Zenith and Felipe Pantone collaborate on the Swiss watchmakers’ first artist collaboration: the DEFY 21 Felipe Pantone. The 100-edition watch’s bold look takes after the Spanish artist’s signature aesthetic: washes of gradient against black and white stripes and glitches. Op art for the 21st Century.
Pantone, who began as a graffiti artist, has made his name painting entire buildings, murals, and exhibited in galleries around the world, including the Long Beach Museum of Art to the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. In 2020, he first began working with Zenith when he painted the facade of its main building. The success of the mural led them to collaborate on a watch, which would end up being one of Zenith’s boldest, and most complex watches to date.
For starters, its 1/100th of a second El Primero 21 chronograph movement beats at an extremely high frequency of 360’000 vibrations per hour for ultra precision, making this watch Zenith’s highest-frequency chronograph in production. Perhaps its most noticeable features are the multi-colored bridges, whose coating reflects a gradient of metallic rainbow tones, making this the first watch to ever use three-dimensional PVD with silicon particles as a surface treatment on a movement to produce a spectrum of perfectly transitioning colors. As a result, no two watches have the exact same colors, making each piece a unique item.
Pantone says of the collaboration, “From the start, the concept was to transform this spectacular piece of watchmaking into a wearable work of kinetic art, where time and light converge into a single object.”
The watch comes with a black, textured rubber strap with a warped grid motif, taking on Pantone’s use of moiré. For a bolder look, one can also opt for a second rubber strap with a central insert that goes from dark grey to a flash of all the colors in the spectrum, depending on the angle of light.
Each of the 100-edition watches comes in a box that mimics a hardcover book with a print of a painting Pantone created exclusively for this series.
You’ll be able to cop a Pantone watch of your own on March 15, 2021, available at Zenith boutiques around the world as well as Zenith’s online store.