By Harlan Chapman-Green

This year Zenith looks to build on its current collection, which is made up of a mixture of both strong performing watches, such as the Defy El Primero range and watches which are more obscure, such as the Elite range. Although there is no mention of the latter in this announcement, there are a variety of new and exciting watches coming to the Defy El Primero line, and there’s also a bonus coming at the end. But first, let’s take a look at the new watches.

DEFY EL PRIMERO 21 BLUE

Lots of watches offer colour on them, even at more affordable prices. For those of us who cannot quite stretch to the mad colours available in HYT watches, we look to more mainstream pieces such as the Submariner and the Seamaster to provide a choice of colour. But, that’s usually just a dial or bezel colouring, how many watches do you know which use coloured baseplates? I wouldn’t think that list is full of watches. Coming in a 44mm titanium case with matching bracelet, the El Primero 9004 calibre inside the watch is also automatic with an approximate power reserve of 50 hours. It also comes with a blue rubber strap if that’s your thing.

DEFY EL PRIMERO 21 ROSE GOLD

 

Alongside the titanium blue watch mentioned above is the Defy El Primero 21 with a glittering rose gold case. This watch uses the same El Primero 9004 calibre as seen in the blue, so it still has an automatic winding mechanism and approximately 50 hours of power reserve. In contrast to the Defy El Primero Blue, however, this watch goes for gold as the movement has been given a TIME LAB Chronometer certification. Zenith isn’t exactly open about what that means, maybe the TIME LAB gives an extra accuracy rating like the METAS certificate does. It doesn’t feature a blue baseplate though, which would be pretty good looking with the gold.

DEFY EL PRIMERO MIDNIGHT BLACK CERAMIC

As was expected for a sports collection these days, a black ceramic watch has been released alongside the others. Panerai and Omega made black ceramic cool, now lots of people are doing it (even Girard Perregaux, which is not a particularly mainstream watch company with all things considered). Ceramic watches are, however, cool for a reason. It’s a great display of a company’s research and development prowess to make a complex shape like the case of a watch out of a uniquely delicate material such as ceramic. This one also has the 9004 movement in with all the specs, but I feel like the blue baseplate must be an option for this watch to give it a real standout edge. It also comes with a ceramic bracelet, just to show off a little more.

DEFY EL PRIMERO DIAMONDS

Kicking off 2018 in a star-studded manner, the Defy El Primero collection introduces two new diamond versions of the classic Defy El Primero. Keeping with the same 44mm titanium case as used above, the El Primero Diamonds watches come in different varieties, depending on just how star-studded you want your watch to be. One version keeps the standard titanium case and gives it a white gold bezel set with baguette cut diamonds. The other also has the titanium case and white gold bezel, but both are completely beset with sparkly diamonds. They were released to celebrate the brand’s opening of a pop-up boutique on Paris’ superfluous Place Vendome.

PILOT CRONOMETRO TIPO CP-2 FLYBACK

This watch is the special extra I mentioned in the introduction. I say that because it’s the only one of the novelties this year which has neither ‘Defy’ nor ‘El Primero’ written on it. Instead, it’s a part of Zenith’s beloved Pilot collection, a set of watches which have been known for their sharp design and no-nonsense functionality. These are no different; they come with Zenith’s El Primero calibre 405B movement which has a column wheel flyback chronograph with a 30 minute counter to boot. I like the clean and simple looks which are contrasted beautifully by the bright colours of the dial and leather strap. This one’s available in either aged stainless steel or bronze.

For more info, visit Zenith online.