Zenith Introduces the Defy Skyline Skeleton White Ceramic

Blue on white.

A new livery for one of Zenith’s most popular models, the Defy Skyline Skeleton White Ceramic shares the styling of its siblings like the Defy Skyline 36 mm but with a few notable tweaks including a white ceramic case and blue-treated skeletonised movement. And though it appears to be a simple time-only watch, the Defy Skyline features a discreet complication in the form of a “lightning” small seconds hand that completes one rotation every ten seconds.

Initial thoughts

Zenith has recently been playing it safe with new launches by building on current bestsellers, like the Defy Skyline. The new skeleton in white ceramic is a good looking watch, and an excellent execution of one of Zenith’s modern-day classics. The combination is also novel. Although each key element of the watch is common in itself – a skeleton movement plus the white ceramic case and bracelet – they are relatively uncommon together.

The Defy Skyline Skeleton on the wrist

However, the Defy Skyline arguably tries too hard to capitalise on the recent (and waning) popularity of integrated-bracelet sports watches. It is not difficult to see a resemblance to the Royal Oak, in particular the one-off Royal Oak made for Only Watch 2023, making it a bit cliché.

Priced at US$17,500, the Defy Skyline Skeleton in white ceramic is a decent value proposition compared to similar watches, most of which are from pricier brands like Hublot or Audemars Piguet. Besides the ceramic case and bracelet, it stands out for the movement that’s a variant of the famed El Primero high-frequency chronograph calibre. That said, it’s not as good value as Zenith’s entry-level El Primero chronograph, which is no-frills and retro but classic Zenith.

Blue on white

Featuring a complex form with alternating brushed and polished surfaces, the white ceramic case is 41 mm in diameter, a size that requires at least medium-sized wrists for an ideal fit. It’s paired with a ceramic bracelet sporting a matching finish.

The bezel has a 12 sided, or dodecagonal, outline with a round centre – the trademark feature of the Defy Skyline. This works better with the modern design than the 14-sided bezel on the vintage-inspired Defy Revival.

Featuring a skeletonised movement in blue

Within the bezel is the skeletonised movement revealing the workings of the El Primero calibre. The base plate and bridges are in a brushed blue finish, that contrasts with the white ceramic case.

The base plate is open worked to form a four pointed star, a reference to the Zenith logo visible at 12 o’clock. At six o’clock is the complication: a “lightning” seconds that completes one rotation every 10 seconds.

The faceted hands and hour markers are filled with Super-Luminova

Inside is the El Primero 3620, essentially a version of the cal. 3600 without the chronograph mechanism.

Sporting with a star-shaped rotor, it beats at 36,000 beats per hour (5 Hz) and offers 55 hours of power reserve. It features a magnetism-resistant silicon escapement visible through the dial at nine o’clock.

Key facts and price

Zenith Defy Skyline Skeleton in white ceramic
Ref. 49.9301.3620/79.I001

Diameter: 41 mm
Height: Unavailable
Material: White ceramic
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: El Primero 3620
Functions: Hours, minutes, and lighting seconds
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 36,000 beats per hour (5 Hz)
Power reserve: 55 hours

Strap: Matching ceramic bracelet with steel folding clasp

Limited edition: No
Availability: Now at Zenith boutiques and retailers
Price: US$17,500

For more, visit zenith-watches.com


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