Just in time for the holiday season, Zenith unveils four Defy High Jewelry watches with a choice of baguette diamonds or a full rainbow spectrum of colour sapphires adorning the bezels. Watch lovers will know that the Defy Classic and the Defy El Primero 21 are two venerated stalwarts in the world of horology with highly respected history and a slew of accolades. The Swiss manufacture has a venerable track record of making superior precision watches since 1865, including the first pilot’s watches. But how do you make one of these mechanical titans into a heart-melting gift for Christmas for her?
Zenith has come up with a dazzling solution that carefully balances the design integrity and mechanical pedigree of these two classic Jura ambassadors with the glamour of gemstones. The result is four sumptuous jewellery versions of the Defy Classic and the El Primero 21, dressed to kill in shimmering colour sapphires and diamonds.
First a little about the technical side of these two watches. The El Primero is a ground-breaking mechanical achievement and was the very first chronograph watch to be able to time to 1/100th of a second; hence the name El Primero or the first. This is thanks to its mechanical escapement that oscillates at 36,000 VPH, a speed high enough to ensure razor-sharp precision. The Defy is a more futuristic take on high horology with looks to match. The unique open dial reveals a sophisticated skelotonised movement, powered by a state of the art silicon escape-wheel and lever for the ultimate in reliability and precision.
These august achievements alone are enough to warrant the El Primero and the Defy a pedestal in the collection of any serious horolophile. Add in hundreds of diamonds and multi-hued sapphires and the Defy High Jewelry watches become luxurious objects of desire that talk straight to the heart.
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The diamond versions of the El Primero 21 in rose gold and the Defy Classic in titanium combine mechanical mastery with a sumptuous gem-setting feat. Forty-four baguette diamonds are arranged on the bezel in a perfectly calibrated halo, further enhanced by more diamonds on the case totalling 5 carats.
As its name suggests, the Defy Classic and El Primero 21 High Jewelry Rainbow versions radiate every hue under the sun in a smooth sweep of colour sapphires. The joy of a rainbow is perfectly captured in the intensity of the saturation of the stones, carefully selected for a perfect transition. What’s more, the spectral display continues on the dial of the El Primero 21 with colour hour markers.
Beyond the 44 baguette diamonds or rainbow sapphire bezels, the Defy High Jewelry watches are further adorned with 288 brilliant-cut top quality V V S diamonds. Using a technique known as snow-setting, the different size diamonds mimic freshly fallen snow. This seemingly random dusting of sparkle adorns the front and even the side of the cases.
Despite the meteoric shower of precious gem-stones, both the El Primero 21 and the Defy Classic retain their iconic identity. The original dial-layout of the El Primero remains intact as does the case shape. Likewise, the Defy’s stand-out dial structure and its signature blue colour on the flange and crocodile and rubber strap are reminders of the original.
The El Primero 21 and the Defy Classic High Jewelry watches make the perfect gift for the discerning horologista or a diamond-coated first dose of high mechanics for the uninitiated. Or you could make it the ultimate power-couple watch statement: with a his and her's. Just make sure her's is the one with the diamonds or sapphires.