At Baselworld this year, Zenith launched the Defy El Primero 21 watch. Recreating the name ‘Defy’ in the ultra-high frequency series seems to be part of Jean-Claude Beaver’s grand plan. So what’s so special about Defy El Primero 21?
First, it carries the hope of revival in Zenith
Zenith is undergoing a transition and transformation. This is not news. The Defy El Primero 21 watch launched at the Pakistani exhibition in March this year is called ‘the first achievement in a new collection of stars’, and also the resignation of Aldo Magada, Jean-Claude Beaver The first major new product when taking over Zenith and serving as interim CEO (later, Jean-Claude Beaver appointed Julian Tornare as the new CEO).
This is the first product of the Defy series, everything focuses on cutting-edge technology and advanced materials. For this reason, the Defy El Primero 21 watch has a bigger and bolder look than the El Primero watch. The Defy El Primero 21 watch is available in two skeleton dial versions and a silver dial version with the same mechanical properties and different appearances.
Secondly, very quickly
As the name suggests, the Defy El Primero 21 is capable of measuring time intervals of 1/100 second. The central chronograph hand rotates once per second, which is unique, dynamic and very cool. As you may recall, Zenith’s sister brand Tag Heuer once produced a high-vibration chronograph, Mikrotimer, capable of similar feats. But the Defy El Primero 21 watch is even more impressive, because Mikrotimer is only a costly and limited production concept watch, and the former will be put into mass production to accompany watch fans’ daily life.
Third, the timing system operates independently
The Defy El Primero 21 watch separates the time display and chronograph gear trains, allowing the chronograph system to operate independently. The apparent escapement frequency is up to 36,000 times per hour (5 Hz), just like the original El Primero chronograph movement. The chronograph escapement vibrates ten times faster, reaching an astonishing 360,000 times per hour (50 Hz), and can perform chronograph operation for 50 minutes at full string (the watch itself provides a 50-hour power reserve). The benefit of having two separate ‘gearboxes’ is that there is no need to engage the clutch, since the display and timing are separated.
4. Certified by COSC
The above details on the gear train help explain this. On the one hand, the running speed is as high as 50 Hz, and on the other hand, it is necessary to maintain the COSC level travel time accuracy within a day or even a week (the daily error does not exceed -4 / + 6 seconds). It is very difficult to achieve these two points simultaneously. However, the Defy El Primero 21 watch can easily reach the COSC standard by stripping the high-speed chronograph from the conventional transmission and escapement system.
Five, good antimagnetic
The Defy El Primero 21 watch uses two patented hairsprings, which are made of a composite material (to be precise, a carbon-based carbon nanotube composite material), which has excellent anti-magnetic properties and temperature changes. Zenith claims that the entire watch can withstand ‘more than 15,000 gauss’ of magnetic force, which is the standard for Omega METAS certification. As for the specific amount, Zenith did not comment.
6.Simplified structure and complex functions
Defy El Primero 21 is equipped with a new movement, El Primero Calibre 9004, which is larger than the original El Primero movement in 1969: 32 mm in diameter and 30 mm in original thickness; 7.9 mm in thickness and 6.5 mm in original thickness, but The new movement contains only 203 parts, while the old movement contains 278 parts.
Seven, the start and stop of the timing function is more sensitive
Zenith equips the Defy El Primero 21 with a new patented chronograph control mechanism that ensures synchronized start and reset of the hands for 1 second, 1/10 second and 1/100 second. You may think that this is the case for chronographs, but in fact, stopping the operation of the elastic device of the hands suddenly by pressing the button in time often results in a slight delay or jitter-minimizing the errors is a sign of high-end chronographs. If the measurement only needs to be accurate to seconds, it is not so important; but if the measurement is accurate to 1/100 seconds, it is very important.
Price is not crazy
After reading the above interpretation, you may put a high price tag on the Defy El Primero 21 watch. But as we mentioned, this watch is used for mass production and its price matches it. The titanium silver dial version costs £ 8,300 and is no different from the high-quality, home-made sports chronographs of Rolex Daytona and Breitling, Girard Perregaux or Athens. In addition, the titanium skeleton dial version is priced at 9,100 pounds, while the ceramic aluminum skeleton dial version is priced at 9,900 pounds.