Zenith Introduces the Defy Skyline Chronograph

A familiar genre but done well and affordably.

Amidst the plethora of sports watches with integrated bracelets, the Zenith Defy Skyline stands out for its uncluttered design and relative affordability. Now the lineup is joined by the Defy Skyline Chronograph.

The chronograph maintains many of the signature features of the existing models, such as its octagonal case and star-patterned dial. Debuting in three dial colours, Defy chronograph is amongst Zenith’s sportier offerings. Like other recent launches, it is powered by the second-generation El Primero calibre.

Initial thoughts

The Defy Skyline Chronograph is another option for an enthusiasts seeking a sports chronograph with a contemporary design and integrated bracelet. There are admittedly many, many options in this category, but the Defy chronograph is one of the value-minded offerings. At CHF11,900, the Defy chronograph with its in-house movement is competitively priced compared to other offerings in the sports watch market.

The brand has opted for a conservative design while retaining a modern edge. Though the overall design is familiar, it has incorporates a few unusual details, including a polygonal flange around the dial.

The watch is being launched in only three colours, all simple, easy shades that are well suited to the design, though not exciting. With the limited colours in mind, some might want to wait for subsequent releases that may adopt the colours found in its time-only counterpart.

Zenith’s latest addition

The Defy chronograph joins Zenith’s ever-expanding line of sports watches. At 42 mm, it’s one of Zenith’s largest watches, but the size suits the design.

This shares many design elements of its compatriots in the Defy collection, including an octagonal case with a faceted bezel and matching bracelet, as well as the star-patterned dial. It does, however, have some new design elements. Most notable is the twelve facetted flange for the minute track that echoes the octagonal bezel. 

The star-patterned dial features oversized sub-dials reminiscent of other El Primero chronographs, along with the date between four and five that’s long been part of the El Primero dial. The date disc matches the dial colour, allowing the date display to blend in with the dial.

The chronograph debuts in blue, silver, and black

Inside is the El Primero 3600, the latest generation of Zenith’s signature movement. Featuring a column wheel and vertical clutch, the movement has a power reserve of 60 hours, a high frequency balance oscillating at 5 Hz, and a silicon escapement.

Notably, the El Primero 3600 has a “lightning” seconds, a central seconds hand that completes one revolution every 10 seconds, enabling measurement of elapsed times of up to 1/10th of a second.

Key facts and price

Zenith Defy Skyline Chronograph
Ref. 03.9500.3600/51.I001 (blue)
Ref. 03.9500.3600/01.I001 (silver)
Ref. 03.9500.3600/21.I001 (black)

Diameter: 42 mm
Height: Unavailable
Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: El Primero 3600
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date and chronograph
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 36,000 beats per hour (5 Hz)
Power reserve: 60 hours

Strap: Matching bracelet with a rubber strap option

Limited edition: No
Available in all Zenith boutiques and authorised retailers
Price: CHF11,900

For more, visit Zenith-watches.com.


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