Most revered as the pioneer in the development of the integrated automatic chronograph, dating back to 1969 with the debut of the El Primero, ZENITH has perpetuated the tenet of melding watchmaking tradition with avant-garde innovations since its founding.

The original El Primero bore the world’s first-ever automatic chronograph movement, beating at 36,000 vibrations per hour, a frequency ahead of its time to guarantee exceptional precision. Its latest novelty, the DEFY Skyline Skeleton Ceramic, continues to exemplify ZENITH’s watchmaking excellence while soaring to greater heights by harnessing the unique properties of a proven material. 

First introduced in 2022 as the new heir to the DEFY line of rugged and audacious wristwatches from 1969, the DEFY Skyline collection is now enriched with a brand-new edition equipped with ZENITH’s latest El Primero high-frequency calibre, as the Manufacture honours its legacy of producing industry-leading movements, and encased entirely in black ceramic, a cutting-edge material of known for its extraordinary attribute in being scratch resistant and virtually wear-and-tear proof.

The DEFY Skyline Skeleton Ceramic takes on contemporary proportions, making it a striking timepiece to behold from afar and up close.

Ceramic is a complex and laborious material to work with compared to stainless steel and precious metals. To create the distinctive shape as well as the satin-brushed and polished surfaces of the DEFY Skyline Skeleton Ceramic, the time-consuming process requires working with diamond-tipped apparatus as it is the only feasible tool to achieve the exacting standards. 

Unlike blackened or plated metals, the ceramic itself is inherently black and thus its colour is unfading. The resilient material extends beyond the case into the integrated bracelet offering a snug fit and superior scratch resistance. 

As a point of difference, the DEFY Skyline Skeleton Ceramic exhibits an open dial highlighting a blackened large central four-pointed star element, revealing the skeleton movement with black bridges and main plate.

The arresting shape of the open dial is ingeniously incorporated into the skeletonisation of the movement’s bridges and main plate, to form an integral and mesmerising whole. The El Primero 3620 automatic high-frequency manufacture movement capacitates a power reserve of approximately 60 hours, aided by an efficient automatic bi-directional winding mechanism with a blackened star-shaped rotor. 

The visual depth is elevated by subtle contrast of dark tones, most prominently seen on the 1/10th-of-a-second indicator. To enhance legibility, the DEFY Skyline Skeleton Ceramic houses faceted polished hands and applied indices filled with white Super-LumiNova.

The watch is delivered with an additional black patterned rubber strap with a blackened steel folding clasp. Swapping between the rubber strap and the ceramic bracelet can be performed with ease thanks to the quick strap-change mechanism integrated into the case back. 

Apart from the DEFY Skyline Skeleton Ceramic, the collection now boasts several outstanding designs including two stainless-steel Defy Skyline Skeleton in blue and black, released in January 2023.

All watches are now available from ZENITH physical and online boutiques, as well as authorised ZENITH retailers around the world.

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Zenith’s Innovation in Motion: The DEFY Skyline Skeleton Ceramic
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