Zenith & Felipe Pantone’s Newest Collaboration: DEFY Extreme With An Iridescent Twist

Swiss luxury watchmaker Zenith and Argentian-Spanish optical artist Felipe Pantone have come together for another new collaboration: the DEFY Extreme Felipe Pantone Watch. They have previously created two watches together: the DEFY 21 and an exclusive piece for the Only Watch 2021 charity.

Their latest collaborative venture is a limited edition of 100 pieces based on Pantone’s “Planned Iridescence” series, which combines his recognisable style of bold colours with metallic elements and geometric shapes to create unique optical illusions.  

The DEFY Extreme is crafted entirely from mirror-polished stainless steel, while the dodecagonal bezel as well as the chronograph’s pusher protectors are crafted in translucent blue yttrium aluminosilicate, which is a glass material similar to synthetic sapphire.

“Looking down at the dial, its sapphire elements appear translucent and metallic,” Zenith said. “Turn it ever so slightly towards the light, and a spark of colours and geometric patterns emerge.”

On each of the four corners of the watch’s case is the engraving ‘FP#1’, a coded signature for ‘Felipe Pantone El Primero.’ That’s not the only way the artist has left his mark on the piece: the dial’s base, which uses a transparent sapphire disk, possesses hidden micro-engraved patterns that gives the sapphire an iridescent effect, reflecting shimmering colours.

“Colour gradients and the interplay of light, patterns and transparency are part of the artist’s signature,” Zenith said. “As such, Zenith and Pantone sought to create a dial that retained the highly chromatic look typical of his work while incorporating elements that play with light in a most unexpected way.”

In terms of the hour and minute hands, the same vibrant three-dimensional PVD technique that was featured in the DEFY 21 Felipe Pantone is used here, so that each transitioning gradient shows off metallic rainbow tones. Each set of hands utilises slightly different colours, so that each watch is essentially unique. 

The piece also features Zenith’s El Primero 1/100th of a second automatic high-frequency chronograph, which has been altered to align with Pantone’s aesthetic. The open star-shaped oscillating weight is finished in the same gradient rainbow 3D PVD as the hands.

“The chronograph’s minute counter features a graduated scale of colours, where each minute is segmented by a different tone,” Zenith said. “The chronograph’s second counter is done in very fine concentric black and white lines, mimicking the moiré effect.”

For straps, wearers are provided with a few options: there’s a translucent blue silicone watch strap that matches the sapphire-blue dial, or you can choose between a more subtle polished steel bracelet or black velcro strap. 

The artistry is not confined to the watch itself: the Defy Extreme comes in a box shaped like an art book as a homage to Pantone, featuring an iridescent effect, and a transparent plexiglass hardcover. 

For those looking to add an iridescent gleam to their lives, the DEFY Extreme Felipe Pantone Watch is available at Zenith physical and online boutiques from October 27th. 

At a Glance

Reference: 03.9100.9004/49.I210

Material: Polished Stainless Steel & Blue YAS

Water-resistance: 20 ATM

Dial: Tinted sapphire with Felipe’s iridescent effect artwork pattern

Case: 45 mm

Hour-markers: Rhodium-plated, faceted and coated with Beige SuperLuminova

Hands: Rhodium-plated, faceted with “Rainbow” PVD coating & SLN C1

Bracelet: Transparent blue Rubber. 2 straps included: 1 Rubber with folding buckle & 1 Velcro.

Buckle: Stainless steel folding clasp

Movement: El Primero 9004

Power-reserve: min. 60 hours

Functions: Hours and minutes in the centre. Small seconds at 9 o’clock. 1/100th of a second Chronograph: Central chronograph hand that makes one turn each second; 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock; 60-second counter at 6 o’clock; Chronograph power-reserve indication at 12 o’clock.

Price: 29900 CHF

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