Back in 2018, I had the chance to spend some time with the Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Ceramic and, after having purchased and sold many watches within my personal collection, I had a difficult time completely forgetting about it.

Fast forward to 2020 when Zenith first introduced the Defy Ultraviolet and I knew the time had come. Not only had the case been upgraded to a unique microblasted titanium, but the watch also boasted colorful accents in one of my favorite tones – purple.

Since I covered most details of the Defy model in the previously-linked review, on this page, I’ll be doing a brief overview of the highlights that are more exclusive to this Ultraviolet version.

  1. Specs & Price
  2. Defy Ultraviolet Overview
  3. Skeleton Dial
  4. Dual-Escapement EP21 Movement
  5. Strap
  6. Box Set
  7. Final Thoughts

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Zenith Defy Ultraviolet Specs & Price

  • Reference Number: 97.9001.9004/80.R922
  • Case Diameter: 44mm
  • Case Material: Microblasted Titanium
  • Water Resistance: 100m / 10ATM
  • Dial: Openworked / Skeleton
  • Movement: El Primero 21, COSC Chronometer
    • 1/100th Chronograph
    • 50-Hour Power Reserve
    • Dual Escapements
    • Chrono Power Reserve Display
  • Retail Price: $14,000 [See On Zenith’s Site]
Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Ultraviolet Wristshot with Cigar

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Zenith Defy Ultraviolet Overview

Front and center on this Defy Ultraviolet is its microblasted titanium case. It boasts the traditional Zenith Defy case profile with all of its sharp facets, however, I think it’s completely enhanced by the innovative material and finish.

The titanium case is 44mm in diameter (9 o’clock to 3 o’clock), 14.5mm thick, and 50.5mm from lug to lug. As can be expected, the crown and chrono pushers are presented in the same material and finish.

Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Titanium Case And Skeleton Dial

Protecting the face of the watch is a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal that is imprinted with the Zenith El Primero 21 marquee. This is a nice detail that I find adds depth to the dial (as if it needed it), especially when viewed from an angle.

Openworked Dial

While there are numerous Defy models out there with similar skeletonized or openworked dials, I find that of the Ultraviolet to be quite iconic. This dial offers a view into the intricate mechanics of the movement, and it does so fantastically thanks to the ultraviolet movement plates that have been hollowed out or skeletonized.

The El Primero 21 Movement

Zenith Ultraviolet Openworked Dial Close UpMost notable of this El Primero 21 Chronograph movement, aside from the fact that it’s a COSC-certified chronometer, is that it possesses two separate escapements. One of these escapements runs at 5 Hz and is used for keeping the time at center axis. The other escapement, which beats at a rapid 50 Hz, is what allows the chronograph to time down to 1/100th of a second.

The movement on this Defy Ultraviolet also has two separate power reserves. Again, one of these is for the time while the other is for the chronograph. At 12 o’clock on the dial, one can see a power reserve indicator that is exclusive to the chronograph.

Dual-Material Strap

While the dual-escapement movement is more akin to a high-complication wristwatch, the case material and critically the strap definitely help to give this a very sporty appeal.

The strap is composed of both leather and rubber. The top element is presented in a matching violet tone with an embossed “fabric” texture while the back of the strap is black rubber. Naturally, the folding clasp is also in microblasted titanium with a double-button opening system and Zenith’s trademark star.

Zenith DEFY UV EP 21 Movement with Purple Rotor

Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Ultraviolet Box Set

Box sets of luxury watches are often touted as selling points so I thought it’d be worthwhile to cover it here. Additionally, I never had a chance to get acquainted with the box set when I reviewed the previous Defy watch, given that I only received the watch when Zenith sent it for review.

The watch box of the Ultraviolet is all black with a metal Zenith medallion on top. Inside there is the traditional watch cushion, yet, there are a number of different compartments that are covered by a sort of lid.

Among the accouterments, you’ll find a Zenith cleaning cloth, the original watch tags (if you’ve saved them there yourself), and a USB thumb drive with a digital owner’s manual. I was also pleased to find that integrated into this box is a smaller Zenith travel pouch that can be removed and used to carry the watch if the large watch box is too cumbersome for a trip.

Final Thoughts

Zenith Ultraviolet Openworked Dial Close Up 2I’ve had the Zenith Defy Ultraviolet for a couple of months now and have been more than pleased with it. Aside from the regal presentation, the watch is very easy to wear especially since I’ve been spending a good amount of time in Florida.

If you’re not familiar with the Sunshine State, you may be able to gather that the weather isn’t conducive to wearing many suits and this works just fine with the Defy Ultraviolet seeing as how it’d be difficult to match it with any formalwear.

All of this being said, I’ve received a ton of compliments on this Zenith Ultraviolet as it garners a lot of attention thanks to its funky colors and overall unorthodox look. I look forward to seeing how its style ages, but as of now, I’m sure I’ll be wearing it much more into the future.

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Further Reading

If you enjoyed this brief review of my Zenith Defy Ultraviolet, check out some of our other popular watch guides and reviews below:

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