Pantone’s Iridescent Art Highlights New Zenith Defy Extreme

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From JustLuxe content partner iW Magazine

Zenith reprises its partnership with Argentinian-Spanish optical artist Felipe Pantone to create the new Defy Extreme Felipe Pantone, a limited-edition colorful chronograph with a metallic dial that reflects light with micro-engraved iridescence.

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The new Zenith Defy Extreme Felipe Pantone.

Pantone combines color, metallic components, and mathematically conceived shapes to generate optical illusions on Defy’s dial. 

To create the dial’s colorful effect, Zenith reproduced a process Pantone has used frequently in his Planned Iridescence art installations.

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Zenith technicians started with a clear sapphire disk as the dial’s base and then applied hidden, micro-engraved patterns measuring only 100 nanometres deep. The patterns reflect light, creating a rainbow of colors that shift with the light.

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You’ll see shifting colors on the hands as well. Zenith finishes the chronograph’s minute counter with a graduated scale of colors, where each minute is segmented by a different tone. The chronograph’s second counter mimics a moiré effect with its thin, concentric black-and-white lines.

More colors

At Pantone’s direction, Zenith also made the watch’s dodecagonal bezel and its pusher protectors from translucent blue YAS (yttrium aluminosilicate), a crystalline glass material comparable to synthetic sapphire. This adds more color to the watch, beyond the dial. Just outside the bezel, the four corners of the case are engraved with “FP#1”, a signature for “Felipe Pantone El Primero”.

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Zenith then matched that translucent blue with an equally translucent blue silicone strap. Zenith also includes a polished steel bracelet and a black Velcro strap with the watch.

Pantone also demonstrates his chromatic-based style on the watch’s El Primero high-frequency chronograph movement. He advised Zenith to apply the gradient rainbow 3-D PVD coloring used on the watch’s hands to the star-shaped rotor.

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As a reminder, the El Primero movement inside the Defy Extreme series is one of Zenith’s most complicated. It features two independently driven regulating organs, beating at 50Hz for the chronograph and 5Hz for timekeeping.

Zenith offers the Defy Extreme Felipe Pantone as a limited edition of 100 pieces, available exclusively at Zenith boutiques and online. Price: CHF 29,900.

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Optical artist Felipe Pantone at work.

Specifications: Zenith Extreme Defy Felipe Pantone

(Reference: 03.9100.9004/49.I210)

Movement: El Primero 9004, 1/100th-of-a-second chronograph, one rotation per second for the Chrono hand, one escapement for the watch (36,000 VpH – 5 Hz); 1 escapement for the chronograph (360,000 VpH – 50 Hz). Certified Chronometer, power reserve of 60 hours.

Functions: Hours and minutes in the center. 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.

Finishes: Ruthenium-colored main plate on movement + special “Rainbow” PVD-colored oscillating weight with satin finishings.

Case: 45mm polished steel & blue YAS, water resistant to 200 meters.  

Dial: Tinted sapphire with Felipe’s iridescent effect artwork pattern,  Rhodium-plated, faceted, and coated with Beige SuperLuminova hour markers and  Rhodium-plated, faceted with “Rainbow” PVD coating & SLN C1 hands. 

Bracelet: Transparent blue Rubber. 2 straps included: 1 rubber with folding buckle & 1 Velcro, stainless steel folding clasp.

Price: CHF 29,900. 

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