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Zenith | Defy Extreme Felipe Pantone


A collaboration that knows no bounds. Contemporary art in the service of innovative watchmaking – and vice-versa. The Swiss watchmaker and Valencia-based artist have come together again to give a new expression of time through light, colours and motion. Introducing the Defy Extreme Felipe Pantone, a 100-piece limited edition.

Lights. Chromatics. Animation. The merging of innovative high-frequency watchmaking and vibrant multimedia optical art. After having worked on the historical Manufacture’s façade with a specifically designed tarpaulin in 2020, a limited edition of the Defy 21 that was instantly sold out in 2021, and a one-of-a-kind model for the Only Watch 2021 charity auction that set a new record for a Zenith watch sold at auction, the watchmaking house and the Argentinian-Spanish artist raise the bar even higher and expand the realm of artistic expression with the Defy Extreme Felipe Pantone.

Always conjuring new ways of expressing his unique vision that merges the digital and physical across different formats, Felipe Pantone once again pushed the Manufacture to transfigure his artwork into a mechanical watch with the same exacting level of detail and optical play on light. For the brand, this meant eagerly accepting the challenge and finding creative new solutions to reproduce the unique aesthetic of Felipe Pantone on a much smaller scale without losing any of the vibrancy and optical magic that are trademarks of the artist’s instantly recognisable body of work.

To encapsulate all this miniature details and give the watch sculptural depth, The Defy Extreme was a natural choice of canvas. Its sharp lines and immersive volume enabled the Manufacture and artist to further explore many of the elements that debuted in the original Defy 21 Felipe Pantone, while also introducing some entirely new ones. This time, the inspiration is Pantone’s “Planned Iridescence” series, where his bold use of colour is combined with metallic elements along with mathematically conceived shapes and shaded to generate optical illusions that transcend the boundaries of the analogue and virtual worlds.

The Defy Felipe Pantone is delivered in a box that is shaped like an art book, with a design by the artist modelled after his “Planned Iridescence” series. It is adorned with the same iridescent effect as the watch’s dial, though using an entirely different method. The finishing touch is a transparent Plexiglas hardcover, making the box a striking centrepiece in its own right. 

Published on 2022-11-21