Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Only Watch Edition

To support seventh edition of the Only Watch charity auction, Zenith has created a unique edition of the Defy El Primero 21 timepiece. It features a new 1/100th of a second chronograph and two completely independent movements, each driven by its own regulator.

The 44 mm black DLC titanium case and signature yellow details on the dial make the Defy El Primero 21 a highly attractive, unique piece, further emphasized by the presentation box which has been exclusively designed for this watch.

Launched at Baselword 2017, the Zenith Defy El Primero 21 is a masterpiece of modern engineering. Constructed using state-of-the-art methods and finished using the newest technologies and materials, it fulfils two objectives: a finish of the highest possible quality, and optimum performance and precision on the wrist.

Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Only Watch Edition
Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Only Watch 2017 Edition

First released in 1969, the world’s most accurate series-made chronograph entered a whole new era of mechanical timekeeping with the Defy El Primero 21.

An impressive frequency of 360,000 beats per hour is testament to the groundbreaking ingenuity of Zenith, and enables precise measurement of time periods to a hundredth of a second. The jump from tenths to hundredths of a second is a quantum leap in terms of watchmaking performance and engineering.

To avoid any risk of the chronograph affecting the accuracy of the time display, the Defy El Primero 21 is equipped with a “double chain structure”. This means that the time display and chronograph each have their own completely independent mechanism with its own barrel and high frequency escapement. For the chronograph, this oscillates at a breathtaking 50 Hz (360,000vph).

As standard for the El Primero, the time display escapement oscillates at 5 Hz (36,000 vph). This means that the El Primero 21 has no need for the clutch mechanism traditionally found in chronographs.

Alongside the double-chain structure of the caliber, and the remarkable precision this ensures, the El Primero 21 boasts other technical highlights: a new, patented start/stop/reset mechanism composed of three heart pieces, and an exclusive starter mechanism which ensures reliable operation under all circumstances, and allows all chronograph displays to be simultaneously reset.

In addition, the springs in both regulators are fully carbon; more specifically created from the ultra-light and incredibly stable carbon nanotube metal matrix composite. This world first ensures that the Defy El Primero is unaffected by magnetic fields and temperature changes as well as the influence of gravity.

The Defy El Primero 21 speaks to all of the senses, reflecting the aesthetic and acoustic signature of this new era for Zenith. The central chronograph hand rotates once around the dial each second, while the 50 Hertz escapement emits a pleasant “buzzing”. The passing of time becomes endlessly fascinating to observe, whilst also enabling the 1/100th of a second display to be read reliably at a glance.

Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Only Watch Edition

The Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Only Watch Edition is a unique combination of materials and colors, boasting a powerful 44 mm black DLC titanium case and a black alligator leather strap featuring yellow stitching detail and lined with rubber. The double folding clasp holds the watch securely and elegantly on the wrist.

The caseback is specially engraved and the sapphire crystal bears the logos of Only Watch and the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy.

Technical details

Reference: 96.9000.9004/27.R583 – with black DLC titanium case and skeleton dial

Unique piece

El Primero 9004 automatic, COSC-certified chronometer calibre
Calibre 14¼’’’(diameter: 32.80 mm)
Movement thickness 7.9 mm
203 components
53 jewels
Frequency: 36,000 vph (5 Hz)
Power reserve: 50 hours (min.)
Automatic oscillating weight with “Côtes de Genève” finish

1/100th of a second chronograph:
Chronograph power reserve indication at 12 o’clock
Central hour and minute display
Small seconds at 9 o’clock
– Central chronograph 1/100th of a second hand
– 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock
– 60-second counter at 6 o’clock

Diameter: 44 mm
Thickness: 14.5 mm
Domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides
Sapphire crystal case back
Case material: black DLC titanium
Water-resistance: 10 ATM

Skeleton dial with yellow details to tie in with the Only Watch logo
Dial diameter: 35.5 mm
Hour indexes: rhodium-plated and coated with Yellow SuperLuminova
Hands: rhodium-plated and coated with Yellow SuperLuminova

27.00.2322.583 (black alligator leather with yellow stitching, backed with natural rubber)
Clasp: 27.96.0022.930 (black DLC titanium double folding clasp)

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