With this new Defy El Primero timepiece, Swiss watch manufacturer Zenith presents a new 100th of a second chronograph movement. While remaining true to its legendary roots, the 21st century Defy El Primero flaunts standout performance: a COSC-certified in-house movement driving a hundredth of a second display by means of a central hand, with its unique and exclusive dynamic signature of one rotation per second. Its double-chain structure is based on two regulators, made of Carbon-Matrix Carbon Nanotube composite, a patented new material that is insensitive to magnetic fields and temperature gradients to a degree well above existing norms. With its powerful 44 mm titanium case, Defy El Primero 21 becomes the master of extreme precision.
Precision, speed and reliability: the El Primero from 1969 and the Defy El Primero 21 carry the same winning genes. The brand holds a record-breaking 2,333 chronometry prizes, the major difference being that this new generation has been developed with industrialization in mind right from the outset. A 32 mm diameter compared with 30 mm for its ancestor; 7.9 mm thick rather than the original 6.50 mm; 203 components as opposed to 278 in 1969. More complex mechanical functions performed by a smaller number of parts: just as in the automotive and aeronautical industries, the Defy El Primero 21 stems from modern engineering, involving statistical dimensioning matching functional sizing with machine capabilities, all designed to ensure simplified assembly and adjustment serving to achieve the finest level of performance and certification.
Representing the aesthetic, visual and audible signature of the new Defy El Primero 21, its central chronograph hand performs a full turn of the dial in one second. This simple, immediate and direct reading of the hundredths provides an opportunity to grasp the reality of the second being measured.
The frequency reaches an impressive 360,000 vibrations/hour ensuring its hundredth of a second precision, and energy consumption is ten times higher than in the original. Another unique characteristic stems from a determination to avoid any risk of the chronograph interfering with the smooth running of the watch: the Defy El Primero 21 is therefore equipped with two independent “gear boxes”: one for the time and the other for the chronograph. Each has its own transmission and escapement system and there is no coupling clutch.
When in 1865, Georges Favre-Jacot grouped under one roof the entire range of watch industry professions that were generally scattered between various workshops, the youthful and visionary Zenith founder was creating the first industrial watch manufacture. This spirit of independence and integrated skills takes on its full significance with the new El Primero 21 movement, in-house made and remarkably equipped with its own patented balance-springs. Gravity, temperature and magnetism, the sworn enemies of precision, are thus completely neutralised.
Alongside its integrated construction, its double-chain architecture and the remarkable chronometric performance of its new balance-springs, the El Primero 21 movement features a patented chronograph-reset control mechanism composed of three heart pieces and an exclusive starter mechanism, ensuring simultaneous resetting of the seconds as well as tenths and hundredths of a second.
The Defy El Primero 21 embodies the new generation of Zenith chronographs, based on contemporary mechanics endowed with an unprecedented visual, auditory and dynamic identity.
It proudly represents the tradition of a manufacture with longstanding expertise in chronometry, while incorporating the latest technological breakthroughs. This know-how is expressed through an impressive design – with a 44 mm-diameter case in grade 5 titanium – inspired by the original El Primero models. Equipped with a fluted crown and chronograph pushers, the case with its short lugs displays alternating brushed and satin finishing, while its rubber strap with a leather insert is secured by a double-blade folding clasp.
The hundredths of a second display creates an immediate visual impact, with its inner bezel ring featuring a graduated scale running from 0 to 100 and swept over by a spectacularly swift 100th of a second chronograph hand performing one full turn per second.
Epitomising the face of the new Zenith range, the openwork dial reveals an elegant contemporary décor. A star-tipped sweep-seconds hand, large luminescent baton-type hands and facetted hour-markers: all the key identifying characteristics of the El Primero are there, along with counters picking up two of the colours – blue and anthracite grey – gracing the legendary 1969 chronograph.
Model: DEFY EL PRIMERO 21
95.9000.9004/78.R582 (Titanium – open-worked dial)
95.9001.9004/01.R582 (Titanium – silver-toned dial)
24.9000.9004/78.R582 (Ceramicised aluminium – open-worked dial)
Movement El Primero 9004, Automatic
Calibre 14¼``` (Diameter: 32.80 mm)
Movement thickness 7.9 mm
Frequency 36,000 VpH (5 Hz)
Power-reserve min. 50 hours
Finishes Oscillating weight with “Côtes de Genève” motif
New 1/100th of a second Chronograph movement
Exclusive dynamic signature of one rotation per second
1 escapement for the Watch (36,000 VpH - 5 Hz) ;
1 escapement for the Chronograph (360,000 VpH - 50Hz)
Insensitive to magnetic fields and temperature gradients
Double chain structure with 2 regulators made of Carbon-Matrix Carbon Nanotube composite
1/100th of a second Chronograph:
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: Brushed titanium or Ceramicised aluminium
Diameter: 44 mm
Dial-opening diameter: 35.5 mm
Thickness: 14.50 mm
Crystal: Domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides
Case-back: Transparent sapphire crystal
Water-resistance: 10 ATM
Open-worked with two different- coloured counters or silver-toned with black counters or
Openworked or silver-toned with three black counters
Hour-markers Rhodium-plated or ruthenium-plated, faceted and coated with SuperLuminova SLN C1
Hands Rhodium-plated or ruthenium-plated, faceted and coated with SuperLuminova SLN C1
Bracelet: 27.00.2322.582 (Black rubber with black alligator leather coating)
Buckle: 27.95.0022.930 (Titanium double folding clasp)
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