Dezeen Magazine

A close-up photograph of Zenith watch with a rainbow background

Zenith and Felipe Pantone collaborate to design technicolour Defy Extreme watch

Promotion: watch manufacturer Zenith has joined forces with contemporary artist Felipe Pantone to create a watch that combines "high-frequency watchmaking and vibrant multimedia optical art".

Named the Defy Extreme Felipe Pantone Watch, the timepiece is Pantone's fourth project with Swiss brand Zenith, which follows two previous watch collaborations as well as a vibrant tarpulin design for the facade of the brand's manufacturing building.

Felipe Pantone besides his artwork
The watch is a collaboration with designer Felipe Pantone

The Defy Extreme watch is a limited edition of 100 pieces crafted in mirror-polished stainless steel with a sleek dodecagonal bezel and chronograph pusher protectors created in translucent blue yttrium aluminosilicate, a glass comparable to synthetic sapphire, according to Zenith.

The watch's design takes cues from Pantone's series Planned Iridescence – a body of work defined by metallic accents and geometric shapes that are arranged to create optical illusions.

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

The Defy Extreme watch also features Zenith's distinctive in-built El Primero 1/100th of a second automatic high-frequency chronograph.

A close up photograph of the Zenith watch
The watch features colourful metallic features

"The chronograph’s minute counter features a graduated scale of colours, where each minute is segmented by a different tone, [and its] second counter is done in very fine concentric black and white lines, mimicking the moiré effect," explained the watch brand.

Wearers can choose between a translucent blue silicone watch strap that intends to mirror the timepiece's sapphire-like dial, as well as a detachable polished steel bracelet or a black Velcro strap.

A photograph of the box in which the Zenith watch comes in
The watch comes in a box shaped like an art book

Each of the four corners of the watch case is engraved with characters to spell out "FP#1", a coded signature for Felipe Pantone El Primero.

"Colour gradients and the interplay of light, patterns and transparency are part of the artist’s signature," explained the brand.

"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."

A close up photograph of the Zenith watch with a blue background
Defy Extreme Felipe Pantone Watch is Pantone's fourth project with Swiss brand Zenith

The Defy Extreme watch comes in a box in the shape of an art book as a further nod to Pantone, which features a transparent plexiglass hardcover that echos the timepiece's iridescent quality.

Customers will be able to purchase the watch in-store or online from 27 October.

Pantone in front of his colourful artwork
The watch is informed by Pantone's series Planned Iridescence

To view more about the watch, visit Zenith's website.

Partnership content

This article was written by Dezeen for Zenith as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.