Zenith Defy 21 Skeleton - chrono reset misfiring

Thread: Zenith Defy 21 Skeleton - chrono reset misfiring

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  1. #1
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    Zenith Defy 21 Skeleton - chrono reset misfiring

    Dear All,

    I am a proud owner of a blue version of the new Zenith Defy 21 Skeleton. I love the watch in all aspects. I have had it since mid-May and besides a little hick-up with the blue leather strap which developed some stains when I accidentally splashed a little water on it while washing hands, the experience with the watch has been positive. However, a couple of weeks ago I noticed an oddity that won't let me sleep. When I start the chronograph everything is OK. Same when I stop it. HOWEVER, when I try resetting the Chrono, it misfires every so often bringing the big seconds arrow to a few ticks past zero (to the right (like between 12 and 5 or between 5 and 10). I tried playing with it and noticed several patterns if you would. 1) It doesn't happen every time. In other words, if I make a conscious (concentrated) effort to press the reset hard everything is OK but if I press it normally like the start button, this oddity occurs. 2) Pressing the reset 2nd time corrects this misfire. 3) I think this misalignment occurs when I reset the Chrono while the big seconds hand is between 0 and 30 (in other words on the right half of the dial). I don't recall it happening if the hand is stopped on the left half, i.e. past 30 (but I could be wrong here).

    Is this normal for an el primero mechanism? I have had another Chrono by Ulysse Nardin for over 15 years and never have I seen such a thing. I am wondering if something is wrong with the watch and I need to send it in for service while still under warranty or is this something that is natural for el primeros? Maybe this is normal for these new Defys? Anyone has had a similar experience?
    Last edited by almeladze; October 27th, 2019 at 10:20.

  2. #2
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Zenith Defy 21 Skeleton - chrono reset misfiring

    No, I'm afraid it's not normal. The good news is that nothing is bust, the bad news is that a professional watchmaker will nevertheless have to see it. Since it is presumably on warranty, you should let Zenith do it.

    Chronographs are fiddly things since they don't just have to be assembled and the balance regulated - the whole chronograph mechanism has to be adjusted. The interplay of the different parts is vital for the thing to function properly. In your case, I suspect that the chrono brake tends to hit the chrono seconds gear reset block (that little heart shaped thing) just a touch too early or too late, resulting in the hand stopping a little off the 12:00 mark. Good luck in getting it fixed.

    Hartmut Richter

  3. #3
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    Re: Zenith Defy 21 Skeleton - chrono reset misfiring

    Thank you Hartmut. Oddly enough, a few days ago I stopped by a local high end watch store (AD of Breguet, JLC, IWC, Bovet, Zenith, Breitling, J Droz, etc) and chatted with a friendly sales rep who knows me. I was showing her my new Zenith acquisition Ultra Thin Hennessy edition and happened to mention to her that I was experiencing this problem. She had discussed this with their watchmaker (certified and all) who said that this is perfectly OK and that I just need to push the reset pusher harder. The response made little sense to me being that this problem developed only recently. Which is why I decided to write on this forum.

    What I am wondering at this point is if other owners have had a similar problems or am i the only "lucky" owner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    No, I'm afraid it's not normal. The good news is that nothing is bust, the bad news is that a professional watchmaker will nevertheless have to see it. Since it is presumably on warranty, you should let Zenith do it.

    Chronographs are fiddly things since they don't just have to be assembled and the balance regulated - the whole chronograph mechanism has to be adjusted. The interplay of the different parts is vital for the thing to function properly. In your case, I suspect that the chrono brake tends to hit the chrono seconds gear reset block (that little heart shaped thing) just a touch too early or too late, resulting in the hand stopping a little off the 12:00 mark. Good luck in getting it fixed.

    Hartmut Richter

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  5. #4
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    Re: Zenith Defy 21 Skeleton - chrono reset misfiring

    Hartmut, what do you know! Look at this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsiRFglTAIc
    At 2:25 he resets the chrono and small seconds on the 60-second dial at 6 o'clock misaligns after resetting. He even mentions that one must push it hard. Wow! I am really surprised. I sent a question ro Zenith via their fcbk page. I hope they respond!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    No, I'm afraid it's not normal. The good news is that nothing is bust, the bad news is that a professional watchmaker will nevertheless have to see it. Since it is presumably on warranty, you should let Zenith do it.

    Chronographs are fiddly things since they don't just have to be assembled and the balance regulated - the whole chronograph mechanism has to be adjusted. The interplay of the different parts is vital for the thing to function properly. In your case, I suspect that the chrono brake tends to hit the chrono seconds gear reset block (that little heart shaped thing) just a touch too early or too late, resulting in the hand stopping a little off the 12:00 mark. Good luck in getting it fixed.

    Hartmut Richter

  6. #5
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    Re: Zenith Defy 21 Skeleton - chrono reset misfiring

    ????? On a "normal" chronograph, it's all or nothing - and if not, the system is badly adjusted. My chronograph (Cal 410) never plays up like this and I've had it for years. If you "have to push harder", it's a faulty design, IMO.

    Hartmut Richter

  7. #6
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    Re: Zenith Defy 21 Skeleton - chrono reset misfiring

    Hartmut, how do I make this thread more noticeable? I want to see if other owners of Defy 21 have had similar experience. Otherwise, it seems like nobody else besides you sees it. Thnx.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    ????? On a "normal" chronograph, it's all or nothing - and if not, the system is badly adjusted. My chronograph (Cal 410) never plays up like this and I've had it for years. If you "have to push harder", it's a faulty design, IMO.

    Hartmut Richter

  8. #7
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    Re: Zenith Defy 21 Skeleton - chrono reset misfiring

    There is no real way - threads show up for everyone and are highlighted if you haven't read them yet. I would suggest posting in "Public" (/f2 - "Zenith" is /f27) where there is a greater community and cross linking to this thread. I would ask you not to start a separate thread there (even though people may answer directly) or else to link the new thread in "Public" here if it turns out to be more successful.

    Hartmut Richter

  9. #8
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    Re: Zenith Defy 21 Skeleton - chrono reset misfiring

    You probably won’t get more traffic from other Zenith EP 21 owners elsewhere. I’m guessing the highest concentration is right here. You could maybe post your question in threads started by other members about their own EP 21s.

    Concerning the chrono reset question, I don’t own a 21, only regular El Primeros and despite the similar name I doubt that observations from a caliber 400 would apply to a Lab 21. On any case, when the central seconds hand doesn’t go to zero on mine it’s been because the hand is loose. In resets at random spots erratically and there is a swing effect depending on how far the had has to travel to reset. The behaviour of your watch leads me to think that it is probably a calibration problem of the chronograph components as Hartmut has pointed out and not a loose second hand.

    Another chronograph that went weird on me was my Ebel caliber 139. If I pressed down on the start button very slowly the second hand would move ahead by five or even up to eight seconds without the clutch clicking into the start position. Once it finally clicked it would start at plus 5 to plus 8. I would have to press the button quickly to avoid the chrono gaining a head start. Pretty annoying, so I sold it. I do regret it though as it was a really cool watch.

  10. #9
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    Re: Zenith Defy 21 Skeleton - chrono reset misfiring

    Thank you! I plan to observe the behavior of the Chrono. Just 2 days ago I took my Ulysse Nardin to have the bracelet adjusted and actually spoke with a watchmaker at the local AD. He told me that this is due to some sort of magnetic component with the pushers. He apparently experienced the same issue when they first received these watches. He had addressed Zenith with this question and they told him that it needed to be pushed harder. Hard push actually avoids the issue. Go figure... I need to observe this for a little longer. Thnx for pointing out re other threards elsewhere. Will definitely do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by WTSP View Post
    You probably won’t get more traffic from other Zenith EP 21 owners elsewhere. I’m guessing the highest concentration is right here. You could maybe post your question in threads started by other members about their own EP 21s.

    Concerning the chrono reset question, I don’t own a 21, only regular El Primeros and despite the similar name I doubt that observations from a caliber 400 would apply to a Lab 21. On any case, when the central seconds hand doesn’t go to zero on mine it’s been because the hand is loose. In resets at random spots erratically and there is a swing effect depending on how far the had has to travel to reset. The behaviour of your watch leads me to think that it is probably a calibration problem of the chronograph components as Hartmut has pointed out and not a loose second hand.

    Another chronograph that went weird on me was my Ebel caliber 139. If I pressed down on the start button very slowly the second hand would move ahead by five or even up to eight seconds without the clutch clicking into the start position. Once it finally clicked it would start at plus 5 to plus 8. I would have to press the button quickly to avoid the chrono gaining a head start. Pretty annoying, so I sold it. I do regret it though as it was a really cool watch.

  11. #10
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    Re: Zenith Defy 21 Skeleton - chrono reset misfiring

    Hi. I have a Defy 21. I also experienced the same issue. You need to hit the reset button flush for it to go back to position '0'. I have been told by Zenith that this is normal.



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