In the last several years, camouflage dials have been very popular. Zenith takes the idea of camouflage to a whole new level by drastically altering the appearance of their Defy Extreme with a reflecting mirror surface. The most recent version is unquestionably the most daring interpretation of its high-performance 1/100th-of-a-second chronograph; its distortion-free mirror-polished case, display, and bracelet allow it to blend in with its surroundings.
Released in 2021, Zenith’s Defy Extreme collection is the sibling of the Defy line, acting as a type of lab rat to test new materials on its strong, angular case. This collection is literally Extreme in every way, even down to the two regulating organs: one whirs at 50 Hz to record readings for the chronograph in 1/100th of a second, while the other beats at 5 Hz for timekeeping purposes.
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Though it has many of the same features as previous Defy Extreme Chronographs, the Defy Extreme Mirror looks—well—like a mirror. The 45mm stainless steel case, complete with its recognisable 12-sided bezel and integrated steel band, is mirror-polished all around to provide the appearance of chrome and a distortion-free reflection of its surroundings.
A core sapphire crystal element with a metallic mirrored finish that is both translucent and reflective is included in the openworked, multi-layered dial. The 1/100th-of-a-second chronograph scale is silver in colour and has black markings, just like the three sub-dials, to aid in visibility. Super-LumiNova is used to treat the hands in the three sub-dials (small seconds at nine o’clock, 30-minute counter at three o’clock, and 60-second counter at six o’clock), the hour and minute hands, and the applied rhodium-plated hour markers.
To the right of the chronograph’s affixed silver Zenith star at noon is the power reserve indication. The matte central chronograph hand, adorned with the recognisable openworked star counterweight, revolves around the dial at a breakneck speed of one second.
The Defy Extreme Mirror comes with two extra bands, which is undoubtedly a useful alternative considering how easily a mirror-polished bracelet can get scratched, even though the watch with the integrated mirror-polished steel bracelet has the most stunning look. Thanks to the quick-change mechanism on the back, all three of the additional strap alternatives are totally interchangeable. The first is a black rubber strap, and the second is a Velcro strap.
This watch is powered by the El Primero 9004 movement, which features a high-frequency regulator that beats at 36,000vph/5hz for the time and 360,000vph/50hz for the chronograph. There is also a silvery metallic star-shaped rotor on the movement to match the case and dial.