The Zenith Defy Skyline collection was launched a year ago to strengthen the brand’s position in the highly competitive segment of luxury sports watches, where the Defy Extreme and Defy Classic series were already fighting for the desired impact. The Skyline references greatly improved the chances of winning a broader clientele with a unique offering of distinctive-looking watches. And, as you can see, the latest Boutique edition fits right in.
The name “Defy” has a long tradition in the brand. The story began in 1902 with the “Defi” line of robust and precise pocket watches, which later motivated Zenith to keep that same spirit alive in a 1969 collection of wristwatches, changing the final letter to Y. The 1969 Defy design and aesthetics complemented the highly reliable construction and performance, and the Defy watches were nicknamed coffre-fort and even advertised as “the time-safe”.
That same spirit inspires the modern Defy and the Zenith Defy Skyline collection. The design draws from the original Defy, with a sharp and angular-looking case, offering a fresh, powerful contemporary execution. The new Zenith Defy Skyline Boutique Edition is basically the same as the 2022 models, with some new colours.
The Skyline Boutique Edition comes in a faceted stainless steel case, just like the references released earlier, and it measures 41mm in diameter and 11.6mm in height. The octagonal case and the dodecagonal bezel feature brushed and polished edges, creating an overall look that is both elegant and powerful. The screw-down crown bears the star-shaped Zenith logo, the caseback is transparent, and the watch guarantees water-resistance to 100 meters.
The anthracite dial is decorated with a perfectly aligned grid of engraved four-pointed, rose gold-plated stars. Large applied and faceted rose gold hour markers and hands reinforce the gold presence. Hands and markers, including the small hand of the sub-dial at 9 o’clock, have Super-LumiNova inserts. The outer minute track with white print and the sub-dial track are placed slightly lower than the base dial, with the outer end of hour indices suspended above the recessed flange. This star pattern contributes to the distinctive look of the series; it adds a sense of depth to the dial and makes it come “alive”, reinforcing the watch’s character.
The date window is at 3 o’clock; the date disc colour matches the dial and is large enough to read easily. The indication of the seconds, or the tenth of a second, to be precise, gives us a hint of the movement’s origins, especially for those familiar with Zenith’s calibres. Perhaps this is the only purpose, as the crazy seconds hand running around the small dial has no practical use, but the effect is present. Would the watch look better without this feature? I’ll let you choose the answer.
Zenith very much identifies with the El Primero Calibre and the Zenith Defy Skyline series. This boutique-only edition houses the El Primero 3620 automatic movement with a bi-directional rotor. When fully wound, it delivers a power reserve of approximately 60 hours. The calibre 3620 has a frequency of 5 Hz (36,000vph) and uses a construction similar to an El Primero 3600 1/10th of a second chronograph. The sapphire crystal caseback allows for a good view of the movement, with the rotor in rose gold for this edition of Zenith Defy Skyline.