When it came to the DEFY watches, the brief that went to Zenith’s artisans was simple – craft a timepiece with a compelling geometric case, made in similarly eye-catching polished materials. It might seem an easy ask, but 54 years after the first DEFY timepiece, Zenith has been churning icon after icon. 

Two of our DEFY favourites are the Skyline collection that debuted last year, outstanding for its star-patterned dial, and the Revival, which throws back to Zenith DEFY pioneers of the 60s.  

Zenith DEFY Skyline Ceramic 

The DEFY Skyline and DEFY Skyline Skeleton are arguably the stars of the DEFY series, with the stellar motif of its dial, and the high-performance, high-frequency El Primero movement powering its mechanisms.  

But with the new Zenith Defy Skyline and its skeletonized counterpart getting an upgrade in Black Ceramic, it is clear the Maison continues to seek innovative ways to elevate even its most established timepieces.  

Ceramic is a tricky material in watchmaking. While it is known for its hardiness and its elegant countenance, it is also notoriously difficult to mould and craft, with only diamond-tipped tools capable of cutting it. By creating ceramic expressions of its watches, Zenith is truly pushing the envelope in what the DEFY series can achieve. 

To match the gorgeous new material, the Zenith DEFY Skyline Ceramic features a black galvanic dial with a sunray finish, that seems to coruscate in light. The entire dial features a geometric pattern, and the four-pointed stars of the Zenith brand. Evoking the starry night sky, the blackened star-shaped sunken into the dial feature sharp inward facets, with different angles catching light. 

Meanwhile, the truly fascinating open dial version features a dark large central four-pointed star motif, revealing the skeleton movement with black bridges and main plate incorporated into the design. The overall effect is incredible – a watch with a contemporary appeal, a storied heritage and some very impressive craftsmanship. 

To align with the stellar motif, both expressions come with the option of a black rubber strap with a starry sky pattern. Alternatively, collectors can also choose a black PVD stainless buckle with folding clasp. 


Zenith DEFY Skyline Ceramic 

Case 41mm black ceramic case, water resistance of 100m 

Movement Automatic El Primero 3620, silicon escape wheel and lever, with frequency of 5Hz (36,000 VpH), power reserve of 60 hours 

Price S$22,200/$25,200 (skeleton) 

Zenith DEFY Revival Shadow 

As the name suggests, the DEFY Revival is a praiseworthy effort to harken back to the first DEFY watches of 1969. The DEFY Revival Shadow specifically takes its cues from the A3642, which introduced the signature angular octagonal steel case with a 14-sided bezel. But where the A3642 and DEFY Revival had brightly polished, satin-brushed surfaces, the artisans at Zenith decided to go for a more subdued matte finish with the DEFY Revival Shadow.  

Instead of gleam, they went for a look that suggested both style and substance. And just like with the Skyline Ceramic, the seemingly simplest of changes made for an unexpectedly compelling reinterpretation of a classic. 

This ‘shadow’ version of the DEFY Revival is made of microblasted titanium, which gives it its elegant colour and texture. The Revival Shadow interpretation of its watches has been well received, especially with 2020’s Chronomaster Revival Shadow. With the DEFY Revival Shadow, Zenith continues to flex its mastery in materials engineering. 

The Zenith DEFY Revival Shadow is powered by the automatic Elite 670 manufacture movement, which operates at a frequency of 4Hz or 28,800 vibrations per hour and generates 50 hours of power reserve

It is powered by the automatic Elite 670 manufacture movement, which operates at a frequency of 4Hz or 28,800 vibrations per hour and generates 50 hours of power reserve.  

With the Zenith DEFY Revival Shadow, the Maison has taken the familiar and elevated it, bringing relevance and new life to decades-old expressions. 


Zenith DEFY Revival Shadow 

Case 37mm microblasted titanium case, octagonal case with 14-sided bezel, water resistance of 300m 

Movement Automatic Elite 670, with frequency of 4Hz (28,800 VpH), power reserve of 50 hours 

Price S$11,000 


written by.

Suffian Hakim

Senior Writer, Augustman Singapore
Best-selling novelist, playwright and screenwriter Suffian Hakim is AUGUSTMAN Singapore's Features Editor. He writes articles on arts, culture, entertainment, cars, watches, travel and more - all in an effort to properly investigate and define that nebulous, all-encompassing L-word: lifestyle.
With The DEFY Skyline Ceramic And Revival Shadow, Zenith Has Reworked The Aesthetics of Its Icons to Perfection
Never miss an update

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates.

No Thanks
You’re all set

Thank you for your subscription.