An Australian rules football player who’s a Zenith ambassador, Lance “Buddy” Franklin recently scored his 1000th goal and is now ranked fifth amongst the all-time highest scorers of the Australian Football League (AFL). To celebrate the occasion, Mr Franklin turned to Zenith to create something special, resulting in the two-piece limited-edition Defy Extreme “Buddy Franklin”.
Mr Franklin will keep one watch while the other example is going under the hammer at online auctioneer Loupe This with all proceeds going to the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation, a national charity that brings education to marginalised communities.
The auction is now live on Loupe This and ends on on November 7, 2022 at 2:00 am GMT-5 (New York) or 3:00 pm GMT+8 (Singapore). Registration for bidding and full lot details can be accessed here.
A larger and more rugged version of the Defy 21, the Defy Extreme is a big, sporty watch with an open-worked dial – a seemingly familiar formula. But the Buddy Franklin edition is different with its two-tone case and red dial. It moves away from the typical design of such watches and instead has a more restrained aesthetic that helps tame the 45 mm case size.
The only downside of the watch is the fact that only one will be publicly available, and at an auction rather than for a fixed priced. But with the estimate being the retail price of the regular production model, the Buddy Franklin edition is potentially a value buy considering its unique design and the good cause behind it.
Supporting the Australian indigenous community
Made of titanium and accented with rose gold, the Buddy Franklin edition has a slightly more refined appearance than its counterparts in the Defy Extreme line, which mostly have an all-out contemporary style
Its best feature is the dial that is actually clear sapphire but painted with a mottled red lacquer. The finish was inspired by Ayers Rock, also known as Uluru, a sacred place to the Pitjantjatjara, the Aboriginal people of central Australia. The origin of this lies with Mr Franklin, who was born into an indigenous family.
Additionally, the dial is also a reference to the cause the watch was created to benefit. Proceeds from the sale go to the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation, which brings literacy to disadvantaged Aboriginal Australians. Specifically, the proceeds will benefit the population of Alice Springs, a town located northeast of Uluru.
For technically-minded enthusiasts, however, the highlight is within the case. The El Primero 21 is one of the few regular-production chronograph movements with a 1/100th of a second function. More accurately, it’s a pair of movements as the calibre has an additional, independent set of mainspring, gear train and escapement specifically for the chronograph. This dual-train construction prevents deterioration of timekeeping while the chronograph is running (which creates an extra energy load in a regular movement).
Notably, the additional escapement runs at an ultra-high frequency of 360,000 vibrations per hour or 50 Hz, which means the secondary escapement ticks 100 times a second. That allows it to track 1/100th of a second via the lighting seconds that races around the dial once a second.
Key facts and price
Zenith Defy Extreme “Buddy Franklin”
Diameter: 45 mm
Material: Titanium and 18k rose gold
Water resistance: 200 m
Movement: El Primero 21
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve indicator, and chronograph with lightning seconds
Frequency: 36,000 beats per hour (5 Hz)
Power reserve: 50 hours
Strap: Black rubber strap, Velcro strap and titanium bracelet
Limited edition: Two pieces
Availability: Now on Loupe This, with proceeds going to charity
Price: Estimated retail price of US$22,000
For more, visit Loupethis.com.
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