A fervent supporter of the Only Watch auction since its very first edition in 2005, Zenith presents this time a unique piece of the DEFY 21 Double Tourbillon, the Manufacture’s most advanced and complex chronograph to date.
For its 9th consecutive contribution to the biennial Only Watch charity auction, Zenith brought acclaimed op artist Felipe Pantone onboard to take the codes from their highly acclaimed collaborative DEFY 21 Felipe Pantone and push the chromatic concept even further.
Extremely complex and highly technical, the DEFY 21 Double Tourbillon watch incorporates two independent regulating tourbillons operating at 5Hz for the timekeeping function of the movement and 50Hz for the 1/100th of a second chronograph, which rotate at rates of 60 seconds and 5 seconds respectively.
In the unique DEFY 21 Double Tourbillon Only Watch 2021, Felipe Pantone translated his acclaimed design language to the movement’s decoration as well as the open dial.
Using the principal of interference colours, the coating on the bridges reflects a gradient of metallic rainbow tones, marking the first time the innovative three-dimensional PVD with silicon particles as a surface treatment on a tourbillon chronograph movement to produce a spectrum of perfectly transitioning colours.
The entire movement is fixed within a metal container that is also given the same rainbow effect. The case back view also delights with the same rainbow PVD coating on the bridges, where “Unique Piece” is engraved on one of them under the blackened star-shaped winding rotor.
Allowing as much light as possible onto the vividly coloured inner workings of this mechanical marvel, Zenith opted for a case made entirely of transparent sapphire crystal for the first time in the Defy collection. Adored for its crystal-clear transparency and extreme hardness, synthetic sapphire requires a long series of painstaking processes to reach its final form – from precisely moulding the highly three-dimensional elements to finishing and polishing them to perfection.
On the dial side, the central hour and minute hands take on a distorted look resembling lightning bolts, a recurring element in Pantone’s work. Like the movement, a rainbow gradient of colours in PVD is applied onto the hands, while each of the applied hour markers is filled with a different colour. The moiré optical effect on the dial was produced by thin alternating white and black using fine laser-engraving and precise lacquering techniques.
The DEFY 21 Double Tourbillon Only Watch 2021 comes in a special box resembling an art book, as well as an original signed artwork by Felipe Pantone. Titled “Optichromie 135 Z”, this enamel and UV paint on aluminium painting in the artist’s signature style measures 170x120cm and is in fact the artwork that Pantone created for Zenith, which was then miniaturized and reproduced for the DEFY 21 Felipe Pantone edition’s packaging.
The DEFY 21 Double Tourbillon Only Watch 2021 unique piece will be auctioned by Christie’s in Geneva on November 6th 2021, with all proceeds from the sale benefitting the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathie.
Model: Defy 21 Double Tourbillon Sapphire Felipe Pantone Unique Piece
El Primero 9020 automatic
Frequency: 36,000 VpH (5 Hz)
Power reserve approx. 50 hours
1/100th of a second Double Tourbillon Chronograph movement
1 Tourbillon escapement for the Watch (36,000 VpH – 5 Hz)
1 Tourbillon escapement for the Chronograph (360,000 VpH – 50Hz)
Exclusive dynamic signature of one rotation per second for the Chrono hand
Hours and minutes in the centre
Double Tourbillon: 1 escapement for the Watch (36,000 VpH / 5 Hz – cage makes a turn in 60 second) 1 escapement for the Chronograph (360,000 VpH / 50 Hz – cage makes a turn in 5 second)
1/100th of a second Chronograph: Central chronograph hand that makes one turn each second, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, 60-second counter at 6 o’clock, Chronograph power-reserve indication at 12 o’clock
“Rainbow” PVD-coated bridges + Black laser engraved main plate on movement and special oscillating weight
Water resistance: 3 ATM
Open-worked with rainbow finishing
Hour markers: Rhodium-plated, faceted and coated with “Rainbow” varnish
Hands: Rhodium-plated, faceted and “Rainbow” PVD coated
Black rubber, titanium double folding clasp