Zenith, which attracted a great deal of interest from the watch enthusiasts with the Defy Zero G model at the Baselworld 2018, is in the spotlight with new Zenith Defy Classic models that are also introduced during the exhibition.
I believe we will not be mistaken to say that the Defy Collection, which has a considerable place in the brand’s rich history, is living its second spring thanks to the brilliant moves from Zenith. The collection, which features very cool looking models presented in these days when the Heritage and Re-Issue winds blow up the industry, is the guest of our pages with new models that were introduced at Baselworld 2018.
There are two different versions of the newly introduced model family. One of these models are offered with a standard dial while the other model is equipped with an "open works" skeleton dial, which is also known with the name Zenith in the watchmaking terminology.
Both models are available in a matte titanium case, measuring 41mm x 10.75mm. The case, which sports design clues that evoke Hublot Classic Fusion models, is quite comfortable on the wrist thanks to its optimal size. Offering a pretty sporty look with its flat bezel, short lugs, integrated bracelet/strap connection and matte surface, the case is equipped with scratch resistant sapphire crystals on both sides and a relatively large Zenith signed winding crown. The case is water resistant to 100 meters which is more than enough for daily use.
The first model in the collection, which are separated from each other mainly with their dial designs, comes with a standard (closed) dial that is finished in a bright blue tone. The dial lay-out is very simple in terms of dial markings and texts. Inspired by the Vintage Defy models from late 60s to early 70s, the dial sports a date display at 3 o’clock. The famous star logo is present at 12 o’clock while the model name is located above 6 o’clock marker.
The other model in the collection is offered with a skeletonized dial aka "open works" in Zenith’s lingo. It has the same features as the other version in terms of hands and hour markers design while the date disk is blackened and perforated to match the overall concept. The visible parts of the movement are also partially blackened which provides a contemporary and industrial look. There is an inner scale chapter for the minute markers finished in blue which we are familiar with from the non-open works dial model.
Both models are powered by the manufacture Zenith Elite 670 / 670 SK movement. Self-winding caliber beats at 4Hz (28.800vph) and offers a power reserve of 48 hours when fully wound. The movement, which features updates like a silicone lever and an escape wheel, is visible from the sapphire crystal caseback.
The new models are offered with blue or black rubber strap, rubber lined blue alligator strap and titanium bracelet options.
As a watch enthusiast who has a sweet spot for Vintage Zenith Defy watches, I believe Zenith did a great job with this new Zenith Defy Classic Collection. Even though obvious Hublot inspirations are present in the rubber and leather strap (even the folding clasp) as well as the case, the uniqueness of the basic DNA is still present as the Defy Collection is one of the most known collections among the product groups of the brand.
If I were to choose one of the two models I have here, I would probably go with the closed dial one. I think it looks very stylish, especially with its simple blue dial. As a matter of fact, I got tired of seeing countless new models that are inspired by the archives of the manufacturers. However, I still like the new Zenith Defy Classic Collection. Maybe it’s because I like real Vintage ones or maybe it’s about the respect I feel for the brand. I have never been a great admirer of skeleton dial watches. But movements decorated with more contemporary and industrial details like the one here, makes the concept more preferable for me. If I there was a black (a matte black ceramic) case and black strap option for the open works dial version, maybe I’d go with that one.