They had done it successfully once before with the “El Primero” and they seem to have done it again! Zenith has just released the commercial version of their revolutionary “Defy Lab” timepiece, which houses an industry-changing caliber movement. Other brands have attempted to reinvent essential components before, but it’s thanks to Zenith that the oscillator is back in the spotlight. Let’s check out the slated to soon be released “Zenith Defy Inventor”.
We have reviewed several “Defy” models, since Zenith celebrated the 50th Anniversary of their iconic “El Primero” movement with several new releases. All those watches had their own unique features, but this latest release manages to take it a notch further. One of the main features we encounter here is a new high frequency caliber movement beating at the extremely high frequency of 18 Hz, which is over four times the usual 4 Hz capability we encounter on most other luxury watches. The “Defy Inventor” owes its exceptional properties to a disruptive technology encapsulated in the form of the single-piece Zenith Oscillator developed and patented by the Maison.
The 44mm case is made of titanium with a transparent sapphire crystal exhibition case back, which allows to view the inner workings of the mechanical movement.
Mounted to the case is a bezel made of a novel composite material designated as “aeronith”, which is in essence an aluminum foam. Zenith describes it as a melted aluminium poured into a mold, following a procedure originally developed by Hublot that transforms it into an open metal foam.
Afterwards the voids in the foam are filled with an extremely light polymer, which results in a material: 2.7 times lighter than titanium, 1.7 times lighter than solid aluminum and 10% lighter than carbon fiber. It’s not the first watch to feature this material, but it is still quite unique and a scarcely utilized material. Water-resistance on this timepiece can reach up 50 meters (164 feet).
Time is exhibited on an open-worked skeletonized dial with a blue framework. It features metal applique hour index markers, followed by small white printed seconds and slightly longer minute markings.
The titanium central hands and hour index markers have all been fitted with a luminescent coating, for an enhanced legibility. Its thinner central second’s hands has been crafted with a counter-weight in the form of Zenith’s star logo. But, what really get the eyes attention is seeing the constant oscillator movement in the background through the open-worked dial. The escape wheel can also be seen at the 6 o’clock position.
Zenith Defy Inventor
This “Zenith Defy Inventor” (Ref#: 95.9001.9100/78.R920) is powered by the self-winding in-house mechanical movement, caliber ZO 9100 with 18 jewels, 148 parts and 129,600 vph (18Hz). It comes equipped with the aforementioned one-piece Zenith oscillator made of monocrystalline silicon that replaces the conventional balance, balance spring and lever. This monocrystalline silicon material is impervious to frictions, deformation and insensitive to temperature variations or magnetic fields. Power reserve on this watch can last up to 50 hours, when fully wound.
Mounted to the watch is a black rubber strap with blue rubber “cordura effect” inserts and exposed grey stitchings, while secured to the wrist by a double-folding titanium buckle. This will be a limited production watch, but the brand has not specified exactly how many are being produced. For more up to date information, visit the official Zenith website here.
MSRP: $17,800.00 USD
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