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Zenith sees its way clear to sapphire cases for fresh Defy watches

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Zenith has created two limited editions in all-sapphire cases to signal its determination to be ranked among the finest contemporary haute horology houses.

Both are in the Defy collection and both come with six-figure price tags.

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Like the first Zero Gs from 2018, the DEFY Zero-G Sapphire uses a hand wound El Primero 8812 S movement, which has a patented gravity control gyroscope mechanism.

Zero Gs from 2018 and today are architecturally similar but visually very different. Laticed bridgework has been changed to more substantial beams in the shape of a star of the 2021 addition.

DEFY Zero-G Sapphire

Between the beams are a mosaic of meteorite, aventurine glass and miniature painting depicting the red planet Mars on the small seconds, partially eclipsed by the hour and minute dial.

The entire main plate and bridges of the movement are finished in a blue tone with contrasting metallic-grey chamfers, speckled with white stars.

Only ten of the all-sapphire watch are being made, priced at $159,700.

Defy 21 Double Tourbillon

Zenith has also made a new look Defy 21 Double Tourbillon, a watch previously presented in a carbon case but this time given the full sapphire treatment.

Its skeletonized El Primero 9020 automatic chronograph movement powers central hours and minute hands, two tourbillons, a 1/100th of a second central chronograph hand that makes one turn each second, a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, 60-second counter at 6 o’clock and a chronograph power-reserve indication at 12 o’clock.

The night sky styling is less obvious than in the Zero G, but Zenith is determined to be associated with the stars, so it has given the Defy 21 main plate a blue PVD finish while some of the dial-side bridges are engraved with stars.

It also comes in a limited run of 10 pieces, priced at $180,300.

To sweeten the deal, Zenith is also offering all 20 owners of the new sapphire watches the chance to take a stomach churning zero-gravity flight in France.

The watchmaker is working with Novespace, a subsidiary of the French National Space Center, to send its customers on a roller-coaster flight that performs 15 parabolic arcs where it ascends than plunges in a freefall to reproduce the effect of floating in weightlessness.

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