Can you say bromance? Zenith is rolling out another watch collaboration with Range Rover. Following the launch of its Chronomaster El Primero Range Rover Velar last year, the Swiss watchmaker has just unveiled the new Zenith Defy Classic Range Rover ($7,500), which marks the third collaboration between the two luxury brands. The new timepiece, limited to just 200 pieces, takes its design from the automotive company’s latest release, the 2020 Range Rover Evoque SUV.
The sporty new car was designed for both paved and rugged terrain and features advanced driver assistance technology, new off-road capabilities, and a hybrid-electric power train option for improved performance. The Evoque comes in a range of colors, but the first-edition model comes in two exclusive hues: a Seoul Pearl Silver and Nolita Grey. The timepiece, however, takes its color cues from an optional color for the micro-piping on the seats and steering wheel called Arctic Petrol (a bright icy-blue color) that is worked into the timepiece’s seconds hand and oscillating weight.
The design of the openwork dial mirrors the sculptural design of the wheel, while the strap’s diamond-quilted pattern picks up the elements of the upholstery on the interior of the Evoque. But the new timepiece also has substance to match its style—the watch comes equipped with a brand-new Elite skeletonized movement, an updated version of the Elite caliber 670 fitted with a silicon pallet lever and escape wheel. It also marks the first reinterpretation of the brand’s Defy Classic collection.
The 41 mm timepiece in brushed titanium comes with 48 hours of power reserve and a date indicator at 6 o’clock. While a date indication has become increasingly unpopular among watch enthusiasts, this particular design keeps the function discreet. The skeletonized dial is also decidedly less busy than other skeleton designs, making for a handsome new sports watch that picks up elements of the Range Rover Evoque without being overstated.
While the partnership between Zenith and Range Rover predates Zenith CEO Julien Tornare’s arrival at the watchmaker in May 2017, the collaboration is very much in line with Tornare’s focus for propelling the brand forward by highlighting a certain lifestyle. It’s Ton-Up Black watch, a tribute to ‘50s bikers released for the 2018 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, is another example of the brand’s ties to the open road, which Tornare said was really about tying in their watchmaking to a certain kind of atmosphere. It’s an overall feeling that Tornare is not only trying to create through the brand’s product, but also within the company itself as he plots the brand’s expansion and turnaround going into 2019.