At Last! Zenith DEFY EL PRIMERO 21 Ref. 95.9000.9004/78.R582 Luxury Watch Review

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Zenith Defy El Primero 21 (95.9000.9004/78.R582) self-winding automatic watch, features a 44mm titanium case surrounding a skeletonized dial on a black rubber-backed alligator strap with a titanium deployant buckle. Functions include hours, minutes, small-seconds, power reserve indicator and chronograph.

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One of the most anticipated luxury watches of the last year, the Zenith Defy El Primero 21 is a 360,000 VpH chronograph linked to a traditional El Primero 36,000 VpH escapement. New features never before seen on an El Primero include hacking seconds, a 1/100th of a second foudroyant chronograph, a second independent power reserve with power reserve indicator for the 50-minute chronograph reserve, and a 60-second sub-dial for the chronograph function. The 44mm titanium case borrows world-class ergonomics from corporate cousin Hublot, and the open dial reveals the entirety of the El Primero caliber 9004 automatic movement.

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RandomUser20130101 says:

Hi Tim, what’s your opinion of Biver-style watches? 44+mm, skeleton dial, material fusion on the case (e.g. ceramic + steel), and material fusion on the strap (e.g. leather + rubber). He releases these kinds of watches through every company he touches (Hublot, TAG Heuer, now Zenith). Is he a modern-day Genta?

Luigi Ferrario says:

Fortunately you are not in the car industry … You would be able to boast the performance of a motor in … SPRING!
Idea of Leonardo da Vinci!

toobalkain says:

Engineering marvel with very little desirability and even less value retention, people in Zenith marketing just don’t seem to know what they’re doing. Rolex would have spread these technological advancements over 5 generations but everything would be about tradition and prestige, Zenith sucks at that. And Hublot DNA, who the fuck wants to have a Hublot, for fuck’s sake

gmshadowtraders says:

HOLY SHEEEEEEEEEEEEEET! Sweeeeeeeeeet!!@ astonishing ……

Blablabla Blabittybla says:

It is too Hublot.

Sebastian Palacios says:

I’ve been waiting for your review of this engineering masterpiece. I see the hublot look case design you stated. The skeleton dial looks very nice. Thanks Tim, superb review.

hipporage18 says:

Great review! What’s up with the hairspring? Can you really announce a watch with a set of features and then take them back? It’s not like with an iPhone where you can download new firmware. Do you see this one going for 5-7k second hand in a few years?

Great Lakes Watch says:


RedAtticus says:

Jayzuz!….Biver, leave Zenith alone for gods sake!

Nenad Pantelic says:

Congrats on acquiring and reviewing this one. Fantastic Zenith!

Itsalgud1 says:

Very cool watch!
I’ve never understood why a 1/100 sec chronograph exists. I guess just a curiosity so the watchmaker can say he did it!

Dat Ash says:

The printing/sticker on the sapphire ruined the watch. says:

Your reviews do a service to the community, thanks for taking the time with this one. It’s definitely on the list now. Very appealing design and complication. I thought that the hairspring was “carbon nano-tube” on the main according to the last review I watched?

Andrew Steel says:

Never been a fan of this busy of a dial. Eyes get confused. That “opinion” said, this is a well made thought out watch. Very zeublot or hunith……Good for zenith and hublot….what a lovechild.

valebliz says:

I’d love to see that caliber encased in something closer to the usual El Primero watches we’re accustomed to, even if it looks way too big to do it.

dereksbooks says:

Unfortunately this is too big for my 6.66″ wrist. This is the first Defy model whose case and overall design actually look appealing.

MHUH H says:

Thanks very much Tom. Sorry some questions might be stupid. But can you please answer. thanks: which hand does what?, for the second hand, is the zero position marked (so when you hack the seconds, how do you zero it with atomic clock? If you over wind the two movements, does both of them have over-winding protection?, when the chronograph is engaged, if you try to press the reset button, is the button locked and can not be pressed? or it presses and nothing happens? I missed if the watch gets magnetized the 2nd hair spring of the chronograph gets effected? The watch is chronometer COSC standard right? does this certification applies to both the chronograph and the watch movements? Last but not the least. Personally speaking do you think that from next year or so would they launch models with this movement that also contains day/daydate or tripple calendar complications? thanks very much Tim.

Luigi Ferrario says:

Heureusement que vous n’êtes pas dans la construction automobile… Vous seriez capable de nous vanter les performances d’un moteur à…RESSORT !
Idée de Leonardo da Vinci !

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