Showing at WatchTime New York 2018: Zenith Defy Classic Collection


WatchTime New York, America’s largest luxury watch show, returns to the Big Apple in October. As we count down to the big event, taking place at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall on October 26-27, we continue to showcase many of the new timepieces that guests will discover there. Today we turn our attention to the Zenith Defy Classic, a new collection that debuted at Baselworld 2018.

Zenith Defy Classic - blue strap
Zenith Defy Classic – blue strap

The Zenith Defy Classic — a simpler, time-and-date-only sibling to Zenith’s flagship El Primero chronograph, in all its various iterations — has a 41-mm case made of titanium, a metal prized for its combination of toughness and light weight. Zenith is offering two different dial versions: openworked with a five-sided star motif, and solid sunray-pattern blue. Both versions feature rhodium-plated, faceted, Super-LumiNova-coated hands and hour indices and a date indication. On the solid-dial models, this date is at 3 o’clock; on the open-dial watches, it’s at 6 o’clock, indicated by a white dot over cut-out numerals on a disk that encircles the movement. Also on the skeleton-dial models, a tribute to the watch’s history-making ancestor, the original El Primero chronograph from 1969: the color used for the outer minute track is the same shade found on that vintage piece.

Zenith Defy Classic Openworked Dial - front
The openworked Dial has a visible date wheel and a dark blue minute track.

Speaking of the movement, this watch is powered by the automatic, skeletonized Elite 670 caliber, which could be described as a more understated younger brother to the famous El Primero. The Elite, the first generation of which debuted in 1994, contains 187 components, including 27 jewels and an escape wheel and lever made of silicon. It stores a power reserve of 48 hours, just a little shy of the El Primero’s 50 hours, and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vph — speedy, but a far cry from the El Primero’s supercharged 36,600-vph frequency, which would have been somewhat redundant in a non-chronograph watch that doesn’t require a hyper-accurate reading of elapsed times. Visible through a sapphire caseback on both versions of the Defy Classic, this in-house movement is topped by an openworked, star-shaped rotor with a satin-brushed finish. Because the Elite caliber is also notable for its thinness (just 3.88 mm), it enabled Zenith to create a very slim, elegant case for the Defy Classic, only 10.75 mm in thickness.

Zenith Defy Classic Openworked Dial - caseback
Zenith’s self-winding Elite 670 caliber is on display behind a clear caseback.

The six executions in the new Zenith Defy Classic family include three with the openworked dial (on an integrated titanium bracelet, a black rubber strap with a top layer of blue alligator leather, or a patterned black rubber strap) and three with the solid blue dial, with the same bracelet and strap options.

Zenith Defy Classic - blue dial - strap - side
The titanium case is only 10.75 mm thick.

Interested in seeing the newZenith Defy Classic models in person? You can do so at WatchTime New York this October at Gotham Hall in New York City. Tickets are going fast; order yours here.

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