Zenith have given us their very first extreme environment-themed edition of the Defy Extreme, created in collaboration with acclaimed nature photographer, Kourosh Keynejad.

The Defy Extreme Desert is limited to just 50 pieces and as it draws inspiration from the extreme climate of the desert, it also has been made tough in order to survive. For this to be achieved, they created the entire case with titanium.

The design, according to Keynejad, has been shaped around the “beauty of the dry plateaus and mountains of sand.” And you can see that clearly, what with all the sandy and brown tones all over the watch.

One of the most curious things about the watch is some of materials used. The pusher surrounds are made from the semi-precious stone, polished falcon’s eye. The same material is used for the dodecagonal bezel. This is one of the few times natural stone has been used on a watch. The result of this material is a rugged and lived in aesthetic. It’s ready to hit the desert.

The watch comes with three easily interchangeable straps including a titanium bracelet, beige rubber strap, and a black fabric Velcro strap.

The Zenith Defy Extreme Desert features the El Primero 9004 automatic calibre movement. This is equipped with two escapements – one for keeping time at 36,000vph, and one for the 1/100th of a second chronograph that runs at 360,000vph.  A double barrel is used to store up to 50 hours of power when the chronograph isn’t in use.

It’s a hard and sharp watch. Much like the desert itself. It looks brilliant and like it will survive a fall from a mesa. How Zenith have managed to integrate earth tones with such subtlety is something to marvel at. They didn’t just colour things “desert colours” artificially, they bothered to use materials that would work. It’s a big watch at 45mm but, hey, so is the desert.

To celebrate, Kourosh Keynejad has created a series of photographs inspired by the watch and desert to create an exhibition that is currently in Paris but will also visit Dubai and Tokyo. There are previously unpublished works making up the exhibition.

Unfortunately, the Zenith Defy Extreme Desert is already sold out, but it was priced at $31,700 AUD. Make sure to keep an eye out for these bad boys.

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