Zenith and AFL superstar Buddy Franklin deliver a Defy Extreme watch for a very good cause Zenith and AFL superstar Buddy Franklin deliver a Defy Extreme watch for a very good cause

Zenith and AFL superstar Buddy Franklin deliver a Defy Extreme watch for a very good cause

Zach Blass

The prices of luxury watches make collecting an expensive hobby. But the cost of these objects also have potential to help charitable causes as a result. Whenever I talk to high-end collectors – men like Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank, for example – what they really want are things that are one of a kind. That are bespoke. And that is exactly what we have here today. Zenith have collaborated with Buddy Franklin – a superstar of Australian Rules Football – to create a bespoke model of the Zenith Defy Extreme to be auctioned off for the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation on the LoupeThis platform.



We highly encourage you to watch the video above to see Andrew’s full conversation with Buddy, getting into the watch, the cause, and the man himself.

The man

Defy Extreme Buddy Franklin

Lance “Buddy” Franklin is one of their biggest stars in Australian sport. Standing at 6’6, the 35-year-old is the fifth-greatest goal-kicker in VFL/AFL history and, earlier this season, became the sixth person ever to kick 1,000 career goals. To get a sense of what he means to Sydney Swans fans, have a look at their reaction when he hit four figures last season.


Yet it’s not just the numbers that make Franklin such a special player. It’s his extraordinary athleticism and ability to conjure something from nothing. This clip below is still probably his most famous goal that came in 2010 for Hawthorn against Essendon and showcases his power, vision and poise.


Married to Jesinta Franklin – a former Miss Universe Australia – Buddy is one half of one of the country’s sparkliest power couples. But despite his glamorous lifestyle, he remains fiercely proud of his heritage as an Indigenous Australian and this collaboration with Zenith shows how he refuses to forget his roots.

The cause

The Australian Literacy & Numeracy Foundation (ALNF) is a national charity seeking to assist people in the most marginalised communities to gain vital language, literacy and communication skills. The ALNF’s specialised programs tackle the needs of a diverse range of individuals and communities – specifically targeting First Nations, refugee and other vulnerable Australians.

Those services are acutely necessary for Aboriginal communities in the Australian outback. The shocking truth is that ALNF reports that 46% of Aboriginal adults in Australia are “functionally illiterate”, while only one in 10 Indigenous children in very remote communities in the Northern Territory can read at or above the minimum standards. All proceeds of the watch below will be donated to the ALNF.

The watch: The Zenith Defy Extreme Buddy Franklin

Defy Extreme Buddy Franklin

Two Zenith Defy Extreme Buddy Franklin timepieces have been collaboratively designed and commissioned by Franklin, with one now in the possession of the man himself and the other going to the winning bidder of the auction. It finds itself in a 200m water-resistant case made of brushed titanium, with rose-gold accents on the outer decagonal bezel edges and guards for the crown and pushers. The size is in line with other Defy Extreme watches, clocking in at 45mm in diameter, 15.4mm thick, and 51mm lug-to-lug.

Defy Extreme Buddy Franklin

The dial’s unique appearance reflects the rugged Australian landscape and Buddy’s own Indigenous background. Zenith explains: “The sapphire dial has been crafted in a custom colour called ‘Ulura’ with texturisation on the counter inspired by the iconic sandstone monolith and sacred site of Uluru.”

Regardless of your familiarity with the natural muse it takes inspiration from, the result is a warm brownish red tone that is very striking and eye-catching. At 12′ you have a power reserve indicator, at 9′ the running seconds, at 6′ a sixty-second counter, and at 3′ a 30-minute elapsed minutes register. All of the rose-gold-plated hands and applied indices have SuperLuminova® fillings, so the indications are highly legible in darker settings.

Now, you might be wondering why would I need two counters to show the seconds? Well, living up to its extreme nomenclature, the Defy Extreme and its chronometer certified in-house automatic El Primero 9004 calibre is able to measure up to 1/100th of a second on its chronograph. This means the central seconds hand makes a full rotation once each second. So, in order to be able to see the elapsed seconds in a standard 60-second scale another register is needed.

The calibre, which in this bespoke instance features rose-gold toned finishes, has two escapements, one for the watch, which runs at a high-beat pace of 5Hz (36,000 VPH), and the other for the central chronograph seconds hand that runs 10 times faster (50Hz or 360,000 VPH). Considering the rates at which the movement runs, it has a very solid power reserve of 50 hours.  The Zenith Defy Extreme Buddy Franklin  is bundled with three strap options, all of which feature quick-change capability. You have a titanium strap and two different styles of black rubber straps at your disposal, giving the owner three skins for their timepiece.

How to bid

Defy Extreme Buddy Franklin

The auction is currently being hosted on the LoupeThis platform, ending November 7 at 2am EST. To register and place your bid, you can head right here.