If Zenith’s showing at LVMH’s Dubai Watch Week is anything to go by, 2020 could well be the year of the eccentric collaboration for the Swiss watchmaker.
Not only were members of the press treated to the unveiling of the handsome, if slightly odd, Zenith DEFY El Primero 21 Land Rover Edition, but they were also shown this — Zenith DEFY El Primero 21 Carl Cox Edition.
My oh my, is this an interesting “remix” of the regular DEFY 21 … I’m not even really sure where to begin.
For a start, the 44mm case, as well as the bezel, crown, chronograph pushers, end links and even the head of the deployant clasp, are all hewn from carbon fibre, which has been given a matt finish.
And if the aesthetic of all this matt baked plastic wasn’t inimitable enough, the bezel, and even the stitching on the black rubber and bright red Cordura strap, are treated with Super-LumiNova. This is, in my opinion, an incredibly outlandish novelty, and one presumably done to ensure that Mr Cox can flex on his audience in even the darkest of dens of iniquity.
The dial is also rather … unique, as the running seconds sub-dial, located at nine o’clock, has been fashioned to look like a spinning record, which has been adorned with Cox’s insignia and even a label which states the movement’s 36,000 vph operating frequency.
The rest of the dial is equally striking, thanks to being skeletonised and featuring flashes of red, which can be found on the sub-dial hands and the power reserve indicator.
Like the regular DEFY El Primero 21, and as the name would suggest, the Cox Edition utilises Zenith’s deeply impressive Calibre El Primero 9004.
This absolute tour de force of technicality offers up a chronograph complication that is not only equipped with a column-wheel with a unique start mechanism and patented reset mechanism, the chronograph can measure time down to an infinitesimal 1/100 of a second.
This is impressive enough on its own, but when you take into account that the El Primero 9004 movement also offers up self-winding, power reserve complication, 50 hours of power reserve, 293 components and an operating frequency of 36,000 (5Hz) vibrations per hour, the movement alone makes the cost of admission acceptable.
Speaking of which, the Zenith DEFY El Primero 21 Carl Cox Edition will set lucky owners back a not unsubstantial CHF 19,500 (roughly $33,000 AUD). But for that rather steep price tag, you are getting a watch limited to just 200 pieces and, quite seriously, I cannot think of another timepiece like it on sale today — it truly is a one-hit wonder.