For its latest new release of 2023, Zenith has teamed up with British DJ and music producer Carl Cox to create a limited-edition version of the brand’s Defy Extreme chronograph. In addition to being one of Zenith’s official ambassadors, Carl Cox previously collaborated with the Swiss watch manufacturer back in 2020 to create a different limited-edition timepiece that was based on the Defy 21. While the previous Zenith x Carl Cox watch featured a forged carbon case with bright red accents and a tiny rotating vinyl record on the dial, the new Zenith Defy Extreme Carl Cox features a much more refined design that is inspired by the famous DJ’s favorite set of turntables.
The new Zenith Defy Extreme Carl Cox watch (ref. 06.9100.9004/21.I001) is based upon the core design of the integrated bracelet version of the Defy Extreme, which means that it features the same angular 45mm case that has flat sapphire crystals fitted to both the dial side of the watch and its display caseback. Like the standard-production models, the right-hand side of the case receives an oblong set of pushers, along with a signed screw-down crown that helps ensure the Defy Extreme’s ample 200 meters of water resistance. However, to mirror the appearance of Carl Cox’s turntables, this latest limited-edition version of the Defy Extreme is crafted from matte stainless steel with yellow gold accents to mirror the golden-tone arm that can be found on the DJ’s signature record players. Yellow gold is used for the model’s twelve-sided bezel, along with the pusher guards that protrude from the 3 o’clock side of the case, and while the fundamental design is the same as other Defy Extreme models, the use of matte stainless steel without any type of polished accents provides the watch with a unique retro-futuristic overall appearance.
The dial of the new Zenith Defy Extreme Carl Cox Limited Edition offers the same core design and layout as its siblings, with a smoked sapphire surface that serves as the background for a trio of registers and a power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock. To match the colorway of the watch, the hands and applied hour markers are yellow gold with luminous accents; however, to lean into the DJ theme of this particular model, the various dial components all feature design elements inspired by Carl Cox’s turntables. For example, the trio of black chronograph registers feature fine concentric grooves to mirror the appearance of vinyl records, the power reserve indicator is designed to look like the on/off switch, and the minute track flange is decorated with a stroboscope pattern of dots like what can be found on the rim of the turntable’s rotating platter.
Powering the new Zenith Defy Extreme Carl Cox watch is the same chronometer-certified El Primero Cal. 9004 automatic chronograph movement that can be found inside a number of the brand’s other models, although the mainplate and skeletonized star-shaped rotor are now finished black on this new Carl Cox edition. Featuring two escapements, with one dedicated specifically to the chronograph, the movement itself runs at a frequency of 36,000vph (5 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 50 hours; however, the second escapement for the chronograph operates at a staggering 360,000vph (50 Hz), which means that the centrally-mounted hand makes one full rotation around the dial every second and allows users to measure times down to 1/100th of a second (regardless of whether or not the human hand is actually able to operate the pushers fast enough to take advantage of such precision).
Fitted to the integrated lugs of the new Zenith Defy Extreme Carl Cox watch is a stainless steel bracelet with a matching matte finish to complement the case. The bracelet offers the same angular H-link design as what can be found on other Defy Extreme models, although just like the case, the lack of polished accents results in a noticeably different overall appearance. Additionally, since the case uses a quick-release strap-changing system, two additional straps are included with the watch, and they can easily be swapped back and forth without the use of any tools. The first is a “midnight slate” rubber strap with a micro-blasted folding clasp, while the second option is a “dark graphite velcro strap with a micro-blasted steel buckle, and despite the rather interesting sounding names of these two colors, both of the additional straps for the Defy Extreme Carl Cox Limited Edition appear black in the included images of the watch.
Aside from the small Carl Cox logo that sits at the center of the sub-dial at 9 o’clock, which further plays into its vinyl record appearance, no other type of co-branding appears on the dial side of the watch, which means that unless you look very closely, this new model just appears to be a rather unusual rendition of the brand’s decidedly modern high-beat chronograph. Produced as a limited edition of 100 examples, the new Zenith Defy Extreme Carl Cox watch is accompanied by an official retail price of $30,100 USD, which makes it one of the more expensive versions of the Defy Extreme chronograph, although it is priced right in line with other recent limited-edition version of the model, such as the Extreme E 2023 watch that was announced earlier this year. For more information on the Zenith Defy Extreme Carl Cox Limited Edition, please visit the brand’s website.