Few will have missed the big story for Zenith last year – the 50th anniversary celebrations for its automatic chronograph movement the El Primero, climaxing with the sale of three special editions during November’s Geneva watch auctions. And as the calendar turns, so the famed El Primero – the first integrated automatic chronograph capable of timing to one-tenth of a second – is once again playing a central role in a new limited-edition Defy model, the fourth iteration of its limited-edition series in collaboration with Land Rover.
Coinciding with the release of the new Defender, Zenith has once again worked with Land Rover’s chief creative officer, Gerry McGovern, to give birth to a true horological heavyweight every bit the equal of the emblematic “all-terrain” vehicle.
A limited edition of 250 pieces, it represents a complete makeover of the Defy 21, which features an uprated El Primero movement capable of timing to one-hundredth of a second, and offers McGovern’s trademark minimalistic looks together with a robust “chassis” crafted in sandblasted titanium.
Featuring a grey dial, the display incorporates a new linear power reserve window, and, in tune with the current vogue for colour, discreet “pops” of orange have been used to further highlight the minute track, central seconds and subdial hands, as well adding a contrasting “collar” to the winding crown.
With a central seconds making one full rotation every second, the Defy 21 is hard to miss, but the raw yet refined design of the Land Rover Defender edition is certainly no wallflower. The 44mm case is water resistant to 10ATMs and its hour hands and markers are coated with high-vis Super-LumiNova. Supplied on a grey rubber “Adventure” bracelet, there’s an additional “Country” fabric effect strap available, both of which feature a microblasted titanium folding buckle.
Commenting on the partnership with Zenith, McGovern said, “We wanted a timepiece that captured the essence of the new Land Rover Defender: modern, durable and highly desirable. With subtle details to capture the character of the new Defender, this is for me the best timepiece we have created with Zenith.”
Zenith Defy 21 Land Rover Defender Edition, $14,955 at zenith-watches.com