Zenith Introduces the Elite Classic and Elite Moonphase

A nuanced overhaul.

While the El Primero and the Defy have been a major focus for the brand over the past year, Zenith has just revealed a total revamp of its most classical collection – the Elite.

The facelifted models are the Elite Classic and Elite Moonphase, both offered in a smaller 36 mm size with a diamond-set bezel for ladies, and the larger 40.5 mm – both in either steel or rose gold.

The remake of the Elite was thorough, encompassing both the case and dial. The redesigned case features a slim, polished bezel with tapered lugs that have a brushed top surface and bevelled edge for contrast and a more refined feel.

The Elite Classic

But the most visible change, however, are the dials, which have a stamped, radial pattern framed by a railway minute track, coupled with applied numerals. On the rose gold model, the result is reminiscent of the Rolex Cellini Moonphase.

Overall, the new details improve the look and feel of the Elite significantly, lending it much more finesse and character.

And while the original Elite had leaf-shaped hands and hour markers, the new model features dauphine hands paired with faceted markers, giving the watch a sleeker, more modern look.

Visible through a sapphire case back, both sizes of the Elite Classic are powered by the ultra-thin Elite 670 automatic, which runs at 4 Hz and has a 48-hour power reserve.

Slightly more complex, the Elite Moonphase has a small seconds at nine o’clock as well as a moon phase at six with a moon plated in gold or rhodium to match the case metal.

The 36 mm Elite Moonphase in stainless steel and the 40.5 mm version in rose gold

Inside is the automatic Elite 692, which is essentially an Elite 670 with the addition of the moon phase.


Key facts and price

Elite Classic
Ref. 16.3200.670/02.C832 (36mm steel case with a blue dial)
Ref. 22.3200.670/01.C831 (36mm rose gold case with a silver dial)

Ref. 03.3100.670/02.C922 (40.5mm steel case with a blue dial)
Ref. 18.3100.670/01.C920 (40.5mm rose gold case with a silver dial)

Case diameter: 36mm or 40.5mm
Material: Stainless steel or rose gold
Water resistance: 50m

Movement: Elite 670 (Elite Classic
Functions: Time and date
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour, or 4Hz
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 48 hours

Strap: Alligator leather strap

Availability: At both retailers and boutiques
Price: 7900 Swiss francs (36mm in steel); 14,900 Swiss francs (36mm in rose gold); 5900 Swiss francs (40.5mm in steel); 12,900 Swiss francs (40.5mm in rose gold)


Elite Moonphase
Ref. 16.3200.692/03.C833 (36mm steel case with a grey dial)
Ref. 22.3200.692/01.C832 (36mm rose gold case with a silver dial)

Ref. 03.3100.692/03.C923 (40.5mm steel case with a grey dial)
Ref. 18.3100.692/01.C922 (40.5mm rose gold case with a silver dial)

Case diameter: 36mm or 40.5mm
Material: Stainless steel or rose gold
Water resistance: 50m

Movement: Elite 692
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds; moon phase
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour, or 4Hz
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 48 hours

Strap: Alligator leather strap

Availability: At both retailers and boutiques
Price: 8900 Swiss francs (36mm in steel); 15,900 Swiss francs (36mm in rose gold); 6900 Swiss francs (40.5mm in steel); 13,900 Swiss francs (40.5mm in rose gold)

For more, visit Zenith-watches.com.


 

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Zenith Introduces the Pilot Type 20 Rescue

Fuss-free aviator's watches.

Inspired by early 20th century aviator’s watches, Zenith’s Pilot Type 20 collection gets new two versions at LVMH Watch Week. Available mostly in heavily retro guises, including in bronze or aged steel, the new pilot watches take a different tack. The Pilot Type 20 Rescue and Type 20 Rescue Chronograph are devoid of retro affectations, and are kept simple with steel cases and dark grey dials.

Measuring 45 mm wide, both watches feature a brushed case band with a polished bezel as well as a polished, onion-shaped crown. Instead of the usual grained dials, they have slate-grey, sun ray-brushed dials that are accented with bolts of yellow, giving them a more modern look.

As with the rest of the collection, the dials are characterised by cathedral-style hands and large applied Gothic numerals that are moulded from SuperLuminova.

Powering the Pilot Type 20 Rescue is the Elite 679, an in-house, workhorse automatic movement with a 50 hour-power reserve, while the Pilot Type 20 Rescue Chronograph is equipped with the El Primero 4069, which is a variant of the El Primero 400 that lacks a date and an hour totaliser.

The only element that’s “faux” patina is the distressed calfskin leather strap that was inspired by shearling flight jackets and helmets.


Key facts and price

Pilot Type 20 Rescue
Ref. 03.2434.679/20.I010

Case diameter: 45mm
Material: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 100m

Movement: Elite 679
Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour, or 4Hz
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 50 hours

Strap: Distressed black calfskin leather

Availability: At both retailers and boutiques
Price: 7,400 Swiss francs


Type 20 Rescue Chronograph
Ref. 03.2434.4069/20.I010

Case diameter: 45mm
Material: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 100m

Movement: El Primero 4069
Functions: Time and chronograph
Frequency: 36,000 beats per hour, or 5Hz (El Primero 4069)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 50 hours

Strap: Distressed black calfskin leather

Availability: At both retailers and boutiques
Price: 7,900 Swiss francs

For more, visit Zenith-watches.com.


 

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Zenith Introduces the Defy 21 Land Rover Edition

Minimalist and military.

Zenith’s collaboration with Land Rover has produced the best-looking Defy 21 to date. Clad in matte grey with a handful of orange accents, the Defy 21 Land Rover Edition is pared back and minimalist compared to the typical Defy chronograph. It’s essentially a more compelling variant of a watch that is already strong value for money.

Launched to mark the unveiling of the 2020 Land Rover Defender, the new Defy 21 has a case of micro-blasted titanium. The metal has been sandblasted to create an extremely fine, grained surface finish, giving it a dark grey appearance with a hint of olive green that evokes military equipment.

The dial is finished in a similar shade of grey, with most of it reduced to the essentials. Both the hands and hour markers have been slimmed down and minimised, as has the power reserve indicator, which is now a narrow, horizontal window.

Most of the usual automotive design elements have been avoided on the Defy 21, with the exception of the rotor, which is shaped like the wheel rim of the new Defender. But it is only visible from the back, and does not take away from the appealing minimalist look of the watch.

Mechanically the Land Rover Edition is identical to the standard Defy 21, meaning it has twin oscillators and going trains, one for the timekeeping and the other for the 1/100th of a second chronograph.


Key facts and price

Defy 21 Land Rover Edition
Ref. 97.9000.9004/01.R787

Diameter: 44 mm
Height: 14.4 mm
Material: Titanium
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: El Primero 9004
Functions: Hours and minutes; 1/100th of a second chronograph and chronograph power reserve indicator
Frequency: 36,00 beats per hour (5 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 50 hours

Strap: Grey rubber, and additional fabric-covered rubber strap

Limited edition: 250 pieces
Availability:
 At both retailers and boutiques starting April 2020
Price: US$13,400

For more, visit Zenith-watches.com.


 

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Hublot Introduces the Big Bang Integral

The best Big Bang yet.

Launched in 2005, the Big Bang was the watch that reestablished Hublot as a major watch brand. Fifteen years on, the model gets its most major revamp to date with the launch of the Big Bang Integral.

While the basic concept is simple – it’s a Big Bang with an integrated bracelet – the new watch is a substantial upgrade in construction and finishing. The case was redesigned to fit the new bracelet, but also to accommodate a higher level of finishing.

The Big Bang Integral King Gold

Upgraded inside and out

Most of the case edges, and also the pushers, have polished bevelling that contrasts with the brushed finishing on the top surfaces.

The alternating surface finish continues onto the bracelet links, which are also facetted in profile.

At the same time, the case construction has been improved in substance. Though the new case retains the traditional “sandwich” construction of the Big Bang, the filling of the “sandwich” is no longer resin, but is instead the same material as the front and back plates of the case.

The only remaining resin bits are the resin lugs, or “ears”, on each side of the bezel at three and nine o’clock, the fundamental design feature of Hublot that was inspired by a ship’s porthole (hublot is porthole in French).

The Big Bang Integral in titanium

The All Black

The new Big Bang is available in titanium or 18k King Gold as regular production models, and also the 500-piece limited edition Big Bang Integral All Black.

Like its namesake Big Bang of 2006 – which was an incredible hit the year it was launched – the new All Black is, well, all black. It has a black ceramic case, along with a dial that has black hands and hour markers, both filled with black Super-Luminova.

The Big Bang Integral All Black

All versions of the Big Bang Integral are powered by the HUB1280 UNICO movement, Hublot’s workhouse in-house calibre.

It’s a modular movement with a chronograph module on the dial side of the watch, hence the column wheel is visible on the dial in between five and six o’clock.


Key facts and price

Big Bang Integral
Titanium – Ref. 451.NX.1170.NX
King Gold – Ref. 451.OX.1180.OX
All Black – Ref. 451.CX.1140.CX

Case diameter: 42 mm
Height: 13.45 mm
Material: Titanium, 18k gold, or black ceramic
Water resistance: 100m

Movement: HUB1280 UNICO
Functions: Time, date, and flyback chronograph
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 72 hours

Strap: Integrated bracelet

Limited edition: All Black ceramic limited to 500 pieces; others are regular collection
Availability:
 At both retailers and boutiques
Price: US$20,900 (titanium); US$23,100 (ceramic); and US$52,500 (18k gold)

For more, visit Hublot.com.


 

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