Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) and Baselworld 2020 are canceled but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. To stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases, visit our tag page.
Briefly discontinued, the Land Rover Defender SUV is back for 2020, and now, it’s got a technical new Defy 21 watch from Zenith to go with it. Some sleek but relatively sober watches have resulted from the ongoing partnership between Swiss watchmaker Zenith and British automaker Land Rover, and the latest continues in that spirit. Somewhat like the Land Rover Defender, the Zenith Defy 21 has a tempered design that hides some impressive technology under the hood.
In a 44mm-wide brushed gray ceramic case, the Zenith Defy 21 Land Rover Edition also has a brushed gray dial, whereas many other Defy 21 watches feature edgy designs with skeletonized dials. The look here, with traditional chronograph sub-dials and pushers, is deceptive because this is no ordinary chronograph. Like other El Primero movements, it operates at the uncommonly high frequency of 5Hz (4Hz is typical for most modern mechanical watches) for its time-telling functions, but there’s a lot more to pique your technical interest.
The chronograph function (stopwatch) uses a separate escapement and operates at no less than 50Hz, meaning the chronograph can accurately measure down to a hundredth of a second. Press the 2 o’clock pusher to start it, and the central hand whips around the dial once per second. The chronograph can run for 50 minutes, and the El Primero 9004 movement offers automatic winding and a power reserve for its time-telling of 50 hours — indicated by a linear display just below the Zenith logo.
Thankfully for those who might like the watch even without any particular connection to Land Rover, there’s no dual branding, at least on the watch’s dial side. The Zenith Defy 21 Land Rover Edition is limited to 250 examples and each will have a USD price of around $14,300.
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