Zenith Defy 21 Chroma Revealed (LVMH Watch Week 2022)

by Chamath Gamage
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The DEFY collection is hands down Zenith’s most technologically innovative and forward-thinking line. The models in this collection feature some of the brand’s most complex and beautiful watches. The DEFY collection also plays with different colours, whether its case material, dial colours, gem-setting in a rainbow of colours, or artistic collaborations, imagination is the only limit for Zenith. 

With this latest release from Zenith, the DEFY 21 Chroma, the brand is once again playing with translating high-frequency chronometry into frequencies of light and colour. 


Zenith has given this particular DEFY 21 model an all-white ceramic with matte finish casing, which acts as the perfect contrast to all the different colours we’ll find within the dial. The bezel has the same finish as the case so as to not detract anything away from the beautiful dial. Through the sapphire crystal, we can see rainbow spread which is done evenly across the skeletonised dial and also see parts of this on the movement as well. 

The entire colour spectrum can be seen, starting from the 12 o’clock hour marker which is coloured in red. The colours from this point transition clockwise into orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, and finally pink. This arrangement of colours first starts off with the markers on 1/100 of a second scale. It then leads into the dial with the hour markers matching accordingly.  This colour arrangement is completed with a few parts of the movement being coloured to suit. 

This rainbow effect isn’t limited to just the dial, however. The crown has a yellow ring to match the yellow at 3 o’clock, and the stitching on both watch straps match up with the colour that it lines up with on the colour gradient on the dial. 

The dial also has three chronograph counters located at 3 o’clock (30-minute counter), 6 o’clock (60-minute counter), and 9 o’clock (constant seconds counter). These counters are done in white to match the case and bezel while also acting as a contrast for the surrounding colours. The tips of the chronograph hands are also colour matching to the surrounding gradient colours. 


Inside the Zenith DEFY 21 Chroma is the El Primero 21 automatic high-frequency 1/100th of a second chronograph. A movement at the peak of performance and precision, this version of the iconic El Primero movement features two independent regulating organs and gear trains for timekeeping and chronograph functions. The operating frequencies timekeeping and chronograph regulating organs are 5Hz (36’000 VpH) and 50Hz (360’000 VpH), respectively. 

Zenith is offering the DEFY 21 Chroma in white rubber with white “Cordura effect” rubber with multicoloured stitching. This strap blends in well with the case and helps make the rainbow colour effect really stand out. 

The Zenith DEFY 21 Chroma is limited to 200 pieces and is available at Zenith boutiques and authorized dealers around the world. The DEFY 21 1/100 of a second chronograph has already shown us that the Swiss watch brand has mastered the art of high-frequency automatic watches. But now, with the release of the DEFY 21 Chroma, they are showing us that they are also masters of creating artistic timepieces by adding a playful colour palette on a white background to keep it simple yet highly effective. 

Australian Retail Price: $20,900.00

Availability: Feburary 2022

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