Zenith is a watchmaker that is known for its many faces, even if it is not the high-end luxury brand that is Rolex or Patek Philippe. In the last 20 years, the brand has introduced a variety of novel and traditional designs that offer collections that appeal to a broad segment of the watch-loving population. Product designers have come and gone through the years. A few of the themes failed to attract notoriety. Its modern designs are just what the doctor ordered. Zenith is moving into new territory with a reintroduction of the Zenith Defy Extreme in a new iteration that supplies observers with the requisite eye appeal, with a sensible approach.
An attractive new version in good supply
Hodinkee notes the new release of the Zenith Defy Extreme is not a limited edition. It’s a part of a new series categorized as a sub-collection. It’s big, bold, and exciting. At first glance, you immediately notice the ornate case shape. It’s fluted with twelve broad sections outlined in a metallic frame. The detailing adds depth and a bit of sophistication. The geometric case design has an industrial feel. It’s a key style element shared by all members of the Zenith Defy Extreme collection.
A closer look at the Zenith Defy Extreme
Monochrome offers the details of the specifications for greater clarity of the new Defy Extreme. The case is large. It measures 45 mm in diameter with a depth of 14.4 mm for a chunky profile. It’s made of premium titanium material with a full micro blasted or brushed and polished finishing. The insert under the bezel is 120sided in titanium, polished gold, or black, depending on the variant. The crown is a screw-down type. A notable feature is the shrouded chronograph pushers that protect them from unintentional use.
The dial is partially skeletonized to offer a glimpse of the mechanical workings of the movement beneath. It is made of sapphire crystal with applied chronograph counters. The hour and minute hand are large with a small seconds indicator. There are four subdials on the face of the watch, partially occluding view of the movement. They display the 60-seconds, 30-minute chronograph counters, 1/100th seconds scale, and the central chronograph seconds hand. The hour markers are neatly faceted and polished adding a nice touch for those who love juicy detailing.
The Zenith Defy Extreme is powered by an in-house El Primero 9004 caliber. It is a Time Lab certified chronometer. Features of the movement include automatic winding with 53 jewels, a dual regulating organ for the chronograph, and timekeeping. They beat t 36,000 vibrations per hour and 36,000 vibrations per hour respectively. Functions include hours, minutes, small seconds, linear power reserve, chronograph with one-second central hand for 1/100th measurement, 0 minute, and 60-seconds counters. The power reserve is 50 hours.
Other notable features
the bracelet is made of titanium with a micro-blasted or polished and brushed finish. Each timepiece includes a set of Velcro and rubber straps. This new version features a new quick-change strap system. It’s making its formal introduction with the Zenith Defy Extreme model, as a complementary set of bonus items. The gesture adds value to the watch by making it more versatile for various occasions and settings. It’s possible to change the persona of the accessory by switching out the strap to match the degree of formality or lack thereof. This gesture is a nice sentiment. It will likely inspire some Zenith fans to acquire the latest iteration of the model. The front lens of the Zenith Defy Extreme is a sapphire crystal. It’s scratch-resistant and treated with an anti-reflective coating. The back of the case is a flat sapphire crystal. This feature gives it an exhibition style. It’s crystal clear and provides an open view of the inner workings of the movement below. The watch is water-resistant up to 200 meters. The applied hour markers are Rhodium or some feature gold plating. They’re coated with Super-LumiNova SLN to enhance legibility in low light conditions.
Three variants available
There are three variations of the new Zenith Defy Extreme available. Reference 97.9100.9004/02.IOO1 features titanium with a micro-blasted finish with black elements and a black movement plating. Reference #95.9100.9004/01.IOO1 comes in polished and brushed titanium with some micro-blasted components. It has a blue movement plating. Reference 87.9100.9004/03.IOO1 offers titanium with a micro-blasted finish featuring elements of red gold with a polished finish and red gold movement plating.
Price and availability
The Zenith Defy Extreme is a luxurious watch. The prices begin at $18,000 for the black and blue variant. The top of the line version in 18k rose gold is $22,000. All versions of Defy Extreme are available on the official Zenith website and from authorized dealers. Unlike some of the other limited edition models, there is no cap on the production runs for the Zenith Defy Extreme.
The recent drop of the Zenith Defy Extreme is an infusion of new blood into a collection that has long been a favorite. The brand has offered an update of its old standard that maintains the signature 12-sided case shape that has remained an attraction for enthusiasts. I’m one of them. I’ve always been fond of unique design. The bezel insert adds a subtle note of sophistication that is sheer joy for the watch enthusiast who pays attention to every small detail. Again, guilty as charged. This event is a joyous occasion as it’s time for something different and new. Zenith has retained just enough of the elements of the previous models to give the new Defy a comfortable familiarity. It’s also made enough changes to signal a new generation of timepieces in a line branching out into a family of high-end luxury watches that offer choices for those with discriminating tastes who love the familiar yet crave something new. Zenith has hit the mark with spot-on accuracy with its most recent offering of the Defy Extreme model.