised dials, bold colours and unique collaborations with the likes of Felipe Pantone, Fusalp and the Extreme E championship. These are fun, avant-garde watches with modernistic, edgy design language not for the faint hearted. And yes, the designs are impressive, but in typical Zenith fashion, the technology within is equally matched.

The original Zenith DEFY 21 Chroma watch was unveiled last year during the 2022 LVMH Watch Week. As you guessed it, since it’s made a return a year later, the limited edition sold out pretty quickly. The design combined a crisp white ceramic case, colourful accents and the world’s only serially produced high-frequency 1/100th of a second automatic chronograph calibre. A year later and Zenith has us searching for that pot of gold once again, this time so we can afford one of the two editions of the Zenith DEFY 21 Chroma II watch in black or white ceramic.

Zenith DEFY Chroma IIZenith DEFY Chroma II - Credit Zenith

This isn’t just a case of new materials. The Zenith DEFY 21 Chroma II watches deliver new tones within the same spectrum of colours. To begin with, the black ceramic limited edition elects a range of tones based on primary colours while the white ceramic model places more emphasis on blues and pinks. We have no doubt you’ll have spotted the array of colours already, sited across the openwork dial, the tips of the hands and on the movement.

The colours aren’t just sporadically placed either; the brand has carefully positioned the colours so they transition naturally across the entire spectrum. A particularly clever feature is how Zenith has purposely applied the colours on the markers and the 1/100 of a second scale to extend even beyond the dial, and out of the case. The colours reach to the crown’s rubber grip and onto the stitching of the cordura-effect rubber strap. It’s attention to detail like this that separates the Zenith DEFY 21 Chroma II from other arguably more tacky rainbow-adorned watches.

Zenith DEFY Chroma IIZenith DEFY Chroma II - Credit Zenith

The rest of the specifications of the Zenith DEFY 21 Chroma II Limited Editions watches follow the recipe of the original. They have large barrel-shaped cases measuring to 44mm wide and 14.5mm tall with a fixed circular bezel and sapphire crystal glass. As mentioned, the case remains the same in one model, engineered from matte white ceramic, but you now have the option of a brushed and polished black ceramic case too. It’s another beautifully executed integrated sports watch and pertains to its genre with a 100 metre water resistant rating.

Poking its head behind the three subsidiary counters and in full view through the exhibition case back is the El Primero 21 automatic winding movement. The calibre still remains the world’s only serially produced high-frequency 1/100th of a second automatic chronograph calibre, featuring two independent regulating organs and gear trains for the timekeeping and chronograph functions. These operate at frequencies of 5Hz (36,000vph) and 50Hz (360,000vph), respectively.

Zenith DEFY Chroma IIZenith DEFY Chroma II - Credit Zenith

The movement also boasts two barrels for a power reserve of 50 hours, 53 jewels, and chronometer certification by TIME LAB. Through the back of the watch, the rainbow theme of the Zenith DEFY 21 Chroma II continues as the Zenith star-shaped rotor is coated in a satin blue finish contrasting nicely the pink PVD coated balance cock.

The Zenith DEFY Chroma II in white ceramic is limited to 500 pieces and is available at Zenith boutiques and selected retailers around the world. The black ceramic edition is also limited to 500 pieces and is available at all Zenith authorized points of sale.

Specifications:

  • Case Diameter: 44mm
  • Case Height: 14.5mm
  • Case Material: Matte white ceramic or brushed/polished black ceramic
  • Glass: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
  • Crown: Screw in
  • Case Back: Exhibition
  • Water Resistance: 100 metres’
  • Movement: Calibre El Primero 21 automatic winding, high-frequency 1/100th of a second chronograph, chronometer-certified
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chrono power reserve, chronograph with central 1/100th of a second hand, 60 second counter at 6 o'clock, 30-minute counter at 3 o'clock
  • Jewels: 53
  • Power Reserve: 50 hours
  • Dial: Skeleton in black or white with rainbow indexes, Superluminova hands
  • Strap: Rubber in black or white with rainbow stitching
  • Buckle: Titanium folding
  • References: 49.9014.9004/01.R953 (white), 49.9013.9004/21.R952 (black)
  • Limited: 50 pieces each

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Charlotte Harris

About the Author: Charlotte Harris

Writing and watches are two of my biggest passions in life so being able to unite them on a daily basis is a wonderful thing. I hope through my writing that I can bring a fresh, feminine perspective on the watch space and encourage more men and women to get excited about all that’s happening.

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