Zenith’s second Baselworld 2018 release brings a simple model to the Defy Collection. The Zenith Defy Classic is a time and date only model that brings a sport-dressy option to the Defy Collection and fills the hole of a collection without a chronograph or other complication. Zenith has been modernizing their portfolio with the Defy offerings over the last two years, and something they’ve put a lot less effort on is a contemporary watch with a simple design – these watches fit that role.


Brand: Zenith
Model: Zenith Defy Classic
Dimensions: 41mm x 10.75mm
Case Material: Brushed Titanium
Crystal/Lens: Domed Sapphire
Movement: Elite 670 SK
Frequency: 4Hz
Power Reserve: 48 Hours
Strap/Bracelet: Rubber, Blue Leather with rubber lining, or Titanium Bracelet
Price & Availability: TBD – But likely around $7,500

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These are some pretty straightforward designs with the buyer’s choice of “Zenith Blue” or a blackened skeleton dial. The inclusion of the modified Zenith Elite 670 movement (with silicone lever and escape-wheel) really makes me lean towards wanting to see the movement in action. As a fan of the Defy Collection, I’ve found the close dials attractive but really felt the magic in their open-worked movements. Though, I do see the appeal a more modest Zenith will have to collectors who would rather stay within the Zenith product line but don’t necessarily want to wear a skeleton watch with a suit – an admittedly niche group. The flip side of the coin is trying to attract buyers who wouldn’t normally option a Zenith in the sporty-dress watch category.

Personally, I find the open-worked model more appealing, though I can see the heavy influence of the Heuer 01 style date wheel and indices – something that feels a bit less Zenith to me. LVMH has been accused swapping influences around Hublot, Zenith, and Tag Heuer quite often, but this is one of the first times I’ve felt it’s mostly justified. The star shaped skeleton cage fits the model well, and helps alleviate some of the familiarity while giving the watch a bit of its own structure but I can’t help the feeling of déjà vu, even without the chronograph function.


Overall, these are safe bets for Zenith. The watches fill a segment missing from the Defy Collection and add a necessary non-chronograph and non-complicated model to a collection known for looking like it crash landed in Kecksburg in 2056 (bold reference, let’s see if it pays off). I must admit, I appreciate the lack of a black PVD-coated model as it would detract from the dress-sport vibes these present to the Defy line. Price for the models haven’t been announced, but I would imagine they will come in at ~$7,500 for the closed dial, and $9,000 for the open-worked. zenith-watches.com

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