Zenith introduced its high-frequency Defy 21 chronograph to great fanfare in 2017, and continues to iterate the model in bold aesthetic directions. The brand unveiled the latest version of the contemporary timepiece, the Defy 21 Ultrablue, this week as part of its pre-Watches and Wonders novelties. The model pairs a 44 mm case of sober, gray, micro-blasted titanium with an electric blue movement visible through the partially open dial.
Much like the Defy 21 Ultraviolet introduced last June, the new Ultrablue model features splashes of high-octane color on the bridges of its movement and on its star-shaped oscillating weight.
The vivid hue is meant to serve as a visible manifestation of the precision enabled by the watch’s El Primero 9004 automatic movement, which is equipped with two escapements, one that beats at a frequency of 36,000 VpH (5 Hz) for the watch, and another that beats at 360,000 VpH (50 Hz) for the overlapping chronograph counters on the dial side. The combination lends the piece unparalleled accuracy, to the tune of 1/100th of a second.
Adding to the model’s dramatic flourishes, the white-tipped central 1/100th of a second chronograph hand makes one rotation above the dial per second.
The Ultrablue is the latest in a string of eye-catching Defy 21 models that have seized the spotlight over the past year. In January 2020, Zenith unveiled the stealthy matte gray Defy 21 Land Rover honoring 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 Defy 21 Ultrablue comes on a black rubber strap that includes a blue “cordura effect” rubber insert with tone-matching stitching. It’s available at Zenith boutiques around the world and at regional online boutiques for $13,500.