Love them or loathe them, but the fact remains that electric cars are the future. The very sound of an internal combustion engine (ICE) may give petrolheads an adrenaline rush, but, for those who care for the environment, it’s imperative to replace the petrol gear train with an electric one. Electric cars manufactured by such brands as Tesla, Lucid and Rimac have already broken speed records of their ICE counterparts — 100km/h being touched in 3 seconds. Electric car rallies are not far behind.
Pioneering electric racing championship Extreme E’s Hydro X Prix now returns to Scotland for its third season. To mark this occasion, its official timekeeper and founding partner, Zenith, has unveiled the new DEFY Extreme E limited-edition watch, dedicated to the race that will be held in Scotland’s Dumfries and Galloway from May 13 to May 14.
Motorsports have been one of the biggest boosting parameters for the watch-car crossover. Earlier, chronographs were used extensively to time races and calculate speed. This is the reason why many timepiece makers still create special chronographs honouring either the car used in a race or the driver or the track. Even though they serve different purposes, the emotions for a high-performance car and those for a high-performance timepiece remain the same.
The newly launched 45 mm watch (Ref. 10.9101.9004/60.I200) matches the DNA of the rally in its own ways. Crafted entirely in carbon fibre, the new Zenith DEFY Extreme E watch has a 12-sided bezel, a crown at 3 o’clock and chronograph pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock to start and restart the function. The use of carbon fibre all the way makes this watch stiff, lightweight, resistant, crush-proof and waterproof, keeping in mind extreme conditions.
The openworked, multilayer dial features a black-and-green combination with a domed sapphire crystal. The green in question is ‘vital green’, to be precise; it conveys a message of awareness and action on climate change. The chronograph features a small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock, a chronograph power reserve indication at 12 o’clock, a 30-minute subdial at 3 o’clock and a 60-second subdial at 6 o’clock with green numerals. The hour markers and the hands are rhodium-plated, faceted and coated with SuperLumiNova SLN C1 and the dial is topped with tinted sapphire. The central chronograph hand gets the Zenith Star logo.
Partially visible through the dial is the movement, the iconic automatic Calibre El Primero 9004, which powers the 1/100th of a second chronograph; this means the central chronograph hand will cover the whole dial in one second. This movement has two escapements and two barrels with a frequency of 5Hz for the timekeeping movement and 50Hz for the chronograph. The power reserve lasts for 50 hours. The twin barrels allow for an hour of continuous timing via the chronograph. The transparent 12-sided sapphire crystal caseback gets four visible screws, the signature star-shaped, black oscillating weight with satined finishings and the individual watch number out of 100.
The watch comes with a 200-metre water resistance and sits on a black rubber strap with two additional straps in brown rubber and green velcro with cordura effect, along with a carbon triple-folding clasp. The rubber is infused with materials from upcycled Continental CrossContact tyres that were used in the first season’s races.
What’s more, the DEFY Extreme E limited-edition timepiece is delivered in a waterproof and crush-proof watch case the lid coating of which is made from E-grip recycled tyres. The plate covering is crafted from parts of racing tarpaulin.