If Zenith focuses on the chronograph and Chronomaster series this year, it must be remembered that the brand also has certain expertise in high-end movements and has been involved in timekeeping for a long time. Indeed, Zenith can produce fuse links or double tourbillons, and even ultra-innovative adjustment mechanisms. Today, the brand released two new versions of the most advanced movements, using modern design and material methods. The new Zenith Defy Zero-G and Defy 21 double tourbillons use a sapphire case, inspired by the stars and the endless universe.
Zenith is known as one of the masters of chronograph complications, and this must be obvious when looking at the brand’s current collections. Both Chronomaster and Defy are equipped with watches based on the brand’s iconic architecture El Primero movement. However, for Zenith, there is much more than this expertise. The brand has been involved in timekeeping for a long time and is still at the forefront of innovation in developing cutting-edge technology to improve accuracy. And, despite being fairly secretive, the brand also knows how to make impressive and complex movements, two of the best Examples are the chronograph double tourbillon and the concept of zero gravity. Today, these two watches are reinterpreted with the bold and futuristic Defy case made of sapphire, combined with visual themes played around the starry sky… Remember, Zenith is named after the tallest star in the night sky…
Both watches use the same overall design and method, both use the same overall case of 46 mm in diameter, and are made of transparent sapphire crystal. In addition, if the movement and the display are different, the decoration used here-fully visible due to the transparent case-is the same. First of all, all parts of the movement are treated with blue PVD. Decorative elements such as inscriptions and miniature stars are then engraved on the plywood. Afterwards, the chamfered edges of the plywood are refined with rhodium-plated PVD to create a sharp contrast.
ZENITH DEFY Zero Gravity Sapphire
The first of these two new models is based on a movement that is not new, but now rarely seen in this series, namely the rather unusual and unique Zero-G. The concept of the movement is the same as that of the tourbillon, aiming to counteract the influence of gravity on the adjustment mechanism. However, it does not work like a tourbillon…
The adjustment mechanism is not fixed in a rotating frame, but on a gimbal that always maintains a flat position-no matter how the watch rotates. Zero-G has been used in the Defy series in the past, but Zenith has completely redesigned the movement with a new architecture to achieve a more open display. This gyroscope module, which ensures the horizontal positioning of the adjustment mechanism, is also equipped with a 5Hz escapement, both of which are said to guarantee impressive timing results. This manually-wound El Primero 8812 S movement is equipped with a large barrel, which can store a power reserve of approximately 50 hours when fully wound.
This Zenith Defy Zero-G sapphire also showcases the traditional craftsmanship of the dial, but is executed in a modern way. The off-center dial at 12 o’clock is inlaid with hand-set meteorite, aventurine glass and gold Grand Feu enamel. It depicts the red planet Mars on the small seconds dial, partially overshadowed by the hour and minute dials. The special touch that can only be seen when the watch is overhead is the back of the gyroscope module, which is designed with a circular texture that imitates the moon. The power reserve indicator on the right completes the display.
The back of the replica Zenith Defy Zero-G Sapphire uses a hollow movement, and the star logo is used as the basis for the bridge. All are very beautiful, either blue PVD with contrasting gray rhodium chamfers, dotted with white stars of various sizes, or straight brushed with polished angles.
The Zenith Defy Zero-G Sapphire watch has a black rubber strap with blue “Cordura effect” rubber and gray stitching, and is closed by a titanium folding clasp.
Zenith DEFY 21 Double Tourbillon Sapphire
The second watch launched by Zenith in this new context is based on the Defy 21 Double Tourbillon. This watch combines a chronograph with two adjustment mechanisms, one to control the timing and the other (UHF) to control the timing. The basic concept is the same as that of the classic Defy 21 model, but the tourbillon is updated instead of the traditional adjustment mechanism. First, the main tourbillon responsible for timekeeping rotates once a minute and runs at a frequency of 5 Hz or 36,000 vibrations per hour. The second tourbillon is only activated when the chronograph is started. It rotates every 5 seconds and runs at a frequency of 50 Hz or 360,000 vibrations per hour. Thanks to this,
Like the previous model, the movement of this Zenith Defy 21 double tourbillon sapphire is completely coated with blue PVD and decorated with contrasting silver stars and polished chamfers. All technical elements of the movement are also made in silver, creating a technical and cold appearance. This watch uses the same 46mm sapphire case and black rubber strap with blue “Cordura effect” rubber and gray stitching. A hollow star-shaped blue oscillating weight is exposed on the back, with the same starry decoration on the front.
The Calibre 9020 movement is a deep evolution of the El Primero architecture. It is built around two escapements. When the chronograph is disengaged, only one escapement runs. Therefore, the power reserve under normal conditions is 50 hours, but of course, due to the ultra-high frequency of the chronograph adjusted by the tourbillon, it will be significantly reduced when using the chronograph function.