Zenith’s DEFY Extreme was first introduced back in 2021 as being one of the boldest and rugged iterations of the Swiss watch manufacturer’s groundbreaking 1/100th of second automatic high-frequency chronograph models to date. One of the first DEFY Extreme models was the light yet robust titanium timepiece, made with an entirely matte finish, from the casing and bezel to the watch band. The DEFY Extreme was made to withstand harsh conditions and this has already been proven during the first season of EXTREME E.
Now, Zenith has given the DEFY Extreme a retouch, by making the timepiece from sporty carbon fibre. The inspiration behind using this material on the watch was from the world’s first off-road electric rally racing championship, in which Zenith is also the Official Timekeeper and Founding Partner.
The case, bezel, crown, and chronograph pushers have all been done in this highly durable layered carbon fibre material. Carbon fibre is most commonly used throughout the automotive and aviation industries, where the unique properties and lightness of the material are hard to be matched by metals. The other upside is also that carbon fibre gives a very unique look on whatever is used, and that no two carbon fibre components will look the same. The side profile of the bezel along with the chronograph push protectors are made from titanium.
The dial of the DEFY Extreme Carbon is certainly colourful. The open-worked multi-layered dial features a mix of colours that have been inspired by EXTREME E’s “X Prix” colour schemes which are adapted for each race. The 1/100th of a second scale has yellow markings which stand out well against the grey backdrop. The 30 minute counter at 3 o’clock is donned in blue, while the 60-minute counter at 6 o’clock is light green. Zenith’s standard red for the power reserve indicator along with the red jewels in the movement also adds to the colour mix.
Overall the dial isn’t too clustered while much of the movement underneath can still be seen, as the chronograph counters are still see-through even though they are tinted. The counters also blend in nicely with the carbon fibre from the bezel and case.
The movement inside the DEFY Extreme E is the El Primero 9004 automatic. This movement is the fastest automatic high-frequency calibre movement with it having two escapements to power the normal time functions and the 1/100th of a second chronograph. The time escapement runs at 5hz (36’000 VpH) and the 1/100th of a second chronograph escapement operates at 50hz (360’000 VpH). The watch can deliver a power reserve of approximately 50 hours.
Zenith is offering this latest DEFY Extreme Carbon with three quickly interchangeable strap options. The strap options include a black textured rubber strap with a micro blasted titanium folding buckle, a red textured rubber strap, and lastly a black Velcro strap with a carbon fibre buckle.
Zenith’s new DEFY Extreme Carbon is a representation of the brand manufacturing spirit of innovation and plays on the DEFY range’s main attributes of ruggedness and incredible performance. Special editions of this timepiece will be developed for each of the upcoming Extreme E races on the second thrilling season of EXTREME E, which starts in Saudi Arabia in February 2022.