Big, Spinning News from Zenith: A DEFY Macked Out with Two Tourbillons!

Big, Spinning News from Zenith: A DEFY Macked Out with Two Tourbillons!

With LVMH Watch Week kicking off in Singapore tomorrow, let’s take a moment to look back at one of Zenith’s final model releases of 2022: the DEFY Extreme Double Tourbillon, featuring the brand’s most advanced chronograph movement to date.

By Mike Espindle
Executive Editor

The Le Locle-based watchmaker Zenith’s DEFY line, which was practically re-introduced earlier in 2022, has had an impressive run over the past twelve months. Since the re-introduction that harkened back to the vintage sportiness and elegance of the original DEFY, which debuted in 1969, we’ve seen the timepiece lean more into extreme territory and beyond.

Now Zenith has placed its most complicated chronograph movement into a new watch that marries the line’s classic proportions and technical edginess with an haute horological twist – the DEFY Extreme Double Tourbillon.

Spinning Wheels

Equipped with dual tourbillons, the advanced El Primero 9020 movement’s double-action, gravity-fighting features improve the accuracy of general timekeeping and the DEFY’s 1/100th-of-a-second chronometry.

Interestingly, while the primary tourbillon rotates at an expected 60 seconds, the chronograph’s spinner whips around in just five seconds, making it one of the fastest tourbillons ever produced.

But, even more to the point, all this lofty horology comes in an incredibly modern, clean, technical, rugged, and visually appealing design approach that defies (no pun intended) any fussiness you might associate with a highly complicated watch. This isn’t complication for complication’s sake; it’s complication for action’s sake.

The Look That Loops

The new DEFY’s angular case is 45mm wide, and somehow, the twin tourbillons, power reserve indicator, and chronograph sub-dials all fit nicely and artfully on the dial. There is some overlap, but that merely adds to the edgy nature of the presentation. The spinners are positioned one above the other on the left side of the dial and has elaborate structural bridging holding it all together.

One would expect this approach to crowd the left side of the dial. However, deft use of black PVD color and space minimizes distracting busyness, creating something of its own separate visual level in which the tourbillon component can live. Yes, there is only a hint of hour marker info on the left, but to be honest, who cares?

The rest of the dial works in a fairly standard chronograph layout – power reserve at 12 o’clock with counters at three and six o’clock. But please keep in mind two things. First, the power reserve indicator is for the chronograph only (it carries a 50-minute reserve while the primary power reserve is 50 hours). And second, the DEFY’s chrono hand spins at one rotation each second once it is sparked.

Add in the gorgeous open-worked approach of the dial and red gold-plated and lumed hands and markers, and “standard” isn’t really a word that applies in this case.

Two Tourbillons, Two Executions

The DEFY Extreme Double Tourbillon is available in two versions. First there is the more aggressive version with a black carbon fiber case and textured black rubber strap that plays particularly well with the sand-blasted matte red gold details (which include the bezel and pusher protectors on this model). And second, there is a more sophisticated, stealthily elegant all-titanium version that combines satin-brushed, polished, and matte surfaces down to the bracelet.

The carbon version lists for $79,700, while its titanium sister retails for $69,600. Both are available at Zenith retailers as you read this. Find out more on Zenith’s website.

Like I said at the top, a heck of a year for the DEFY. But I am certain watch fans can expect even more in the years to come.

(Images © Zenith)

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