The mirror effect is, impressively, extended to the bracelet as well as the dial, which consists of a sapphire disc that is “mirror tinted” according to Zenith, with satin brushed elements on the subdials and outer minute track to keep legibility manageable. Highly reflective dials like this are a strange thing to encounter – seeing your own reflection in the dial whenever you check the time can be off putting, so I’m curious to see if this is the effect when handling the Extreme Mirror, or if the sapphire dial has been executed in such a way that it’s a nonissue.
Like other watches in the Defy Extreme collection, this one features the El Primero 9004 caliber, which is capable of timing events to 1/100th of a second. That means the chronograph seconds hand makes one rotation around the dial every second when activated, which is quite a sight and fairly addictive if you’re a chronograph fan. To manage this, the movement has two escapements: one for standard time telling that beats at 5 Hz, and another specifically for the chronograph that runs at an incredible 50 Hz. The chronograph is wound separately, and its power reserve is tracked via an indicator near 12:00.
I remain a pretty big fan of the Defy Extreme line. As a longtime admirer of vintage Zenith Defy references, I feel that the current crop of Extreme references share something with the strange, futuristic case shapes found in obscure Defys from the 1970s. The marketing materials for the Defy Extreme Mirror contextualize the watch as an object that evokes a UFO, and that serves as a reminder that Zenith once made a Defy that is commonly referred to as the Spaceman. It’s another example of how Zenith is conscious of their own history even as they develop new ways of understanding their watches.
The Zenith Defy Extreme Mirror has a retail price of $26,100. Zenith