With the latest DEFY Extreme E, Zenith seems to have gone a step forward in its sustainable watchmaking endeavours. The 20-piece limited edition is crafted with upcycled materials in keeping with the LVMH-owned brand’s commitment to inclusion and diversity, sustainability and employee well-being, under the aegis of its HORIZ-ON initiative.
As the official timekeeper for the international Extreme E, an off-road racing series championing gender equality, Zenith has just launched the DEFY Extreme E ‘Energy X Prix’, a watch that uses carbon fibre and titanium with striking purple accents — indeed it reminds one of streaks of lightning in a stormy sky. True to the essence of Extreme E and Zenith’s HORIZ-ON initiative, the timepiece incorporates in its strap as well as in its packaging recycled and upcycled elements from the Championship.
The Sustainability Goal
The grand finale of Extreme E’s sophomore season is currently taking place in the coastal city of Punta del Este in Uruguay. The country’s commitment to renewable energy production is inspiring; over 98% of electricity in the nation is generated from renewable sources, primarily from wind and hydropower. Extreme E has also vowed to promote the switch to electric vehicles and decarbonising transport, which is an important goal for the Uruguayan government. In fact, Extreme E is actively developing renewable energy sources to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, following the example of Uruguay.
Made to Last
The DEFY Extreme E ‘Energy X Prix’ disguises durability in its lightweight form. The robust 1/100th of a second chronograph has been designed to brave a variety of harsh and extreme environments. Crafted in striking carbon fibre, the watch has been tried and tested on the rally’s off-road courses. To add more geometrical angularity, the watch sports contrasting micro-blasted titanium pusher protectors and a 12-sided bezel.
The open dial features tinted sapphire crystal elements. The dial and the sapphire caseback provide a partial view of the fastest automatic high-frequency chronograph calibre in production, offering 1/100th of a second time measurements, with two escapements independently beating at 5Hz (36’000 VpH) for the timekeeping part and 50Hz (360’000 VpH) for the chronograph function. Embossed with the Energy X Prix logo, the sapphire display back makes the movement visible.
The watch comes with a rubber strap infused with materials from upcycled Continental CrossContact tyres that were used in the previous season’s races. To match the Energy X Prix purple accents on the dial, the Velcro strap features a black rubber central element surrounded by a purple cordura-effect rubber inlay. There are two additional straps in black rubber and black Velcro, which can be easily interchanged by using the caseback’s intuitive quick strap-change mechanism.
The case is waterproof and crushproof, built to last in the extreme conditions of the rally. It is made of various upcycled elements from the sidelines of the first season’s races. The case’s lid coating is derived from E-grip recycled tyres while the plate covering is made from parts of an Extreme E racing tarpaulin.
Form with Function
Zenith offers in-house manufacture movements in its watches. Following the creation of the El Primero in 1969, the world’s first automatic chronograph calibre, Zenith has mastered high-frequency precision and offers time measurements in fractions of a second. Take, for example, the 1/10th of a second marvel in the Chronomaster collection and the 1/100th of a second feat in the DEFY collection.
The DEFY Extreme E ‘Energy X Prix’ is powered by the El Primero 9004 1/100th of a second chronograph movement. It features an exclusive dynamic signature of one rotation per second for the chrono hand, one escapement for the watch (36,000 vph - 5 Hz) and one escapement for the chronograph (360,000 vph - 50 Hz).
The functions of the watch include hours and minutes in the centre, small seconds at 9 o'clock, 1/100th of a second chronograph, a central chronograph hand that makes one turn each second, a 30-minute counter at 3 o'clock and a 60-second counter at 6 o'clock. Power reserve is indicated at 12 o'clock; it has a reserve of at least 50 hours.
The watch is encased in a 45-mm transparent sapphire crystal and a caseback with ‘Extreme E Energy X Prix’ engraving. The tinted sapphire dial with three black-coloured counters is contrasted with the rhodium-plated, faceted and Super-LumiNova-coated hour markers. The watch is water resistant for up to 20 ATM.
The DEFY Extreme E ‘Energy X Prix’ will be available exclusively at Zenith physical and online boutiques around the world.