Zenith’s Defy Extreme Felipe Pantone Is Colourful, Stylish And Has A Cool Optical Illusion

Zenith took its popular Defy collection to new heights last year when they tapped the Valencia-based visual artist Felipe Pantone to collaborate on a design. The resulting rainbow-hued model marked the brand’s first foray into working with a contemporary artist on one of its watches, and it was a massive success. Shortly after, the pair created a second piece for the 2021 Only Watch charity auction, and it set a new record for a Zenith. Ever since, fans of the artist and brand have been eagerly awaiting the duo’s next collaborative design. On 27 October, the Defy Extreme Felipe Pantone was introduced to the world.

This time, Zenith has chosen the Defy Extreme as Felipe Pantone’s canvas. Drawing inspiration from his “Planned Iridescence” series, Pantone combines bold colour and metallic elements with the sharp lines of the Defy Extreme to generate optical illusions and give the watch sculptural depth.

“For the first time, I intervened a piece of sapphire creating a radial hologram that appears only under the right light in an astounding way,” Pantone shared. “The watch is full of incredible details, possible after a long year collaborating back-to-back with the team at Le Locle.”

The new Defy Extreme Felipe Pantone features a case design crafted entirely in mirror-polished stainless steel, highlighting the faceted lines of the Defy Extreme’s architecture. In contrast, the dodecagonal bezel and chronograph’s pusher protectors are crafted in translucent blue YAS (yttrium aluminosilicate), a crystalline glass material similar to synthetic sapphire.

The dial highlights Pantone’s signature style with a mix of gradient colours, patterns, transparency and the interplay of light, resulting in a chromatic appearance unlike anything else that has ever been made in watchmaking. This iridescent effect is created using a transparent sapphire disk as the dial’s base and an innovative physio-chemical process.

The Defy Extreme Felipe Pantone is complete with a matching translucent blue silicone strap as well as the option of a fully polished steel bracelet and black Velcro strap. Inside, you’ll find Zenith’s El Primero 1/100th of a second automatic high-frequency chronograph movement whose open star-shaped oscillating weight is finished in the same gradient rainbow 3D PVD as the hands.

The Defy Extreme Felipe Pantone has a limited run of just 100 pieces priced at RM128,100.


Previously published on Robb Report.

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