Collaborations work well when there is a synchronicity with the elements involved – when the brand in question matches well with the personality they have chosen.It’s even better when the link makes sense but is not so obvious at first glance, and this is because of the inevitable surprise that is part of the fun.These were my thoughts when I was shown the DEFY 21 Carl Cox, a carbon cased beauty on a red rubber strap carrying the super fast El Primero 9004 automatic chronograph movement that has the central chronograph hand making one revolution every second. It’s enough to make your heart beat faster every time you start it and to also realize that Zenith is the premier chronograph brand of our times, running with a destiny charged from having introduced the high beat El Primero running at 36,000 vph in 1969, a monumental achievement then, and further improved upon today with the Zenith Calibre 9100 running at 129,600 VpH (18 Hz).But just who is Carl Cox? Well he’s a British born and world-renowned DJ/ producer who has been credited with bringing techno music to new heights with global audiences. Born in 1962, he has, over his long career been part of and influenced the evolution of electronic music, from underground rave parties in the 1980’s, to releasing his debut single for Paul Oakenfold’s Perfecto label, “I Want You (Forever)”, to having his own stage at the Burning Man festival.A “celebrity DJ” before the term was invented, Cox not might be widely known, but he is a man with substance, which is why this tribute by Zenith in the form of the DEFY 21 Carl Cox is so fantastic.The watch itself has a few obvious musical details, and it’s nice that they are not intrusive at all, meaning that if you don’t care for what the watch is about, you can still buy it and enjoy its aesthetic.
The main clue to the Carl Cox link is the running small seconds at 9 o’clock, which in this case is made to look like a miniature vinyl record turning, which is fitting since Cox is known for three-deck mixing in his DJ sets. The vinyl record is decorated with his name and the speed of the movement “36,000 vph 1/100th of a second chronograph.” On this point, it’s nice that the relatively fast beats of techno music fit well with the high beat of the El Primero movement beating within.The last detail has to be the best one of all. Just think about it – just where does Carl Cox spend most of his time when he is working. Well, in a darkened club. But what goes well with a darkened environment then? How about the standard Super-LumiNova painted hands and indexes, and then top it off with a luminous carbon bezel, and luminous stitching on the black rubber with red “Cordura effect”strap?Is this the perfect watch for a DJ in the dark? I think so.