A watch can simultaneously look to the future while reminding observers of the recent past. Obviously, the Zenith Defy Extreme could, as this model’s coverage after it was revealed at Watches and Wonders 2021. I haven’t seen this much to do with former CEO Thierry Nataf, well, he is ruling the company. While I do not focus my question on this subject, I have to note that this is not just the shadow of the lavish old boss but the complete reincarnation of something from his time. This comes as no surprise to me because the brand executives – and Nataf themselves – often boast about their sales record. Within Zenith, the current team points to a certain number of superiorities from the former management team, especially the boom in references. That is now resolved, so we’ll see if we can rate Zenith Defy Extreme for its value.
For a start, Zenith Defy Extreme marks a completely different direction and contrasts with Chronomaster Sport earlier this year, and the Revival series was well received. A look at the 2021 Defy Extreme models proves this better than any description. One interesting thing about the description is the “all-terrain” bit, which is such second reference from two completely different brands at Watches & Wonders 2021. The Zenith design team likened the case to angled and angled. edge to a force-shaped object of nature but we clearly see a nod to 21st-century architecture. The tonneau-shaped case uses a more muscular profile with 45mm and 15.4mm thickness. to complement its shaping lines. This is enhanced by what appears to be two bezels – apart from the same 12-sided face, paired with a circle on both the inside and the top. This motif is repeated many times as a journey to the center of the dial, where ultra-modern hands are made of partially bone crafted by the SuperLuminova SLN C1.
Looking at the different models, but especially the microscopic-blown titanium and rose gold Defy Extreme version, I can’t help but think of a Hattori Hanzo sword. Because of this, I mean it is like a mythical weapon that is immensely powerful and almost impassable. I think that perfectly matches the 2000 vibe here. Speaking of power, the El Primero caliber 9004 dual escapement is the motor here, so that means this is a 1/100 second chronograph. There’s a power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock, which is useful for a watch with a 50-hour power reserve (Zenith says this is the minimum). In terms of water resistance, things are extreme again, because every watch in this range is rated at a depth of 200 meters. Keep in mind that this exceptional durability still boasts an exhibition case. That brings me to the feature I am most impressed with here, the interchangeable bracelet system.
Despite being part of LVMH, where brands have been testing interchangeable straps recently, Zenith chose to introduce it for the first time in 2021 Defy Extreme. Without firsthand experience the watch, I cannot report on the properties of the system but it seems very thoughtful. All models come with matching micro-blown titanium bracelets, as well as rubber straps and Velcro. That last one is also the first for Zenith. Stay tuned for more about this collection, and about something a little more colorful that you’ve definitely seen.