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MartynJC (UK)

REVIEW: Zenith Defy 21 95.9000.9004/78.R582

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Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post


1/100th of a second Chronograph movement
Exclusive dynamic signature of one rotation per second
1 escapement for the Watch (36,000 Vph - 5Hz): 1 escapement for the Chronograph (360,000 Vph - 50Hz)

For me this was one watch I had been keeping an eye out for quite a while. I had seen one in my local dealership but had seen too much to pay and the opportunity to purchase was not right at the time. Fast forward to today and after selling off a couple of pieces that will be missed, but just were not getting the wrist time they should - I had enough to make this a tenable purchase. I spotted this particular watch on-line and was able to secure it last week. It arrived in my office in a huge card board box weigh I guess over 2.5kg. The cardboard box contained a lot of packing in which was a protective zenith outer box with stamped lettering - inside was a white cardboard sleeve inside of which was a massive Zenith clam shell box - with a top compartment and underneath a lower shelf containing various paperwork and instructions. Inside the well sprung clamshell lid eventually was the watch wrapped in plastic and on its cushion.

Immediate thoughts:
Astounded! it was an impressive piece quite different from anything I have owned to date. I have more expensive pieces in my little set of watches (now down to eight in total) but none like this one. It has a skeleton case designed to show the movement - and what a movement it is. Actually it is almost schizophrenic in nature. Whereas your typical watch has one mainspring, escapement and so forth - this watch has two - which will become apparent soon why. Mounted vertically with a rigid frame supporting bilaterally. To engage both has the split-brain crown which is wound in both directions(!!) - one way winds up the manual chronograph movement, the other way winds up the automatic watch movement.

Dial description and functions:
There is a power reserver indicator at 12 o'clock is for the manual chronograph. A second 'hand' - three way pointer that rotates once per minute with no scale - at 3 o'clock, 30 second chronograph dial at 6 o'clock cut out to show the main watch escapement and a 30 minute chronograph totaliser at 9 o'clock. The last chronograph hand sweeps round at a 1 second interval with graduations on the outer marking 100ths of 1 second. The chronograph is operated in the usual manner using the two pushers - top one starts and stops the chronograph the bottom resets the hands. There is no flyback mechanism. Because of the torque involved to keep that second hand rotating once a second the large chronograph barrel holds just enough energy for 50mins continuous run time - but as totalarisers count to just 30mins this is more than enough energy, One could presumably wind the chronograph movement while it is running - much as you wind an automatic or manual watch while the movement is running.

Reverse :

The case also has a sapphire reverse open case so you can see the Zenith open star rotor that powers the automatic movement which has a minimum 50 hrs power reserve on this hi-beat El Primero movement that runs at 5Hz. As you can see it displays that it is designed for 100m wrt. The case is held together with four screws. The winding crown has a neat feature - that it has a rubber band and knurled finish which makes it very easy to turn even on the wrist.

Above shows the double sided anti-reflective coating present on the crystal. Also you can see the straight finish on the Ti case giving it quite an industrial look.


to a compressed video - it starts real-time, but after about 6 sec in it goes to slow-motion and fi you make it full screen you can see the chronograph hand wizzing round at 1sec per 360 deg which, combined with the out chapter ring allows you to resolve (easily) to 100th of a second timing - watch the escapement at 7:30 o'clock. This is the main-spring powering the hour, min, second 'hand' (the three handed affair at 9 o'clock). The separate escapement at approximately 10:30 o'clock powers the chronograph movement with the large chrono second hand, sub-dial at 6 o'clock measuring 30 seconds and blue minutes sub-dial at 3 o'clock.

Here is a link

is alligator stitched to rubber - which integrates well with the square sided case - though after removing the strap the case side continues shadowing the shape of the bezel so is not just a simple flat sided

and case interaction
The bezel has polished sides and the case edges also have polished chamfers and edges that follow the sloping sides down the contour of the strap down the short lugs that make this 44mm diameter watch wearable on a smaller wrist. The distance across the watch from lug to lug is 50mm which is perhaps no more than 0.5mm more than my Omega SM300 Bond 'reissue' 2018. I can wear watches to maybe 51-52mm at a pinch as my wrist is fairly flat.

profile pictures
one shows the star emblem on the large crown and the oversized chronograph pushers. Both pushers have a firm 'snap' feel to them. The lower button reset does need a firm press to set all three registers to zero if they have all been engaged. The second hand snaps instantly back to zero each time and also stops on the 100th registers on being stopped by the to chronograph pusher.

It is held by a deployant clasp in brushed Titanium which is not just a simple clasp but mirrors the star insignia which cleverly the folder clasp integrates into its shape. The clasp requires two pushers to be engaged on either side of the clasp to release it. The strap is held in place by two pins - one that engages with the spring components on the clasp. The strap does not taper so fits like a band around the wrist. Being wide it balances the watch head.

It has a polished star on the clasp and polished chamfers match the watch case sides. It all feels very secure.

Here it is on my wrist
I feel it is not too large a watch - mainly because of the short lugs and also being Titanium it is not 'massive' watch in weight. I would recommend this watch for it's avant guarde movement - and Zenith are not standing still. It seems a completely new type of movement is due to become main-stream for them.

This watch is rather innovative with some amazing technology and inventions to make this work. the balance wheel material is Carbon-Matrix Carbon Nanotube. It may not be to everyones taste - but check this view out you can see right through the movement. I just can't get enough!

It is just different. BTW: The time can quite easily be read by the highly polished index markers which are also lumed - the time being read off the inside chapter ring. The hour and minute hands are also highly polished and lumed so show up.

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