Zenith Defy Inventor: Malaysia Price And ReviewWritten by Leong Wong
Zenith: Addicted to speed since 1969.
The year 1969 is a particularly important one for Zenith, as it saw the launch of the El Primero that allowed short-time measurement accurate to the nearest 1/10th of a second. The movement’s arrival not only made the watch world sit up and take notice of the Manufacture from Le Locle, but also boosted the onset of the high-frequency race at a time when chronometry was at a crossroads.
Then, in 1997, Zenith proved that lightning does strike twice, when it unveiled the 100th of a second chronograph called the Defy El Primero 21. That same year also saw the debut of the Defy Lab and its revolutionary in-house developed oscillator. This groundbreaking three-hand watch, of which there are only 10 in existence, is now series-produced as the Defy Inventor, a slightly toned-down version of its predecessor, perhaps, but still just as exciting.
Apart from the fact that its release coincides with the El Primero’s 50th anniversary, it doesn’t take a speed freak to realise why this timepiece is next level. Cue its oscillator. Formed from a single piece of ultra-thin silicon (as opposed to the 30 or so components of a standard regulating organ), it is triple-certified for magnetic insensitivity, thermal insensitivity and chronometric precision. In addition, its escape wheel is made of flexible blades, an industry first. This new control system emits an extremely high frequency of 18 Hz (compared to the usual 4 Hz) and boasts a 50-hour power reserve. Crucially, it replaces the traditional sprung balance that’s been used for more than three centuries.
Still not sold? Then the eye-catching Aeronith bezel (above) of the 44mm brushed titanium case should do the trick. The composite material, which is three times lighter than titanium, is essentially aluminium foam stiffened with a polymer, a technique that results in its unusual honeycomb-like texture. This overall impression of weightlessness is further reinforced by an equally airy blue openwork dial that ‘shields’ the monochrome movement as it moves to its own hypnotic rhythm beneath.
|Blued skeleton with rhodium-plated hands and indexes coated with Super-LumiNova|
Self-winding Calibre 9100
|Black rubber with midnight blue alligator leather coating|
|Hours, minutes, central seconds|
Editor, CROWN Malaysia
A familiar face in Malaysia's horological publishing scene, Leong has been involved in lifestyle journalism since the mid-1990s. Besides watches, he takes a keen interest in cars and men's fashion.
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