Monochrome Watches
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Zenith Defy Classic Black Ceramic

A darker take on Zenith’s skeletonised Classic Defy luxury sports watch.

| By Rebecca Doulton | 3 min read |
Zenith Defy Classic Black Ceramic

Zenith’s Defy collection, relaunched during Baselworld 2017 with the high-beat chronograph Defy El Primero 21 and the equally mind-blowing Defy Lab 3 and Defy Zero-G, is gaining traction by the day. The Defy Classic collection puts aside some of the technical fireworks to position itself as the brand’s entry-level luxury sports watch.  We’ve already seen the Defy Classic in various outfits, including the recently launched Defy Classic Skeleton Range Rover Edition. The latest proposal from Zenith is this dark, dark model with a black ceramic case.

Zenith Defy Classic Black Ceramic

Hard-core ceramic

One of the key traits of a luxury sports watch is a dynamic, vigorous case. Forget about a traditional round case. This is all about layered and contrasting shapes and the hard-wearing black zirconium oxide ceramic gives the watch a defiantly dark and contemporary personality. The Defy Classic complies perfectly on the prerequisite for a dynamic case and presents a 41mm inky black ceramic case with a raised circular bezel set on a slightly angular tonneau-shaped base.

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Zenith Defy Classic Black Ceramic

The surface of the bezel and case are satin-brushed while the sides are polished, an effect that emphasizes the geometry and adds dimension to the watch. Adding to the dynamic lines, you will notice that the case is not entirely symmetrical and there is an angular indentation on the right side of the case to accommodate the crown.  The dial is protected by a domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides and the watch is water-resistant to 100m.

Skeletonised dial

Shaped like a five-pronged star (Zenith’s logo. Personally, I see tuning forks), the dial is skeletonised offering a fascinating view of the architecture of the movement. The skeletonisation is taken to such a level that the entirety of the date wheel can be seen from the dial. The large rectangular hour markers and hands are ruthenium-plated and facetted for extra volume. In daylight, the hands and hour markers blend into one another promoting the stealth look of the watch but probably making it quite hard to read. Thankfully, the hands and hour markers are treated with a thick strip of luminescent material.  At night, the luminescence emits a cool green glow. Similar to the star-shaped bridges on the dial, the central seconds hand features a star-shaped counterweight.

Zenith Defy Classic Black Ceramic

Movement Elite 670 SK

Like its other Defy Classic brothers, the black ceramic model is fitted with the automatic Elite 670 manufacture movement. A staple in Zenith’s line-up for decades, the Elite calibre was reimagined as an openworked movement for the Defy Classic family with restructured open bridges and top quality finishes.  The star-shaped rotor, for example, is also openworked and features a sleek satin-brushed finish. With a power reserve of 48 hours for the central hours, minutes, seconds and the date function at 6 o’clock, the movement is fitted with a silicon pallet lever and escape wheel.

Another prerequisite of the luxury sports watch is the presence of an integrated strap or bracelet. The Defy Classic Black Ceramic is fitted with a textured black rubber strap for a sporty, casual feel and a black DLC folding buckle.

Zenith Defy Classic Black Ceramic

The Zenith Defy Classic Black Ceramic retails for CHF 7,500 or USD 7,900. For more information, please visit

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