INTRODUCING: Zenith closes out Extreme E’s sophomore season with new purple Defy Extreme E “Energy X Prix” Edition INTRODUCING: Zenith closes out Extreme E’s sophomore season with new purple Defy Extreme E “Energy X Prix” Edition

INTRODUCING: Zenith closes out Extreme E’s sophomore season with new purple Defy Extreme E “Energy X Prix” Edition

D.C. Hannay

The future is electric. And nowhere is this more apparent than in the world of motorsport. As we begin to leave fossil fuels in the dust, Formula 1 has now made the move to hybrid powertrains, and fully electric racing is already a thing. That includes the fast-paced world of Formula E, and the thrilling off-road rally series known as Extreme E. From the arctic climate of the glaciers of Greenland, to the deserts of Saudi Arabia, the Extreme E races are a true test of man and machine’s extreme capabilities, and the grand finale of the second season recently wrapped up in Punta del Este in Uruguay, which brings us to the final version of Zenith’s new capsule collection for the Defy, the limited-to-20 boutique edition Extreme E “Energy X Prix” Edition.

Defy Extreme E Energy

The Extreme E version of the Defy Extreme uses the Defy Extreme Carbon as its jumping-off point, with its wickedly angled 45mm carbon and blasted titanium case carrying over, and the look is pure race-ready menace. The bleeding-edge materials and construction echo high-tech race car builds, and Zenith bills it as “the world’s lightest and most robust 1/100th of a second chronograph”. The microblasted titanium bezel and chrono pusher guards offer a subdued contrast to the wildly variegated appearance of the carbon case elements, and frankly, the whole package just looks plain badass.

Moving on to the openworked, multi-layered dial, it utilises tinted sapphire for its construction, offering a highly dimensional look that affords glimpses of the movement beneath. The broad handset and applied indices are highly legible (especially for a skeletonised watch), and accents of purple, meant to evoke lightning (electric!), embellish the outer ring and subdials. It’s not easy to pull off this level of visual fireworks while remaining practically legible (many have tried, and many have died), but Zenith makes it look easy here.

Defy Extreme E Energy

Speaking of eye candy, one of the biggest attractions of the Defy is the El Primero 9004 movement, and the whirling dervish of a chrono hand that laps the dial at a blistering rate of one revolution per second. That’s 10 times faster than the original El Primero, and it justifiably rates the El Primero 9004 as an ultra-high frequency chrono, achieving a mind-blasting rate of 360,000 vibrations per hour. As a consequence, the energy consumed by the 9004 is 10 times higher than the original, necessitating the use of separate gearing for the chrono, independent of the timekeeping functions. Heady stuff, but if anyone knows chrono movements, it’s Zenith. You can ogle the mechanical porn of the movement, including the signature star-shaped rotor, through the specially marked sapphire caseback.

The included strap is action-ready as well, fashioned from black and purple rubber of varying textures that integrates nicely into the case ends. The purple outer section has a Cordura fabric-like texture, and the whole affair is molded from upcycled Continental race tires that were actually used in Extreme E’s inaugural season. The strap is affixed with a Velcro closure, further emphasising the racy nature of the whole package.

As a motorsport fan, and a fan of racing watches throughout history, the new Zenith Extreme E “Energy X Prix” Edition is a purple, pulsing monster of a timepiece, and I’m here for it. The look is futuristic, as are the movement innards, and concerns about the size are largely mitigated by the ultralight construction. It’s a watch that goes like hell (especially that record-breaking chronograph), all while strapped firmly on your wrist, just as a legit racing watch should.

Zenith Defy Extreme E “Energy X Prix” Edition pricing and availability:

Defy Extreme E Energy

The Zenith Defy Extreme E “Energy X Prix” Edition is available now as a limited edition of 20 pieces. Price: US$27,100

Brand Zenith
Model Defy Extreme E “Energy X Prix” Edition
Case Material Carbon fibre and microblasted titanium
Case Dimensions 45mm x 15.5mm x 51mm (approximately)
Water-Resistance 200m (screw-down crown)
Dial Openworked with tinted sapphire
Straps Full Interchangeable strap system. Coming with a Energy X Prix Recycled tires Velcro Strap and a 2nd strap included. Microblasted Titanium Triple folding clasp.
Movement In-house El Primero 9004
Power Reserve 50 hours
Complications Hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve, 1/100th of a second chronograph
Availability Now, Limited to 20 pcs.
Price US$27,100