I Sing The Body Electronic: Introducing The New Zenith DEFY Extreme Carl Cox Limited Edition
This bold timepiece is a testament to the culture-shifting accomplishments of both the legendary techno DJ and the iconic watchmaker.
At the end of last week, Zenith announced the Zenith Limited Edition DEFY Extreme Carl Cox, and I wish I could have worn this watch to Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour. Not just because its stainless-steel case fits nicely with the silver dress code adopted by concertgoers. Nor the fact that its two-tone design and 45mm case are bold enough that maybe Mrs. Carter would notice me in the audience throwing my hands in the air.
Nope, I’d be proudly wearing the watch in reverence to the fact this summer, artists like Beyoncé (and Drake) have embraced electronic dance music and there is no one more essential to the genre than Carl Cox. It’s an inspired collaboration because Zenith, like Cox, has also gone through many rebirths over the years yet has not only endured but is still very much at the vanguard.
Englishman Carl Cox is an electronic music icon. House music was born in the early 1980s when DJs in Chicago’s underground club scene began mixing disco tracks with more avant-garde sounds. House travelled across the Atlantic to England where artists like Cox, further evolved the music into techno, electronica and EMD.
Cox was also part of a scene that elevated dance music culture. From warehouse parties to raves in the ’80s to the Burning Man stage, if people are coming together to dance, Cox’s innovations have helped make that scene happen.
Ever evolving, he’s a mainstay in Ibiza and has turned in classic hours-long sets at Glastonbury, Berlin’s Love Parade, Manchester’s The Haçienda and Stonehenge (and a much shorter but no less memorable session at the Houses of Parliament). While he started out in house music, he has embraced (and been embraced by) the jungle, disco, minimal, drum ‘n’ bass, acid house, old-school hip hop, and funk communities. If there’s a global gathering, odds are that Cox has played it.
Cox’s mixes have also been a huge influence outside of the festivals and clubs, starting in the 1980s with Madchester bands like the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays, ’90s MTV mainstays Fatboy Slim and the Prodigy. Even Ed Sheeran has noted Cox as an inspiration. And, at the age of 61, he shows no signs of stopping.
Like Zenith, Cox is one of those rare forces that has never not been relevant. In fact, the 61-year-old is the embodiment of the brand’s “time to reach your star" ethos. The brand obviously believes in the DJ as it’s Cox’s second collaboration with Zenith, with the DEFY 21 Carl Cox edition released in 2020.
“For our second watch created together, we wanted to dive deeper into his rhythmic world and go back to his early days of DJing with analogue instruments,” says Zenith CEO Julien Tornare. “The result is Zenith’s most advanced chronograph reimagined by Carl Cox in a retro-futuristic and even minimalist way, and it’s truly special.”
Highlights of this timepiece include a 1/100th of a second chronograph movement and an exclusive dynamic signature of one rotation per second for the chrono hand (Cox is also involved in the world of racing and has been the owner of Carl Cox Motorsport in New Zealand since 2013).
For the first time, the DEFY Extreme’s case has been crafted in matte-finished stainless steel and yellow gold, taking on a much brighter and sparkling look than polished or brushed steel. The matte yellow gold accents on the dodecagonal bezel and pusher guards are inspired by a turntable stylus’ golden tonearm.
The openwork dial features a smoked sapphire crystal base with three black chronograph counters with concentric grooves that resemble miniature vinyl discs. The power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock is fashioned like an ON/OFF switch.
Mastery of Movement
“I feel so honored that Zenith has immortalized the three turntables that helped make my name within this watch,” says Cox.
He continues: “Beautifully done and with incredible attention to detail, the watch is a fitting tribute to something that has made dancefloors come to life all over the world from a brand that is known for its mastery of movement. They wanted to do something special and they couldn’t have done better!”
The Zenith DEFY Extreme Carl Cox is a limited edition of 100 pieces that will be available to order starting from today, exclusively from ZENITH online and at boutiques around the world. Buyers of the limited edition will have the opportunity to meet Carl Cox personally at selected events. It is priced at $30,100.
For more information, please visit the Zenith website.
(Images © Zenith Watches)