At this year’s LVMH Watch Week — held in Singapore for the first time — ZENITH revealed an intriguing quartet: some of its latest additions to the highly acclaimed DEFY collection (launched in 2022) that showcases the brand’s commitment to progressive and innovative watchmaking. CEO Julien Tornare, while talking about the evolution of the DEFY collection, shared, “This year, the collection is growing with a new skeleton version featuring a bold and futuristic design, as well as mid-size unisex version of the DEFY Skyline in 36mm with some vibrant dial colours. We’re really excited to witness the completion of the DEFY collection with these dynamic new references.”
All four new launches share a common futuristic design language and the brand’s spirit of endurance; their unveiling at LVMH Watch Week set the momentum for the year — another exciting ZENITH collection is expected to make a grand return during Watches & Wonders in March 2023.
DEFY Skyline Skeleton
An improvised version of the original DEFY Skeleton — ZENITH’s most sought-after inventions — this new skeletonised watch has a cleaner, more contemporary look than its predecessors while retaining the earlier models’ robustness and durability. It follows the unique octagonal geometry of the early DEFY models of the 1960s and draws cues from modern cityscapes where structures and light are bound in a constantly moving interplay. The DEFY Skyline Skeleton opens a whole new world of possibilities to what a skeleton watch can be. There’s a constantly running 1/10th of a second counter at 6 o’clock that makes steady jumps in fixed increments, completing one revolution every 10 seconds.The open dial comes in black or blue, with the skeleton movement’s main plate as well as the bridges and open star-shaped oscillating weight finished in the same colour as the dials.
Now available in this 36mm version, the DEFY Skyline introduces unisex proportions, making it ideal for those with a smaller wrist. The angular silhouette of the original stays intact. The mid-size watch comes in three dial colours: the first is the same metallic deep blue found in the 41mm version while the other two take on totally new tones: pastel pink and green. Available with or without brilliant-cut white diamonds on the bezel, the timepiece has a metallic base that is polished and satin-brushed. Intended for all occasions and situations, it also comes with a strap-change mechanism on the caseback that allows for easy swapping between the steel bracelet and supplied starry sky-patterned rubber strap with folding clasp in the same colour as the dial.
DEFY Skyline Boutique Edition
The first boutique-exclusive edition of the acclaimed DEFY Skyline, this stands out with its striking anthracite dial, engraved with a rose gold motif and set with rose gold hands and hour markers. The dodecagonal bezel recalls the earliest DEFY wristwatches from 1969 while the visual animation on the dial is reminiscent of twinkling stars in the night sky. To achieve this eye-catching effect, the four-pointed stars, recalling the ZENITH emblem found in past references, are first engraved on the dial, then plated with rose gold. The steel bracelet has a satin-brushed surface with chamfered and polished edges, aesthetically matching the contours of the angular case. A black rubber strap with a starry sky pattern is also provided with a steel folding clasp and can be easily swapped without any tools.
DEFY Extreme Glacier
Following the DEFY Extreme Desert launched in 2021, ZENITH is traversing to the opposite kind of landscape for the second edition with the DEFY Extreme Glacier. Inspired by frozen barren landscapes, the watch blurs the lines between wearable art and precision watchmaking. An integral part of the titanium case — that protects the pushers as well as the bezel — are crafted from chalcedony, a crystalline, pale blue, semi-translucent stone that reminds one of frozen glaciers. Meticulously cut and hand-polished, each stone is different and comes in slightly different colours and structures, making each of the 50 limited pieces of the DEFY Extreme Glacier unique. The open dial reveals the innovative El Primero 1/100th of a second automatic high-frequency chronograph calibre and its two regulating organs beating at 50Hz for the chronograph and 5Hz for the timekeeping.