For the last year or so, Zenith has been busy celebrating the 50th anniversary of the El Primero by releasing tastefully executed, close to original reissues of its traditional vintage El Primero powered references. The latest addition to the El Primero family, however, is the modern and funky Zenith Defy 21 Ultraviolet, a watch powered by the latest and highly innovative El Primero 21 caliber, dressed in a vivid shade of violet.
Right off the bat, the Zenith Defy 21 Ultraviolet makes a strong visual impact through those bright and colorful violet highlights. But why Violet? You see, violet is a color that has the highest frequency among all the colors within the visible spectrum. Furthermore, El Primero 21, introduced back in 2017, is a modern super high-frequency technical marvel, making the two a perfect frequency match for each other. Keeping the reasoning aside, the outcome of the pairing is quite stunning. Visible through the skeletonized dial, the purple sections of the movement pop and provide a nice contrast against the grey surroundings which include the counters at 3,6 and 9, along with the 100-second scale on the outer periphery. The rest of the layout is also quite familiar, and features applied and faceted lume filled hour markers, broad rhodium-plated hour and minute hands, a stick style chronograph seconds hand with a star-shaped counterbalance, and a power reserve indicator at 12.
The case on the Defy 21 Ultraviolet has been crafted from titanium and measures 44mm in diameter along with a thickness of around 14.5mm. While it is certainly on the larger side, given its lightweight titanium construction and tonneau style shape, the watch would wear comfortably on a wide variety of wrists. As for the finishing, the entire case has been micro-blasted, leading to a dark grey color that gives the watch a rugged and tool watch like appeal. The case is also water-resistant to a healthy 100 meters.
Powering the watch is the state of the art El Primero 21 Caliber. This is an automatic chronograph movement that features two separate escapements. One of them operates at a frequency of 5Hz and takes care of general timekeeping, whereas the other operates at an unimaginable 50Hz enabling the chronograph to measure up to 1/100th of a second. Like the front, the movement is also visible from the rear and proudly shows off the star-shaped purple rotor among other details.
The Zenith Defy 21 Ultraviolet would come attached to a rubber strap with a violet-colored upper layer and would retail for CHF 13,400.
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