Last year, Zenith debuted the Defy Revival A3642 – a vintage-remake sports watch with an octagonal case and tetradecagonal bezel – to the delight of enthusiasts who were excited to see the return of this distinctive design. The only problem was the fact that it was limited to 250 pieces.
Now the brand has introduced its regular-production version with the Defy Revival A3691 which has a ruby-red dial. Identical to the limited edition in form and dimension, the A3691 is a sturdy three-hander with a faithful vintage feel at an attractive price point.
Finally the Defy Revival is in regular production. With its vintage proportions and affordability, the watch was on my wish list as an alternative to mainstream sports watches, so I hope last year’s limited edition wasn’t a one-off. Seeing it make a comeback is a good thing, and the red dial certainly makes it more striking.
While some may argue – with good reason – that this is merely a rehash of the original in a different colour. It is, but the A3691 is still a good product in terms of price-performance ratio.
At US$6,900, the A3691 is well priced relative to the competition, both from other brands and even Zenith itself. Its modern equivalent, the Defy Skyline, costs about 20% more, albeit with a more refined case and bracelet. For anyone who wants a sports watch with a retro flavour and in-house movement that stands apart from mainstream offerings, the A3691 is a good contender.
The Defy Revival A3691 is a faithful copy of the original model from 1971. It retains the signature octagonal case, similarly rated to 300 m like the original, as well as the “ladder” bracelet made by Gay Frères for Zenith that was also found on the El Primero chronograph.
The main differences between the remake and the original lie in the dial and the open case back. With its deep red, textured finish, the dial has a more vibrant colour than the original, which was a darker shade of red. Meanwhile, the remake does away with “28800” underneath 12 o’clock, leaving the dial less cluttered.
Like last year’s limited edition, the A3691 has a display back to reveal the Elite 670 with its star-shaped oscillating weight. Small and flat, the Elite 670 is the brand’s workhorse automatic calibre for its smaller watches. While robust and proven in terms of reliability, the Elite 670 has a power reserve of only 50 hours, which was generous at the time of its introduction in the mid 1990s.
Key facts and price
Zenith Defy Revival A3691
Diameter: 37 mm
Water resistance: 300 m
Movement: Elite 670
Features: Hours, minutes, seconds and date
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 50 hours
Strap: Steel bracelet with folding clasp
Limited edition: No
Availability: At Zenith boutiques and retailers beginning January 2023
Price: US$6,500 before taxes; or 10,200 Singapore dollars including GST
For more, visit Zenith-watches.com.
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