Zenith High Frequency Chronograph

Defying will surprise you.

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It has always been there, lurking in the hidden valleys of Switzerland. However, Zenith continued to move forward and released it to the public as the latest product in the Defy series. There are many things here. Clearly. Zenith seems to have deviated from the hot-selling Chronomaster Sport and retro-style Chronomaster Revival models we saw at LVMH Watch Week in January, and turned to a more extreme field. So, what are we looking at with the new Defy Extreme?

Okay, this is huge. Bold. Also, it is worth noting that it is not a restricted production version. The new Defy Extreme is a sub-series of the 45mm chronograph series, powered by the high-frequency El Primero 9004 movement. Although the movement and the exposed dial are not new features of the Defy series, what we see is the introduction of a specific case. To be honest, it is a bit like the minimalist and unforgettable Defy watch, which was created by the former CEO Thierry Nataf served as head of Zenith in the late 2000s.

The replica Defy Extreme series first launched three different styles when it was released, including a micro-blasted titanium case with a black dial decoration; a matte, polished and micro-blasted titanium case with a blue dial decoration. And the micro-sprayed titanium and polished rose gold case, as well as gold-plated decoration. Zenith also used Defy Extreme to introduce its new quick-change belt system. Therefore, each Defy Extreme is equipped with a matching titanium alloy large link bracelet, as well as an additional rubber strap and Velcro strap.

Although this was completely unexpected (at least for me), it becomes more meaningful considering this iteration of Zenith’s Defy platform. Although it seems so, most people today don’t realize that Defy is not actually Zenith’s modern invention. The true history of the name Defy can be traced back to the pocket watches produced by Zenith founder Georges Favre-Jacot in the late 1800s. What is engraved on the dials of those pocket watches? Défi, or “challenge” in English.

Decades later, when Zenith replica first introduced its long-established automatic chronograph movement El Primero to the market, the name Defy appeared as a series of bold sports watches. They have a sharp, angular case design-just look at examples from the 1970s-and other technical improvements, including increased resistance to physical shocks, and increased resistance to the effects of magnetic forces on daily timekeeping. They are sturdy and durable steel watches that are suitable for everyday wear and have a unique design that has been years before the large-scale development of the luxury sports watch category.

Fast forward to 2017 (skip the brief revival of Defy in the Nadiv era), Defy is reborn again, this time where Zenith continues to experiment with high-frequency watchmaking. We have Defy inventor, Defy Fusée tourbillon, Defy double tourbillon, Defy Zero G, and of course the Defy 21 series as the new flagship product. So, how does the latest version of Defy 21 develop on the basis of what most watch collectors consider to be an “extreme” design?

First of all, we once again use Zenith’s exciting El Primero 9004 chronograph movement, equipped with a double escapement, so that the elapsed timekeeping accuracy is as high as one hundredth of a second. This means that the central chronograph second hand can make a rapid lightning rotation around the dial every second. (Really-if you have time to spend some time experiencing the Defy 21 example, you will not regret it. Interacting with these watches is a numbing and fun experience.) Aesthetically speaking, the lack of a traditional dial is Not only is it expected for the Defy 21 model, but it is also expected-you want to see the secondary escapement become larger.

In my opinion, Zenith has not gained enough reputation to continue to develop its iconic El Primero movement. This is the evolution of El Primero 9004. It uses a fully integrated architecture based on the original El Primero design (quite good for the 1969 design, right?), and incorporates a high-frequency escapement with 360,000 vph or 50 Hz operation Secondary gear train. As the second barrel. To recap – the normal timing part of the watch is almost the same as the standard El Primero watch, with a frequency of 5 Hz, and then the dedicated part of the stopwatch of 9004 is isolated, so no energy is wasted from the traditional timing mechanism.

The same is true for all previous entries in the Defy 21 line. However, the new feature here is a larger case profile, which is gradually upgraded from the barrel shape on the previous Defy 21 watch to a more sculpted angular shape with 12 facets. This view is true for the original Defy models of the 1960s and 70s, which were earlier than their age or were released together with other popular multi-faceted sports watches of that era.

The bracelet seems to be a new product, and its solid lines and one-piece appearance immediately caught my attention. Unlike most other integrated bracelets, thanks to its proprietary tool-less system, Defy Extreme allows you to easily switch between it, the included textured rubber strap, and the additional Velcro strap.

Defy Extreme is basically unapologetic in all respects. I think you will see at first whether the watch is right for you. Those who fall for it will fall. Although it may not attract your attention at first, you should still respect what Defy Extreme represents on Zenith. This is more than 50 years of high-frequency watchmaking, advanced mechanical watch engineering and impeccable design (good, sophisticated, extreme) design.

The Basics
Brand: Zenith
Model: Defy Extreme
Reference Number: 97.9100.9004/02.I001 (Black); 95.9100.9004/01.I001 (Blue); 87.9100.9004/03.I001 (Two-Tone)

Diameter: 45mm
Thickness: 15.40mm
Case Material: Microblasted titanium (Black); Brushed, polished, and microblasted titanium (Blue); Microblasted titanium and polished rose gold (Two-Tone)
Dial Color: Openworked with black, blue, or gold accents
Indexes: Applied hour markers
Lume: Rhodium or gold-plated, faceted, and coated with Super-LumiNova SLN C1
Water Resistance: 200 meters (screw-down crown)
Strap/Bracelet: Microblasted titanium bracelet. Each watch also comes with a rubber strap and a velcro strap.

The Movement
Caliber: Zenith El Primero 9004
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, 1/100th of a second chronograph (central chronograph hand makes one turn each second), power reserve
Diameter: 32.80mm
Power Reserve: 50 hours for standard timekeeping; 50 minutes for chronograph
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 5 Hz for standard timekeeping; 50 Hz for chronograph
Jewels: 53
Chronometer Certified: Yes, by TimeLab