With a rich history dating back to 1865, Zenith have created many timepieces that have become iconic in Swiss watchmaking. The year 1969 saw the introduction of the El Primero collections, becoming one of the first watch makers to unveil an automatic chronograph. In almost 50 years the legendary El Primero chronograph hasn’t undertaken any significant changes, until Baselworld 2017 when Zenith showcased the newly developed EL Primero 9004 movement, with the addition of a mechanism that counts up to 1/100th of a second.
The Defy El Primero 21 has an alluring skeletonised dial and transparent caseback, revealing the impressive mechanical workings of this boundary pushing triumph. Through the dial at the 8 o’clock position, is the timekeeping balance wheel (The heartbeat of the model) visibly running at an impressive 36,000 beats per hour. Turning the watch over then reveals the star-shaped rotor, this rotor is the timekeeping section of the movement, providing the outstanding 50-hour power reserve. The smaller balance wheel on the back is for the spectacular 1/100th of a second chronograph, beating at a phenomenal 360,000 beats per hour. Because of the precise chronograph, it has its own power source, this can be wound separately by the crown and monitored by the ‘Chrono power reserve’ gauge on the dial.
Made from Titanium, the 44mm case is surprisingly lightweight despite the impressive size. The minute, hours hands and hour markers are Rhodium-plated and coated with SuperLuminova, ensuring definitive reading in the darkest of conditions. A central chronograph hand with a reddened tip, sweeps the dial for precise timing when using the Defy El Primero 21’s accurate chronograph. The two-coloured sub dials signify the 30-minute counter (Blue) positioned at 3 o’clock and the 60-second counter (Black) found at 6 o’clock. Finally, the perspicacious watch is finished on the titanium bracelet for a persistent lustrous appearance throughout the timepiece.
Powered by the formidable El Primero 9004 certified chronometer.
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