The “El Primero” has been celebrating its 50th anniversary and Zenith has been going all out to mark the occasion with multiple releases. They have run the spectrum from reissuing classics to using all sorts of new alloy casings. A trend that they intend to continue as they release this new “Zenith El Primero Defy 21 Carbon”.


One of the most noteworthy releases this year came in the form of a box set that consisted of three timepieces: “Zenith Defy El Primero 21” (Ref#: 95.9012.9004.69), “Zenith Chronomaster 2 El Primero” (Ref#: 03.3001.36000/69.C816) and “Zenith El Primero A386 Revival”; plus an empty spot for a future “El Primero” edition that has yet to be released.


This box-set encapsulates a noteworthy chronology of the “El Primero” releases, while leaving room for the future. You can click on each individual watch for a specific review or browse thru or multiple Zenith posts here.


The “Zenith El Primero” Box-Set

Now this new release comes in a 44mm case made of carbon with a mounted carbon bezel and a transparent case back, which allows to view the inner workings of the mechanical movement.


It comes equipped with two wide push-pieces that operate the chronograph functions with a setting-crown in-between them. And not only is the case and bezel constructed out of carbon, Zenith has gone “full carbon” with this watch by crafting the setting-crown and chronograph pushers also out of carbon.


Carbon is a high-tech composite material that manages to be very lightweight, while also being extremely durable. Besides these practical aspects, carbon also provides its own unique aesthetics. The fact that each watch has alternating layers of carbon fiber renders every individual timepiece unique with differing nuances throughout each case. Water-resistance can reach up to 100 meters (330 feet).


Time is exhibited on an open-worked dial with white outlined hour index markers, followed by smaller white printed minute index markers. While on the outer periphery circling the circumference of the dial is a white printed 1/100th of a second scale.


It includes two distinct sub-dials: a 30-minute counter at the 3 o’clock position and a sub-seconds at the 6 o’clock position. There is also a power reserve indicator at the 12 o’clock position.


The central hour, minute and constant seconds’ hands, as well as the applied hour index markers, all have a faceted dark ruthenium coating; that’s been fitted with a luminescent filling, for an enhanced legibility. While the central 1/100 second hand and sub-seconds and minutes counters have been given blackened hands with bright red tips.


Zenith El Primero Defy 21 Carbon

This “Zenith El Primero Defy 21 Carbon” (Ref#: 10.9000.9004/96.R782) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, El Primero 9004 automatic with 53 jewels, 293 components and 36,000 vph. It comes equipped with balance springs made of a graphene matrix, which is a carbon nanotube composite. Power reserve on this watch can last up to 50 hours, when fully wound.


Mounted to the watch is a black textured rubber strap, secured to the wrist by a titanium double folding-clasp with a carbon head. It also includes an additional black rubber strap with a carbon effect. For more up to date information visit the official Zenith website here.


MSRP: $17,800.00 USD

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Zenith, El Primero, Defy, Carbon, Luxury Watches

Written by Mauro Az