LVMH Watch Week: Zenith’s Kaleidoscope of Colour for 2022

LVMH Watch Week: Zenith’s Kaleidoscope of Colour for 2022

Zenith’s focus for 2022 has resolutely been the Defy line, with the introduction of a faithful re-edition of the original coffre-fort Defy that launched the line in 1969 as well as the new Defy Skyline with El-Primero driven running 1/10th second feature. Zenith has also dipped into the colours drawer for a new Defy 21 Chroma with rainbow dial and also two new dials for the Defy Midnight line.

One of the most colourful trends over recent years has been the use of rainbow hues across watches. Whether on bezels, dials or a combination of both they are big news and an aesthetic whimsy that captivates even the most staunchly traditional collector and enthusiast. The Defy 21 Chroma is arguably one of the freshest looking so-called rainbows thanks to its matte-finish ceramic case and rainbow dial that incorporates the movement beneath the open-worked dial. The pops of colours against precious metals or steel is one thing, but against the backdrop of white it looks super clean and the colour pops.

Zenith Defy 21 Chroma
Zenith Defy 21 Chroma

Beneath the sapphire crystal sits a white open worked dial with the familiar three chronograph layout plus the addition of a chronograph power reserve indicator at twelve, just above the Zenith signature. The rainbow begins at the twelve o’clock hour marker and graduates around the hours through the familiar hues in the order we all know and love and learnt at nursery. The 1/100th second outer track, more on which in a moment, also enjoys this rainbow treatment. To keep a harmonious balance to the entire piece, the winding crown has a yellow band to match the yellow three marker and even the stitching on the cordura-effect rubber strap has red, orange, green and blue lines to match the nearest spectrum.

Zenith Defy 21 Chroma

The watch is powered by the El Primero 9004 automatic movement with astonishing 1/100th second feature that enables the central chrono hand to complete an entire revolution in one second allowing one to time events to a tiny 1/100th second. Impressively, the movement that is visible through both the open worked dial and sapphire case back has key components, such as the bridges, all finished in rainbow colours depending on their position in relation to the rainbow layout on the dial. The Chroma will be available in a limited run of 200 pieces and will, I’m sure, not hang around for long!

2020 was the year that Zenith launched its Defy Midnight range. Aimed primarily at the ladies’ market, the integrated bracelet steel sports watches measure 36mm, have diamond set bezels and colourful dials set with diamond hours. Yes, I know what you’re thinking – sounds perfect for gents too. I agree and, in my mind, 36mm is the sweet spot for a watch and I would certainly wear this in the summer.

Zenith Defy Midnight collections
Zenith Defy Midnight collections

The update for 2022 are two new dials, both guilloche-finished with a wave pattern. On the Midnight Sunset, the dial graduates from a warm red to a deep that “recalls the brief but breathtaking sky as the sun casts its last rays of light before giving way to night”. Then there is the Midnight Borealis which aims to captures the northern lights phenomenon, with rich blue dial that transitions to bright emerald green. Both eye-catching and set with brilliant cut diamond hour markers.

Zenith Defy Midnight Sunset
Zenith Defy Midnight Sunset
Zenith Defy Midnight Borealis
Zenith Defy Midnight Borealis

Tech Specs

Defy 21 Chroma

Zenith Defy 21 Chroma

Case and dial: Matte-finish white ceramic case with white open worked “Rainbow” dial and sapphire display case back.
Movement: Zenith El Primero caliber 9004 with 1/100th of a second chronograph functions and “Rainbow” PVD-coated bridges and blue coloured oscillating weight.
Strap: Cordura-effect rubber strap with multicoloured stitching and titanium folding clasp.
Price: CHF14,400 in a run of 200 pieces.

Defy Midnight

Zenith Defy Midnight Sunset
Zenith Defy Midnight Borealis

Case and dial: 36mm Stainless steel case with sapphire display case back. Bezel set with 44 VS brilliant-cut diamonds. Gradiant dial set with 11 VS brilliant-cut diamonds.
Movement: Zenith Elite 670 SK Automatic.
Strap: Steel bracet with interchangeable strap system. Comes with three different color straps with an interchangeable folding buckle.
Price: CHF 11,400

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Ross Povey

Ross Povey, the founder of TudorCollector.com is regarded as the world’s leading expert on vintage Tudor watches. Although an expert on Rolex and Tudor watches primarily, Ross’s work covers the entire field of horology and he is currently Editor-in-Chief of Revolution magazine in the UK. He writes for and has contributed to some of the most influential horological publications, including; The Telegraph, The Rake, Bulang & Sons, Watchonista, Hodinkee, QP and is the co-author of the book Daytona Perpetual, a celebration of the automatic Rolex Daytona released through Pucci Papaleo Editore. Ross is also an international speaker and regularly hosts watch events in the UK and Europe.

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