Zenith Debuts Not One But Two New Rainbow Themed DEFY 21 Chroma II Novelties
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Zenith Debuts Not One But Two New Rainbow Themed DEFY 21 Chroma II Novelties

Zenith Debuts Not One But Two New Rainbow Themed DEFY 21 Chroma II Novelties


At A Glance


  • Expanding its horological hit list of Defy watches, Zenith are searching for that horological pot of gold again thanks to the new DEFY 21 Chroma II in white and black ceramic.
  • Originally unveiled at LMVH Watch Week in 2022, the Le Locle giant released the Mark 1 Chroma in white ceramic packed with rainbow hues. This time, these luxury watches are back in two limited editions.
  • Measuring 44mm, this new number is brimming with colourful rainbow accents, combined with cutting edge technology, modern aesthetics and the legendary El Primero movement.
  • Technically brilliant and a high frequency contemporary powerhouse with precise measurements of 1/100th of a second, this watch is edgier than Dave Grohl and more modern than Banksy.
  • The black ceramic model showcases daring red, blue and yellow accents while the white ceramic version features pastel overtones emblazoned with pale yellows, shades of blues and pinks.
  • A far cry from the vintage vibes of the popular Chronomaster or Chronomaster Sport editions, the new DEFY 21 Chroma II flies as high as kite with its skeletonized dial, bright array of primary gradient colours and stealth like accuracy that will have you discombobulated in no time.


The Defy Collection Sets Horological Benchmark


I closed my eyes…drew back the curtain, to see for certain, what I thought I knew. The opening lines from Any Dream Will Do, from Jason And His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. 

Felipe Patone model, Source: Zenith

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What we can say is this brand new rainbow inspired watch from Zenith follows suit in the impressive DEFY collection that has pushed down horological boundaries for a long time. In fact, Zenith have been defying us with their no nonsense attitude of experimentation, hot drops and mind boggling materials over the last few years.  

The brand has been dazzling timekeeping connoisseurs with an array of new releases and collabs that has firmly put them on the map in terms of best chronograph watches. You heard it here first. The spectrum of colours has been seen on a number of different DEFY timepieces including the Urban Jungle and The Extreme Felipe Pantone 

Together with Spanish Argentinian artist Felipe Pantone, this limited edition partnership is just as impressive as The Moonswatch with only 100 watches produced. With a micro-engraved iridescent pattern, many elements of the sapphire case from oscillating weight to minute and hour hands enjoy a unique 3D rainbow gradient coating. And of course, it is home to the El Primero 9004 movement, the same as what lies in store in the new DEFY 21 Chroma II.  

With its 1/100th of a second chronograph function, the powerful El Primero 9004 calibre (360,000vph), ensures when you buy a Zenith like this, you truly are benefitting from the creme de la creme of movements. 

Source: Zenith

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Then there is their use of Chalcedony in the icy cool Extreme Glacier, delivering different variations to each watch so each piece is never the same. You could say the DEFY range is what the Royal Oak is to Audemars Piguet, due to its similar octagonal titanium case. No need to thank Gerald Genta! Cool, calm and very much collected, the Glacier lineup was highly sought after and sold out almost instantaneously.  

Other features Chrono Hunter have covered on the epic DEFY collection are certainly worth your time to peruse here;


Zenith Introduces The Defy Skyline Skeleton

New Release: Zenith Defy Skyline Skeleton Boutique Edition Watch


Avant-garde in visuals, experimental, striking design and innovative materials make this collection one of the hottest out there at the moment. But if its optimal rainbow brilliance you’re after, you are definitely in the right place as the DEFY 21 Chronograph pushes on with yet more groundbreaking futuristic helpings with this new limited edition.


Personality Of The Zenith DEFY 21 Chroma II


At 44mm wide x 14.5mm tall, the new Zenith DEFY 21 Chroma II in white ceramic and black ceramic have a raised bezel together with its octagonal case, two pushers and large crown with the Zenith star shaped logo sitting proudly.


Source: Zenith

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This is a true integrated luxury sports watch bar none to rival many in this category like the revered Nautilus and Royal Oak. However there are subtle differences between Mark 1 and Mark 2 of these watches.  

Whilst the previous edition only came in matte white ceramic, there is now a black ceramic model that is both brushed and polished than your Grandma’s silver. Furthermore, the rainbow spectrum on both watches is given a colourful shakeup 


Black Ceramic DEFY 21 Chroma II


We will get to the cordura inlays and intriguing rainbow strap stitching in a minute. Firstly, you will find a wide variety of rainbow hues that are predominantly based on primary shades together with a yellow rubber insert situated on the crown.


Source: Zenith

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In addition, this version has many other daring tones like blues, reds, yellows and greens that’s reminiscent of a Hublot Big Bang MP-11 45mm or Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Rainbow 3D Carbon

Like these watches, the colours combine to create a wonderful rainbow palette, dancing its way across the skeletonized dial, hand tips and even on the bridges located inside the movement. This gradient pattern really sets it apart from the timekeeping crowd and wouldn’t look out of place at a swanky office bash or special occasion.


White Ceramic DEFY 21 Chroma II


Well, opposites attract as they say. Moving on to the white ceramic model which appears on the face of things to enjoy much more vivid colours, focusing on perfect pinks and brilliant blues. In this case the yellow rubber insert is swapped out for blue located on the crown.


Source: Zenith

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The gradient effect in all manner of metallic accents is noticeable on the hour markers not to mention hands and on the skeletonized dial close to 12 o’clock. This is where you will find the power reserve indicator, entitled “chrono power reserve” that is not too dissimilar from an arched car dashboard speedometer. These sharp pastel tones are more limited than the black ceramic iteration yet really work against the new white ceramic dial.

 All the colour bases are covered with the strap stitching another interesting aspect of this new timepiece. The bridges correspond to the finishing colours of the markers they are situated the nearest to, ensuring crisp clarity and design uniformity. Rounded off with 100 metres of water resistance, it’s a great novelty to show off poolside, in the boardroom or at that lavish awards ceremony. Trust us when we say this rainbow is here to stay.


Specs:  Zenith DEFY 21 Chroma II



49.9014.9004/01.R953 - ceramic white version

49.9013.9004/21.R952 - ceramic black version

Case Diameter


Case Thickness



Openworked in either white ceramic or black ceramic

Limited Edition?



El Primero 9004 (in-house)



Caseback Material


Caseback Style


Strap Style

Titanium double-folding clasp

Number Of Jewels



hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph power reserve, chronograph with central 1/100th of a second hand, 60 second counter located at 6 o'clock, 30-minute counter based at 3 o'clock. 

Hours and minutes in the centre. Small seconds positioned at 9 o'clock.

Case Material

Matt ceramic


El Primero 9004 Movement


Powered by the iconic El Primero 9004 movement, the new Zenith DEFY 21 Chroma II has a duo of barrels that is responsible for the regulation of timekeeping and chronograph settings. After all, as Marvin Gaye once proclaimed…it takes two baby!


Source: Watchbase

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This duo of independent regulating organs and gear trains runs both functions at a speedy rate of 5Hz (36,000vph) and 50Hz (360,000vph). To this day, the El Primero movement remains the only high frequency 1/100th of a second automatic chronograph ever manufactured. 

A standard of accuracy that is unparalleled in watchmaking circles, as soon as you press the start button on this beauty, admire the way in which the second hand speeds around the dial in a lightning fast blaze of horological glory. 

It is something to behold which is down to the incomprehensible El Primero movement. Forget those steady chronos, this is G-d tier chronograph status like the revamped 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar. The whip on this bad boy is faster than one of Roger Federer’s backhands. These springs and gears work in perfect unison, resulting in a highly addictive rock around the clock. It’s almost mesmerising.


Source: Zenith

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On both watches, discover the gradient rainbow effect that is showcased on various elements such as the skeletonized dial and more importantly the movement bridges which are PVD coated. Officially chronometer certified by TIME LAB, the movement not only has two escapements but a satin blue finished oscillating weight in the shape of the brand’s symbol as well as a pink balance cock that’s also PVD coated.  

Did we mention it has the ability to perform up to 60 minutes of uninterrupted 

chronograph timing? With 53 jewels, providing a weekend-proof power reserve of a minimum 50 hours, you have enough time to take this on your last minute weekend getaway or overseas business trip…and still be in time for the manic Monday rush. 


Where Can You Buy A New Zenith DEFY 21 Chroma II Limited Edition?


Limited to 500 pieces per model and available on a white or black rubber strap complete with rainbow stitching, you can buy a Zenith Defy 21 Chroma II Limited Edition for £13,800 at the time of writing. 

The Defy 21 Chroma II model in white ceramic is exclusive to both Zenith boutiques and designated retailers while the black ceramic version can be purchased across Zenith’s major authorised points of sale. Time is of the essence…this won’t be around for long.


What’s Our View?


Rainbow watches are trending as much as yellow gold watches. They have been one of the hot horological trends of 2023 as seen in the Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Yellow Neon Saxem, Hublot’s Big Bang Unico SORAI and The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce Rainbow ref. 7968/300R. The latter was worn by Lionel Messi at the unveiling of his Inter Miami presentation. 


Lionel Messi rocks the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce Rainbow ref. 7968/300R. Source: Getty Images

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It’s not all about the Benjamins but rather about the baguette diamonds! Although this was marketed as their first-ever automatic ladies' chronograph, who cares when you are Lionel Messi.

it didn’t stop the Argentinean flex this at a cool £200,000 at retail. Rocking 40 multi-colored sapphires, as of September 2023, you can buy a Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce Rainbow ref. 7968/300R in excess of £450,000 on the secondary market. A very sound investment Senor Messi. 

Dosed up to the max with colour, we predict dare we say bright things for the new DEFY 21 Chroma II. This burst of colour that is captured across both luxury watches fits perfectly within their avant-garde and pioneering craftsmanship. Throw in the El Primero movement for good measure, and you have one unstoppable timepiece on your hands.


Will The Zenith DEFY 21 Chroma II Hold Its Value?


An interesting question that deserves our attention. Whether or not this new novelty will hold its value depends on certain factors including;


  • Provenance
  • History
  • Rarity
  • Supply and demand.
  • Current market conditions


Given it houses arguably the most significant movement of the last half century should tell you everything there is to know about these wonderful watches. Heck we’ll go as far as to say the El Primero to Zenith is what The Speedmaster is to Omega…a one of a kind. Add in that both watches are limited editions with only 500 pieces and many of the above boxes have already been ticked.

 With demand quite possibly overtaking demand for this particular model, there is no doubt that its resale value will increase. Furthermore, the surge in demand for the DEFY Extreme Glacier means that many collectors will no doubt want to taste the rainbow one more time.  

The 1/100th of a second chronograph is something that’s very much sought after and is rarely seen in luxury watches, thus increasing its value and interest among hungry horophiles. 


Best Rainbow Watches


And if you have still time to drink in all there is to sample on our colourful timekeeping journey, here is a snippet of our best rainbow watches to buy;




Secondary Market Price (As of September 2023)

Rolex Daytona Rainbow


Approx £450,000

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold Double Balance Wheel Openworked


Approx £250,000

Richard Mille RM68-01 CYRIL KONGO (Only 30 pieces produced, making it one of the rarest on the market)


Approx £600,000

TAG Heuer Carrera Polychrome Tourbillon Chronograph


Approx £20,000




Time’s up on our look at the new DEFY 21 Chroma II watches. And boy hasn’t it been a rollercoaster of a ride…all the way to the top of the rainbow. This Mark 2 Chroma model is another extension of the brand’s mission to define itself as a premium luxury brand.

This contemporary thirst for rainbow watches shows no sign of abating. And if you cannot get your hands on a Daytona Rainbow, considered by many as the Zenith of rainbow watches, its namesake is hot on its horological heels. The peak of precision combined with an explosion of colour, this luxury sports watch never ceases to amaze. It is the ideal continuation in their collection making enthusiasts wanting more and more.  

Trouble is, they just keep defying the odds…every single time.

Looking to buy a Zenith the smart way and touch the rainbow? Want to sell your Zenith and enjoy top prices paid for your timepiece? Save time and money with Chrono Hunter. Contact us here to speak to our dedicated representatives and get a quick quote to sell a watch, or receive multiple offers from our trusted network of retailers when you buy a watch. With unrivalled brand knowledge, first rate Trustpilot reviews and a quick turnaround, we are your number one online platform.


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Further Reading: 

Top Zenith Watches To Buy And Invest In 2023

A Collection Of The Best Everyday Watches - Chrono Hunter


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