This Black and Purple Chronograph Watch Features Some Wild Tech

Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.

The popularity of its attractive, vintage-inspired watches doesn’t mean Zenith isn’t a forward-looking company with cutting-edge technology to deploy. In fact, there’s nothing nostalgic about the new Defy 21 Ultraviolet watch, either in its tech or its styling: Housed in a 44mm-wide, black-coated titanium case, the watch’s skeletonized design offers a view of movement elements that have been given a purple treatment and are emphasized by a matching purple strap.

The El Primero 9004 movement inside was introduced in 2017 and is still the star of the show. It uses separate regulating mechanisms (escapements) for the main time and for the chronograph feature. The main time operates at a fast (for a mechanical watch) 5Hz, but the chronograph operates at 50Hz. That means it can measure down to 1/100th of a second — and it’s prominently displayed via the dial’s large central hand that actually spins dizzyingly around the dial once per second.

Flashes of purple in the movement might make you think of silicon, which Zenith has used in its innovative Defy Lab watches — but here, it’s an aesthetic treatment. The Zenith Defy 21 Ultaviolet has a price of $13,100 and will be available from August 2020.

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