In the world of watches is the El Primero a legend. With its frequency of 5Hz, you can measure the passing of time with 1/10th of a second precision. While this movement is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the beauty is that Zenith never stopped developing it. They not only added many complications over the years but also improved the caliber itself. With the Defy El Primero 21, they fitted it with two escapements, one running at 5Hz and supporting the regular timekeeping of the watch, and one dedicated to the chronograph, running at 50Hz.
In many ways, using two independently operating escapements is a very clever construction. It allowed Zenith to create a 1/100th of a second chronograph with an ample power reserve of 50 hours. The whole design of the watch is dedicated to showing the technical prowess of the Defy El Primero 21. The watch features an open-worked dial, allowing you to see the parts that make it so unique. Zenith highlighted the chronograph function by framing the 30-minute and 60-seconds counters so that they not only stand out but can also be read with ease. Having a separate 60-seconds counter is not that common for a chronograph, but needed in this case, as Zenith dedicated the central chronograph hand to display the 1/100th-second function. Seeing the hand run a full circle in just one second remains a spectacular sight.
It is, however, not only the chronograph that makes the Defy El Primero 21 a real sports watch. Its case is also water-resistant up to 100 meters, which is not that common for a chronograph that isn’t particular designed for use in the water. Zenith is offering the watch in many different varieties, and among them, this version crafted from black ceramic. It has a beautiful brushed finish, which adds most certainly to its appeal as well as make it stand out among other black ceramic watches. Furthermore, does the ceramic has the added benefits such as being scratch-resistant, very light, and heating up to body temperature quickly. A large, and well-designed crown, as well as easy-to-use pushers for the chronograph, make the Defy El Primero 21 one of those watches where form and function go hand-in-hand. This makes it that the legend continues to live on at the forefront of innovative watchmaking.