With a movement and strap bathed in a striking purple hue, the new Defy 21 Ultraviolet from Zenith makes a bold aesthetic statement, but it’s the rationale for the color choice that watch lovers will find most charming.
Positioned at the short-wavelength end of the visible spectrum, violet has the highest frequency of all visible colors—a perfect match for Zenith’s El Primero 21 chronograph movement, which beats at a frequency of 50 Hz, lending it unparalleled accuracy to the tune of 1/100thof a second.
As the highest frequency chronograph in regular production, the Defy 21 is among a new breed of modern chronograph made possible by contemporary watchmaking achievements involving the use of silicon, which can withstand the high speed of the movement much better than traditional lubricants. Earlier this year, Zenith unveiled the Defy 21 Land Rover, which honors the 3-year-old partnership between the watchmaker and luxury carmaker, as well as the Defy 21 Carl Cox, a limited-edition model boasting a glow-in-the-dark carbon bezel paying tribute to the superstar DJ for which it’s named.
The latest Defy 21 edition is equipped with two escapements—one for essential timekeeping, which beats at 36,000 vibrations per hour (VpH) and has a frequency of 5 Hz, and the other for the chronograph, which beats 10 times faster at 36,000 VpH and boasts the aforementioned 50 Hz frequency. The model’s El Primero 9004 automatic movement is chronometer-certified by Timelab, a Geneva-based organization that provides third-party certification services for the Swiss watchmaking industry.
The purple-treated bridges of the movement, visible through an openworked dial, are in stark contrast to the model’s three gray chronograph registers and gray flange ring, as well as its 44 mm case of matte sandblasted titanium.
The contemporary model—whose royal purple scheme is a world watchmaking first, according to Zenith—retails for around £11,000.