Defy has a long history with Zenith. The line dates back to Georges Favre-Jacot, who started the manufacture in 1865. Originally called “Defi,” the “i” was dropped in 1969 to be replaced with “y.” Plenty of models were added to the line, but in the late 1990s, the Defy line came to an end. But now it’s back with a new edition, the Defy El Primero 21.
Housed in a 44mm case, the Defy El Primero 21 invokes memories of the original El Primero. It has a skeleton face and an open back that lets you see the inner workings of the watch. El Primero 21 also has two separate independently operating escapements, each with their won balance spring made of Carbon-Matrix Carbon Nanotube.
The two escapements keep the watch extremely accurate, down to one one-hundredth of a second. One of the escapements is completely dedicated to keeping time. That escapement runs at 36,000 vibrations per hour. The second escapement, which runs at 360,000 vibrations per hour, is used to run the chronograph, which requires so much energy that it has a 50-minute time limit (the power reserve is shown at 12:00). El Primero 21 comes with COSC chronometer certification.
Zenith is offering three versions of Defy El Primero 21. The first, a titanium example with a solid silvered dial, will sell for USD$9,600. You can pick up a titanium version with a skeletonized dial for USD$10,600. Or, swing for the fences with the ceramicised aluminium version, marked at USD$11,600.