At January’s LVMH Watch Week in Dubai, Zenith released the much-anticipated follow-up to its Range Rover-inspired launch of 2016. The Zenith Defy 21 Land Rover Limited Edition is as rugged as you’d expect a tribute to the renowned all-terrain British SUV to be.
Grey matter: Zenith’s intelligent design
Zenith worked in tandem with Land Rover to time the release of its new Zenith Defy 21 Land Rover Limited Edition (£11,400) with the launch of the next-generation off-roader and produce a watch worthy of the iconic name. Its striking 44mm microblasted titanium case definitely makes the statement on the wrist that you’d expect, absorbing light from all angles to better accentuate its faceted surfaces. The all-grey design features a matt dial – a departure from the skeletonised approach adopted in previous Defy 21 models. Indeed, the only touch of colour comes from a splash of orange on the tachymeter scale, the central chronograph and sub-dial hands, and at the base of the crown. This addition, as well as the Super-LumiNova® SLN C3 lume applied to the hands, makes this model highly legible, despite its mainly monochrome palette.
The Defy 21 Land Rover Limited Edition comes with two grey straps: in fabric-look rubber with orange stitching and in a tyre-textured design, also in rubber, both with a microblasted titanium double-folding buckle. They both add to the functionality of the watch as a sports chronograph and reference the practical aesthetic of the Land Rover.
That said, to broaden the watch’s appeal, Zenith chose not to include the motoring marque’s logo on the dial of this iteration. Instead, it introduced a cleverly designed case back that was partially skeletonised, with a tyre-shaped cut-out revealing some of the escapement. Each watch is engraved with a Land Rover logo under its sapphire crystal, below a number denoting which of the 250 limited-edition creations it is.
The Land Rover team is extremely happy with the outcome – Chief Creative Officer Gerry McGovern said: ‘For the next chapter in our partnership with Zenith, we wanted a timepiece that captured the essence of the new Land Rover Defender: modern, durable and highly desirable. With subtle details that capture the character of the new Defender, this, for me, is the best timepiece we’ve created with Zenith.’
High frequency: TimeLab-certified functionality
As Zenith was the first to produce an automatic chronograph movement with a tenth of a second accuracy, it’s no surprise that the Defy 21 Land Rover Limited Edition houses an impressive calibre. The El Primero 9004 Automatic is TimeLab chronometer-certified and boasts one hundreth of a second accuracy, while its escapement delivers a remarkable frequency of 36,000 VpH (5Hz). It’s water-resistant to 100m and has a power reserve of approximately 50 hours. Its dial features a power-reserve indication at 12 o’clock as well as three sub-dials: a small seconds at 9 o’clock, a 60-second counter at 6 o’clock and a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock. Despite its size, the titanium case ensures it isn’t weighty on the wrist, so you’ll find it effortlessly wearable.
Zenith Defy 21 Land Rover Limited Edition
• 44mm microblasted titanium case
• Two different rubber straps
• El Primero 9004 automatic calibre
• Approximate 50-hour power reserve
• 1/100th of a second chronograph accuracy
• Super-LumiNova® SLN C3 indexes and hands
• 100m water resistance
• Limited to 250 pieces
• Product no: 17640768
• Price: £11,400
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