© Zenith

Defy 21 Ultraviolet: Zenith gives its classic a regal treatment

If all the colours that our eyes can perceive are to be considered as frequencies of visible light, then violet has the highest frequency of them all, beyond which is invisible ultraviolet light. It was natural for Zenith to pair this intense colour with the highest-frequency chronograph in its regular production, the Defy 21.

In past centuries, violet was coveted as the most sought-after colour dye for garments. Its production was a closely held secret by certain civilisations, such as the Phoenicians. Its rarity and compelling beauty made it the stuff of royalty. Today, violet tones portray a sense of daring, confidence and luxury, from sports cars to bespoke tailoring. Yet in the world of watchmaking, violet remains a rarity.

Consequently, Zenith has now treated an automatic chronograph movement in the regal tones of violet. The watchmaker chose its revolutionary 1/100thof a second El Primero 21 chronograph calibre that beats at an incredible frequency of 50Hz as the canvas for this creation.

Ultraviolet heart

Visible through the open dial, which features three grey chronograph registers and a grey flange ring, the violet movement is accentuated by the Defy 21’s movement conception and design with open, angular bridges. A white-tipped central 1/100th of a second chronograph hand makes a complete revolution above the dial in one second. Besides the Defy 21 El Primero 50th Anniversary edition, which was only available as a box-set with two other watches, the Defy 21 Ultraviolet is the first stand-alone Defy 21 watch. In addition, it features an open dial paired with closed chronograph counters.

Allowing the purple-treated bridges of the movement to truly stand out, the faceted 44mm case of the Defy bears a matte sandblasted finish. This, in turn, brings out the darker metallic nuances of titanium. Complementing the tones of the open movement, the black rubber strap features a violet insert that mimics the look of woven textile.

Technical details

Movement: El Primero 9004 automatic – Ultraviolet finishings
Power reserve approx. 50 hours
Functions : 1/100th of a second chronograph functions. Chronograph power-reserve indication at 12 o’clock. Hours and minutes in the centre. Small seconds at 9 o’clock, Central chronograph hand, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, 60-second counter at 6 o’clock
Material: Microblasted Titanium
Water resistance: 10 ATM
Dial: Special open dial with grey closed chronograph registers
Hour markers: rhodium-plated, faceted and coated with Super-LumiNova®SLN C1
Hands: rhodium-plated, faceted and coated with Super-LumiNova®SLN C1
Bracelet & Buckle: Violet fabric effect strap. Microblasted titanium double folding clasp

For more watchmaking novelties, click here.