Remember this colourful limited edition DEFY 21 lineup from Zenith last year?
That DEFY 21 Spectrum series consisted of five differently coloured chronograph movements and matching stones, featuring the El Primero 21, Zenith’s revolutionary 1/100th of a second chronograph movement that beats at 50Hz/ 360,000 VPH.
As we noted at the time, the colour element about those watches was probably less about the stones and more about the ability to create the movements in different colours, something that a handful of other brands have also done.
So not unsurprisingly, this new DEFY 21 Chroma is another execution of this ability to make a coloured movement, also using the El Primero 1/100th of a second chronograph, but this time in a 44mm matte white ceramic case with a more impressive multi-coloured (PVD-coated) movement, shown off in an open-worked dial.
It is one thing to create a colourful timepiece using coloured dials or gemstones for example, but doing so for a movement is of note, and not just ‘any’ movement, either.
Beneath the sapphire crystal sits a white open worked dial with the familiar three chronograph layout plus the addition of a chronograph power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock, whose red rhodium-plated hour marker starts the spectrum colours of the twelve ‘rainbow’ hour markers. The 1/100th second outer track also syncs the colour treatment.
Both the open worked dial and sapphire case back have components, including bridges, finished in rainbow colours corresponding to their position in relation to the colours on the dial.
The white chronograph counters match the white case, but the use of colour even extends to the chronograph counter hands, with coloured tips. Each bridge of the movement is finished in a different metallic colour, again following the gradient of the dial’s markers.
The crown has a yellow rubber ring to match the yellow at 3 o’clock and the stitching on the Cordura effect rubber strap has red, orange, green and blue stitching to match the nearest colour on the dial.
The Chroma is powered by the automatic high frequency El Primero 9004 chronograph movement with a 1/100th second feature that enables the central chronograph hand to complete an entire revolution in one second, allowing the timing of events to a tiny 1/100th second.
It features two independent regulating organs and gear trains for the timekeeping and chronograph functions – the former runs at 36,000 VPH and the chronograph runs on its own escapement system, with a balance wheel operating at 360,000 VPH. The power reserve for the chronograph is 50 minutes, and it is wound by hand. The timekeeping can be hand wound. Both balance springs are made from what Zenith says is a ‘carbon-matrix carbon nanotube composite’.
Limited to 200 pieces, to my mind at least, the DEFY 21 Chroma is a more attractive combination of (literal) colour and movement than the Spectrum series, combining a bit of informal sporty fun with serious horology.
Limited to 200 pieces worldwide, it has an RRP of AUD 20,900/ CHF 14,400.
[Photo credit: Zenith]