Introducing The Zenith Defy Chroma II Watches

Zenith's newest watches flash colours throughout.


Zenith’s Defy is its most popular collection right now. It’s hard to find something in the lineup that doesn’t suit you, whether it’s the extravagance of a chronograph movement with two tourbillons, or the simplistic elegance of a three-handed dressy sports watch. Now, Zenith is expanding the collection further with two special, limited edition watches. 

Both of the new timepieces are based on last year’s Defy Chroma. We didn’t cover it, but we liked what we saw nonetheless. Last year’s model was available as a limited edition only piece in white ceramic. 2023’s models do the same in some ways, they’re both limited editions and one of them is in white ceramic which I think is a very elegant material on the whole. The other watch, however, is black ceramic, which is dark and brooding in its appearance. While the black watch, reference 49.9013.9004/21.R952, is probably going to be more practical for someone with a smaller collection like me, I can’t help but like how elegant the white looks on reference 49.9014.9004/01.R953. Both watches are on the aggressive sporty side at 44mm x 14.5mm.

Still, white and black are, literally, monochromatic at its most extreme, so Zenith kept with last year’s watch and added colours in some subtle places. Notably, the colours are varnished onto the indices of the dial with the bezel having numbers in matching colours. There’s also a colourful ring around the crown and the straps get colours woven into their stitching. Unusually, there’s also colouration on the movement components as well, which Zenith uses to great effect here.

Both watches contain the self-winding El Primero calibre 9004, which Zenith makes in-house and is defined by its star-shaped rotor (coloured in this case) and its beat rate. As with other movements in this Defy lineup, it has a standard beat rate of 5Hz, but the chronograph runs at a crazy 50Hz. It doesn’t do it for very long, but it’s super accurate for a mechanical watch. The power reserve is roughly 50 hours for the watch, and around 50 minutes for the chronograph, denoted by a power reserve indicator.

These two new watches, complete with their rubber straps with titanium clasps, are limited to 500 examples each for a price of €15,500. The black model is available exclusively through Zenith’s online and physical boutiques, while the white model is available only at physical boutiques and authorised dealers.