Zenith and artist Felipe Pantone announce the Defy 21 Felipe Pantone, a highly chromatic and visually striking timepiece for the 21st century
The Defy 21 Felipe Pantone is based on the first collaboration between Zenith and Felipe Pantone, in 2020, when the Swiss manufacture offered the facade of its main building as a canvas to the Argentinian-Spanish artist.
Digital native, Pantone’s themes through his paintings, interactive kinetic objects and massive public installations are the dynamism, transformation and revolution of the computer age. Vibrant, electric and resolutely retro-futuristic, his approach consists in abandoning all pre-existing notions of art to facilitate a freely creative environment.
The artist’s use of modern and unconventional tools to achieve his colorful takeover of his factory in Le Locle has been taken over by Zenith, a forward-looking brand whose rich history and traditional roots help it. to build the future of watchmaking. An unexpected but coherent collaboration was born.
Now, for the second phase of this collaborative partnership, Pantone has reinvented Zenith’s most advanced chronograph to date, creating a ‘visible spectrum concept’ that is both a feat of exceptional watchmaking prowess and a work of art. portable kinetics: the Zenith Defy 21 Felipe Pantone.
“From the start, the concept was to transform this spectacular timepiece into a wearable kinetic work of art,” says Pantone. ‘Time and light converge in one object.’
Just as Felipe Pantone constantly explores new techniques to create his daring works of art, Zenith also pushed the boundaries of innovation when it came to running the Pantone version of the Defy 21, developing methods up to ‘then unknown in watchmaking.
Among the most notable features of the watch are the multi-colored bridges, a hallmark of Pantone’s work. Using the principle of “interference colors” (an optical chart that identifies minerals in thin sections using a petrographic microscope), the coating of the bridges reflects a gradient of metallic rainbow tones.
Using silicon particles as a surface treatment on motion to produce a perfectly transitional color spectrum, each piece takes on slightly different colors, essentially becoming a unique piece of art in the process. Requiring months of testing, specialized skills and machinery to achieve this rainbow effect, the Defy 21 Felipe Pantone, limited to just 100 pieces, is the first watch to use this innovative type of three-dimensional PVD coating technique. .
No less extraordinary are the central hour and minute hands, taking on a deliberately distorted appearance, resembling the lightning bolts that feature in much of Pantone’s work, with a rainbow color gradient applied in the same process as the bridges of movement.
The moiré optical effect produced by thin alternating white and black bands is another recurring theme in Pantone’s paintings and sculptures. This op-art effect has been miniaturized and reproduced on the upper bridges and dial parts of the Defy 21 Felipe Pantone, using laser engraving and lacquering techniques so precise that they provide an optical illusion of fluidic movement. in contrast to the stripes. The open dial is just as dynamic, with a mix of gradients and blocks of color on the markers and counters.
Even the inanimate outer parts of the Defy 21 Felipe Pantone case have been revisited by Pantone for a dynamic overhaul. The black ceramic watch features a grid pattern engraved on the bezel and “FP # 1” engraved on the four corners of the case, indicating “Felipe Pantone El Primero”. Bringing out the different details of the chromatic dial and movement, the artist opted for a black textured rubber strap with a distorted grid pattern.
For those who prefer an even bolder look that matches the striking tones of the dial and movement, a second rubber strap is offered, with a central insert that ranges from dark gray to a flash of all colors of the spectrum depending on the color. light. The colors are not actually embedded in the bracelet, but are the result of the iridescence caused by the surface of the material and the way it reflects light.