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Thread: Zenith Defy El Primero 21

  1. #1

    Zenith Defy El Primero 21

    Any views on these? Been mulling an El Primero of some kind for a while and wondering about this as a slightly left-field choice.

    Would be a bit out of line with my usual taste, but the 1/100 sec mechanical chrono is pretty cool and currently not hating it aesthetically. But is it going to look too Hublot-ish and dated in a couple of years?

    Anyone got one / had one? Any thoughts?

    Anyway, going to pop into the shop tomorrow and have a look in the flesh. According to emails with the shop, they also have a new 'Classic Cars' edition (daft name but looks quite nice in photos) still knocking around in stock as an alternative to the standard silver dial tri-colour, which is kind of where I started out and may end up.

  2. #2
    I have a blue defy 21 (skeleton), got it about a year and a half ago. I did a basic review of the watch last year. I still love it, I wear it daily and it is comfortable and light - note the watch has no bracelet micro-adjustment so it could be tricky to get a perfect fit. It has held up well in daily wear, the bracelet has some marks and scratches but the titanium hides these well. I got mine from a Chrono 24 seller as my local AD would not budge much on the RRP, this may not be the case at the moment with COVID. I do not think they ever sold that well and it is a very niche watch that will not appeal to everyone. I have no plans to sell it and will keep it as my daily for the next few years or more.

    If you need any specific info let me know.

    It did develop a fault with the chrono function, where as the minute totaliser would not move unless nudged. I sent it back to Zenith, it took a few months as it needed to go back to their head office but communication was good, and I was happy with the service.

  3. #3
    Thanks, that's helpful - I'll search for your review, and see how I get on inspecting one in the metal today!

  4. #4
    Craftsman M1011's Avatar
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    I owned one briefly. Loved the thing based on online videos & reviews and bought it unseen during lockdown. Returned it in the end, just didn't do it for me in the flesh. The chrono hand whizzing around the dial once a second is very cool and it's a stunning watch to look at. Just couldn't see myself wearing it unfortunately.

    Definitely seek out a deal on this watch though. I got 40% off from a UK AD, granted it had been in the display awhile. I wouldn't pay anywhere close to retail on one of these or you'll take a bath down the line if you sell.




  5. #5
    Master Thom4711's Avatar
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    Iíve got one, but it is the (now discontinued?) silver dial without the ceramic bezel. In my opinion, this gives it a more classic look and dilutes the Ďhublot-nessí. As others have said, itís a supremely comfortable watch due to the grade 5 titanium and is very wearable indeed. The 1/100th chronograph is great- I often just run it for the hell of it :) itís a bit of a conversation piece as well. I get quite a few compliments on this watch and often show off the chronograph.

    In terms of how it will age, who knows for sure, but I have a feeling that many years from now Jean Claude Biver will be regarded with great respect, and the defy 21 was designed and released under his short reign as ceo of zenith.

    Iíd say just go for it, especially if youíre not planning on paying retail.


  6. #6
    Craftsman AllyWheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thom4711 View Post
    I’ve got one, but it is the (now discontinued?) silver dial without the ceramic bezel.
    I'm considering getting one of these as well so interested to read your feedback.

    Silver dial with titanium bezel (and bracelet) is my preferred combination also. Very balanced and legible. The black ceramic bezel ring was just too bold and prominent. Such a shame the silver dial has been discontinued.

    The skeletonised versions look great and are very appropriate on such an engineering tour de force, but i have a couple of quibbles holding me back. I'm unsure about how i feel about the seconds subdial being shouldered out the way by the balance wheel, but mostly i worry about the legibity as my eyesight isnt what it used.
    Last edited by AllyWheels; 31st October 2020 at 02:51.

  7. #7
    Master Thom4711's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllyWheels View Post
    I'm considering getting one of these as well so interested to read your feedback.

    Silver dial with titanium bezel (and bracelet) is my preferred combination also. Very balanced and legible. The black ceramic bezel ring was just too bold and prominent. Such a shame the silver dial has been discontinued.

    The skeletonised versions look great and are very appropriate on such an engineering tour de force, but i have a couple of quibbles holding me back. I'm unsure about how i feel about the minutes subdial being shouldered out the way by the balance wheel, but mostly i worry about the legibity as my eyesight isnt what it used.
    Legibility on my watch hasn't even crossed my mind. It seems fine and nothing like other watches I've owned when the silver hands disappear into the silver dial. I think you'd be fine!

    I think I will start a search for the bracelet at some point. I think the leather covered rubber is fabulous (and something borrowed from Hublot that benefits it immensely), but I do think I'm ultimately more of a bracelet guy.

  8. #8
    Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    I had one. Lovely watch. Those who know me, know I am a watch tart and through no fault of the watch it was traded quite a while ago. Loved it while I had it especially the amazing twin (separate) barrelled movement - essentially two movements in one case. Zenith certainly pushes the boundaries

    https://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.p...=Review+zenith

    hopefully that link works. Let me know if it doesn’t. Martyn

    Here is a link to the movement running at 1/100th second - 1 sec revolution of the second hand - video slows down after 6 seconds

    link

    and a pic of the watch

    Last edited by MartynJC (UK); 30th October 2020 at 15:19.

  9. #9
    In terms of legibility I have had no issues, I did go for the blue version for this reason. I felt the grey on grey was not nearly as nice, the blue touches really set off the skeleton design.

  10. #10
    Thanks everyone for all of this feedback - Martyn, I had found your v. helpful review by searching in the light of a mention in Nik's review.

    TBC once I see how I get on at the dealer...

  11. #11
    ... have to say, that silver dial version looks class, but I don't think the particular dealer I am visiting today has one.

  12. #12
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    I had the blue skeleton version for almost 2 years. Loved everything about it except for how it wore on my small wrist. Great looking watch. The 1/100th chronograph hand whizzing across the dial is awesome. Legibility is good. The mechanism is robust.

    My only complaint is the the lugs were not curved enough which made the watch uncomfortable to wear for me small wrist. (And I have no problem with large watches such as the the AMVOX 2 or UNís Sonata streamline. Main think is the case and lug design) So in the end, sold it. If you like it and it is comfortable for you, I would have no hesitation recommending it.

    BW,
    Chi Kai


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  13. #13
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    Love mine, i have it on the bracelet. The lack of bracelet adjustment isnt an issue for me but it could be for some.


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  14. #14
    Master shalako's Avatar
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    Iíve seen and handled a few and come close to buying one from SC a few times last year, I really like them, looks to be beautifully made and finished.

  15. #15
    Thanks all.

    Had a couple of hours fun at the dealer yesterday.

    Having now seen this in the metal, I do rather like it.



    (with apologies for the crappy phone pic and hairy forearm!)

    Haven't made any decisions as yet, pending further discussion of numbers, and also because, this:



    which is more along the lines of what I'd initially had in mind when I thought that it was about time I tried an El Primero, and which is also rather nice in the metal.

    Enjoyable dilemma to have, anyway...

  16. #16
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    Is there a price difference on the blue version?

    Iím sure I noticed watch finder had a blue one for £6750 last week but it disappeared quickly and the normal dial was £8750 Which they had a couple of .

    A watch I keep returning to it I can find one at the right price .

  17. #17
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    Very topical thread as Iíve been musing one of these for the past few weeks.

    There are just so many I want to get though so waiting till the victorious candidate reveals itís self.

    The technology of the movement is wonderful.


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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by PAM580 View Post
    Is there a price difference on the blue version?

    Iím sure I noticed watch finder had a blue one for £6750 last week but it disappeared quickly and the normal dial was £8750 Which they had a couple of .

    A watch I keep returning to it I can find one at the right price .
    RRP is I believe the same for blue and grey.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tucola View Post
    RRP is I believe the same for blue and grey.
    That is correct! The skeleton dials are a bit more expensive than the closed dial but not difference in price between the skeletons.

    BW,
    Chi Kai


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  20. #20
    So, OK, I did it!


  21. #21
    Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    Well done!
    Last edited by MartynJC (UK); 31st October 2020 at 23:22.

  22. #22
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    Looks good. How did you get on with the price?


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  23. #23
    Craftsman M1011's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tucola View Post
    So, OK, I did it!
    Nice and I like your version choice

    Have you discovered the cool travel case integrated into the box?

  24. #24
    Master
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    Fabulous. Congrats.

  25. #25
    Cheers all! Very pleased with my day's work.

    Yep, integrated travel case is a neat touch.

    Price-wise, I'm overseas right now and paying in USD with a different sales tax regime, so not directly comparable with UK (and dealer swore me to secrecy!), but shall we just say highly competitive on local RRP (which was $13,100 US). As M1011 said below, definitely seek out a deal on this watch.

  26. #26
    Grand Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    I handled Martyn's (oo er) at a GTG and found it a very nicely finished watch with a fascinating complication. It screamed quality. Was pretty large though

    Ah edited as I read through the rest of the thread and you pulled the trigger. Congratulations!

  27. #27
    Cheers Ryan, thanks! - it is indeed on the large side, but because of the lightness of the titanium and short lugs, it seems very comfortable.

  28. #28
    Good choice, biased as itís the same as mine! Enjoy it, great watches. I lose a lot of time just staring at it


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  29. #29
    Craftsman
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    Congrats! I do miss this one. Wear in the best of health!

    BW,
    Chi Kai


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  30. #30
    Master
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    Bought one and just had to return it, but it is a spectacular piece

  31. #31
    Master
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    In motion in all its glory...

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtagrant View Post
    Bought one and just had to return it, but it is a spectacular piece
    Can I ask why you had to return it?

    BW,
    Chi Kai


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  33. #33
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ctam View Post
    Can I ask why you had to return it?

    BW,
    Chi Kai


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    It was not new as described, but ex-display and had lots of marks on it - mentioned also in the Black Friday thread

  34. #34
    Apprentice
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    The defy is amazing! Also love the Classic skeleton

  35. #35
    Master Glen Goyne's Avatar
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    I love these. Really thinking about this or an el primero. The design is very clean, just wondering a bit how the brushed surfaces will take abuse over time. Not normally too worried about small marks, however in a design like this where the brushed finish has such an impact on how it looks.

    Any experience from wearers?


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  36. #36
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtagrant View Post
    It was not new as described, but ex-display and had lots of marks on it - mentioned also in the Black Friday thread
    Ah! Sorry to hear that. Will it be replaced?

    BW,
    Chi Kai


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  37. #37
    Master
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    Yes indeed, but check it out in the sunshine!!

    Here's mine


    fb image

    Quote Originally Posted by tucola View Post
    Thanks all.

    Had a couple of hours fun at the dealer yesterday.

    Having now seen this in the metal, I do rather like it.



    (with apologies for the crappy phone pic and hairy forearm!)

    Haven't made any decisions as yet, pending further discussion of numbers, and also because, this:



    which is more along the lines of what I'd initially had in mind when I thought that it was about time I tried an El Primero, and which is also rather nice in the metal.

    Enjoyable dilemma to have, anyway...

  38. #38
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ctam View Post
    Ah! Sorry to hear that. Will it be replaced?

    BW,
    Chi Kai


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    No unfortunately not. Will keep my eyes open for a blue one, or ceramic though

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