The king of kinetic street art, Argentinian-Spanish artist Felipe Pantone, has become one of the brightest talents in the world of contemporary art. Following the success of a first collaboration in 2020, Zenith asked the artist to create a new version of the manufacture’s most advanced chronograph to date.
This unexpected yet completely natural collaboration has given birth to the DEFY 21 Felipe Pantone, a logical choice of canvas for the artist to express his celebrated “visible spectrum” concept.
The frequencies of light and its refracted colors all come into play in the highest-frequency chronograph in production. Despite the complex technical challenges of this creation, Zenith has refused to compromise on even the smallest details, once again pushing the limits to develop groundbreaking watchmaking techniques.
Using the principle of interference colors, the three-dimensional PVD coating creates multi-colored bridges, a signature of Felipe Pantone’s work, producing a spectrum of perfectly transitioning colors. The hands on the watch have an intentionally distorted look, resembling the lightning bolts that figure in many of the artist’s works. Another recurring theme, the moiré optical effect, is produced on portions of the dial using ultra-precise laser-engraving and lacquering techniques.
Felipe Pantone even revisited the external parts of the watch, creating unique details like the “FP#1” engraved on the four corners of the case, denoting “Felipe Pantone El Primero.
To allow the details of the chromatic dial to stand out, the artist opted for a sober black textured rubber strap with a warped grid motif. Those who prefer a bolder look can wear a second rubber strap with a central insert that goes from dark gray to flashing brilliant colors, depending on the angle of light. This rainbow optical effect is the result of iridescence caused by the surface of the material and how it reflects light.
This treasure of art and engineering comes in a box that mimics a hardcover book, with a miniaturized painting on the cover that Felipe Pantone created exclusively for this special series, complete with a signed certificate. With this limited edition Zenith has deftly merged the worlds of contemporary art and watchmaking.
The DEFY 21 Felipe Pantone has been made in a limited edition of only 100 pieces, each one a unique work of art.
Zenith has been shaping the future of Swiss watchmaking since its establishment in 1865, accompanying those who dare to challenge themselves and break barriers. “The concept was to transform this spectacular piece of watchmaking into a wearable work of kinetic art, where time and light converge into a single object. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the result,” says Felipe Pantone.