Rallying call: Zenith Defy Extreme E “Island X Prix”

Zenith unveils limited-edition watch for the Sardinian leg of the electric rallying championship

Watches & Jewellery 19 Jul 2022

Zenith has revealed the newest edition of its Defy Extreme watch at the Extreme E racing series, in celebration of the two back-to-back Island X Prix rallies in south Sardinia this July. Only 20 are available, and it is the second special-edition watch released to coincide with the series’ racing legs.

During the scorching hot weekend, Brummell caught up with Zenith CEO Julien Tornare, who explained that the manufacturer’s sponsorship of the electric rally championship came together in a five-minute call via satellite phone with its founder, Alejandro Agag, while the latter was travelling on the series’ cargo ship, St Helena. ‘It’s an easy collaboration,’ explained Tornare, recalling the constant sharing of photos and ideas with Agag throughout the watch’s design process. ‘I’m not allowed one though, because I’ll just lose it,’ Agag joked. The pair bonded over a shared appreciation for adventure, racing and their passion for fighting climate change, which is a founding principle of Extreme E.

To that end, this highly limited Defy Extreme chronograph has its fair share of eco credentials. The rubber strap, for instance, is injected with recycled materials from the Continental CrossContact tyres used in the championship’s first season. The water- and crush-proof packaging, too, is carefully considered and uses upcycled elements from the sidelines of the first season, while other parts are constructed using tarpaulin and recycled E-grip tyres from races past.

Alongside the El Primero 21 movement, this edition is decked out with orange accents and a logo to coordinate with the Island X Prix’s branding, as well as text denoting the limited run on the sapphire glass caseback. ‘We used carbon fibre and microblasted titanium to make it look very strong, very sporty and solid,’ Tornare says of the watch case.

For motorsport fans, there are few things better than exceptional merchandise that celebrates racing, which is why Zenith’s Defy Extreme E watch is such a special investment. And if you miss out on this one, be sure to look out for the next edition to be revealed at Chile’s Copper X Prix in September.

‘In each of these locations there are different climate change problems, and we have to think about how we can use that as inspiration, and what we can contribute,’ Tornare said of the next watch design. ‘Now our friends from Extreme E have introduced us to the people at the MedSea Foundation. Step by step, we’re getting more and more involved, and it gives more sense to our global Zenith HORIZ-ON strategy.’

zenith-watches.com; extreme-e.com