Editor’s Note: Just need a quick watch fix? This preview of the new Zenith Defy Zero-G is a GET TO THE POINT (GTTP) review with all the info you want / need to know QUICK. For our actual hands-on reviews, please head to the dedicated section here. Now let’s get to the point.
What Is It
Two unique timepieces in limited numbers are being unveiled:
- New Zenith Defy Zero-G Sapphire ref. 04.9000.8812/00.R920
- New Zenith Defy 21 Double Tourbillon Sapphire ref. 04.9000.9020/00.R920
The two feature similar overall specifications: 42mm diameter, sapphire case, 30m water-resistance, open-worked dial.
Inside the new Zenith Defy Zero-G Sapphire ticks the 38.5mm diameter entirely skeletonized manual winding El Primero 8812 S movement with a 50-hour power reserve, bearing 41 jewels, beating at the higher frequency of 5Hz, and displaying the hour and minutes on a sub-dial at 12’o clock, small seconds at 10’o clock, a power reserve indicator at 2’o clock, and a self-regulating Gravity Control module at 6’o clock.
Inside the new Zenith Defy 21 Double Tourbillon Sapphire ticks the 35.8mm diameter chronometer certified El Primero 9020 automatic movement with a 50-hour power reserve, bearing 59 jewels, beating at the same higher frequency of 5Hz, and displaying:
- Central hour and minutes
- Double Tourbillon 1 escapement for the Watch (36,000 VpH / 5 Hz – cage makes a turn in 60 seconds)
- 1 escapement for the Chronograph (360,000 VpH / 50 Hz – cage makes a turn in 5 seconds)
- 1/100th of a second Chronograph with central chronograph hand that makes one turn each second
- 30-minute counter at 3’o clock
- 60-second counter at 6’o clock
- Chronograph power-reserve indication at 12’o clock
Why & When
For the new Zenith Defy Zero-G & Double Tourbillon Sapphire models, Zenith seeks inspiration from the endless bounds of our universe. The innovative brand takes this opportunity to reimagine two of its haute horlogerie calibers and showcase its horological prowess.
First announced on 23 November 2021, this release also provides its owners with the unique opportunity to go on a parabolic zero-gravity flight that is scheduled for February 2022.
Contact a boutique or a dealer near you. In Sydney, The Hour Glass, Swiss Concept and Gregory Jewellers are the authorised retailers.
Both the new Zenith Defy Zero-G & Double Tourbillon Sapphire are available in limited numbers of 10-pieces each. The former retails for 160’000 CHF (230’000 AUD) and the latter for 180’000 CHF (260’000 AUD).
Who Is It For
For those select few connoisseurs who not only appreciate fine watchmaking, but also take pride in owning timepieces that are unique and embedded with innovation.
How Does It Do
Frankly speaking, Zenith introducing revolutionary new timepieces through its DEFY family is nothing novel; incredibly impressive sure, but something we have come to expect from the brand.
For me, the real charm lies in the added bonus which sees Zenith partnering with Novespace, a subsidiary of the French National Space Center, to offer this unique experience of weightlessness thanks to the parabolic zero-gravity flight.
The brand informs us:
“Guests will arrive at the Novespace facility in Bordeaux, France, where they will meet with their instructors. French astronaut Jean-François Clervoy will also be present at the pre-flight conference. The flight itself will consist of 15 parabolas, where the airplane ascends than plunges in a free-fall to reproduce the effect of floating in weightlessness in a perceived absence of gravity”.
If that ain’t impressive, what is?!
As for the watches themselves, between the two, my pick is the new Zenith Defy Zero-G Sapphire, primarily courtesy the presence of legibility. As much as I praise ‘art’ and avant-garde timepieces, the readability of time is also ways crucial. Otherwise it’s simply a wrist device or a bracelet. I obviously haven’t gone hands-on with these, so can’t say for sure, but based on media pictures, the new Zenith Defy 21 Double Tourbillon Sapphire’s dial appears to be fairly over-crowded.
That said, to give credit where due, I am fairly impressed by the transparent and futuristic treatment of the piece. A striking blue PVD treatment is present on the main plate of the movement, and in a first for Zenith, some of the dial-side bridges are engraved with stars.
The new Zenith Defy Zero-G Sapphire is much more impressive to me, with the dial featuring the Gravity Control mechanism that uses the regulating organ fixed to a gimbal that always remains in a flat position regardless of how the watch is rotated.
I also like the presence of handcrafted elements on the dial such as a mosaic of meteorite, aventurine glass and grand feu enamel on a gold base. This symmetrically balanced dial also depicts the planet Mars on the small seconds, and is partially eclipsed by the hour and minute dial.
Timepieces like the new Zenith Defy Zero-G & Double Tourbillon Sapphire are best appreciated (and reviewed) in person, so as much as I am impressed by these, it just doesn’t make sense going any further and simply regurgitating from the press release.
All I can say is that for those lucky 20 owners, these watches are an excellent way to not only enjoy the experience of a parabolic zero-gravity flight, but to also collect timepieces from a brand that is known for its innovation. Both the new Zenith Defy Zero-G & Double Tourbillon Sapphire timepieces are stellar examples of the brand’s excellence in artisanal and mechanical knowhow.
To find out more about the new Zenith Defy Zero-G & Double Tourbillon Sapphire timepieces and other Zenith watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise specified are ©Zenith. All rights reserved.