Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Titanium 50th Anniversary ref. 95.9012.9004/69.R582 – Limited edition of 50, 1/100th of a second

During the 1960s, four major brands got into an intense competition over creating the first-ever self-winding chronograph wristwatch. Heuer and Breitling collaborated and received the support of Hamilton, Buren, and Dubois-Depraz, while Zenith and Seiko chose to go their own way. By early 1969, all four companies had come up with a chronograph wristwatch that featured automatic winding, and they had all done remarkable jobs. The Caliber 11 from Heuer, the 6139 from Seiko, and Zenith’s El Primero all proved to be accurate and reliable, well-engineered movements, each of which would go on to inspire a diverse line-up of respective successors.
Half a century after this watchmaking milestone, Zenith presented the “50 Years of El Primero” Anniversary Set – a boxed collection containing three chronographs. The one on offer here used to occupy the third compartment of the presentation box, and it was included in the set as a symbol of the brand’s progressive, forward-facing attitude.
The Defy El Primero 21 is powered by the new El Primero 21 1/100 of a second chronograph – the culmination of a 50-year-long quest for horological perfection. The caliber was given this numerical designation because Zenith considers it “the automatic chronograph of the 21st century”, and it would be very difficult to dispute their claim. The movement oscillates at a frequency of 360,000 vibrations per hour – ten times higher than its predecessor – and measures time to the nearest one-hundredth of a second, with the chronograph hand completing a full revolution in just one second. The skeletonized dial proudly displays this marvel of horological engineering (as does the sapphire caseback) and it features three solid subsidiary dials in the original El Primero colors. It’s also framed by a magnificent 44 mm Gradе 5 titanium case with a large fluted crown, flat push-pieces, and short lugs integrating a comfy black rubber/alligator leather strap.
Our offering is in excellent condition and comes with its original papers, but, understandably, without the collector’s presentation box. We have included an original Zenith box to offset this injustice. Also included is an original blue rubber strap.

Covered by manufacturers international warranty (started in 12.2019).

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Additional information


Defy El Primero

Reference number




Movement caliber

Zenith cal. 9004 El Primero

Power reserve
Case material


Case size

44 mm

Year of production



Very good

Scope of delivery

Watch with original box and papers


Black, Folding clasp, Leather strap

Water resistance

10 ATM


Chronograph, Chronometer, Display back, Limited edition, Luminous hands, Luminous indices, Screw-down crown, Skeletonized, Small seconds

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