Until recently, the only revival we were familiar with was called CCR, as in Creedence Clearwater Revival. CCR was an American rock band named among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time by Rolling Stone; it is worth finding the time and getting acquainted with the band’s work. One of their tracks, “Fortunate Son”, was added to the US Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry list of sound recordings that “are culturally, historically, or aesthetically important“. The peak years for the CCR were 1969-1971, much like Zenith, when the company introduced the El Primero automatic movement and a few models that we now consider culturally, historically and aesthetically significant. Some of these references inspired the contemporary Zenith Revival series in its Chronomaster and Defy collections.
So far the Zenith Defy collection has offered just one “revived” timepiece, the 2022 boutique-only limited edition A3642; today, the brand reveals another addition to the family. This time it is A3691, a reproduction of the 1971 watch, which becomes the first Defy Revival model in the permanent catalogue. Zenith marked 1971 with vibrant dial colours that would become an essential part of the brand’s history, and this Revival piece celebrates just that with a deep red dial.
Since the original Zenith production plans of the A3691 from the 1970s were used to reproduce the Revival, the new watch inherited the looks and kept all the critical design elements. Dare to compare the original ruby-red A3691 and the Revival dial-side? The only difference you’ll spot is the lack of the “28800” inscription under the logo. Which is strange – the original A3691 used calibre 2562PC, operating at 4Hz, as does the Elite 670 automatic, responsible for running the Revival A3691. We must clarify why the frequency was scraped off with the brand. Not that we miss it much, though.
The Zenith Defy Revival A3691 arrives in a 37mm stainless steel faceted octagonal case with a 14-sided bezel, with brushed and polished finishes, on a “replica” of the Gay Frères ladder-style bracelet. The crown is large, screw-down, to ensure the 300m water resistance – all identical to the previous Defy Revival A3642.
The main difference with the A3691 is the funky ruby-red dial, with a colour that gets darker close to the outer edge, where the minutes and seconds track is printed in white. The characteristic rectangular hour markers are faceted, rhodium-plated and polished; each is marked by a neat dot of Super-LumiNova, to facilitate reading the time in the dark. The date window is positioned at 4:30, revealing a white disc with a black date. The hands are shaped like the original, with a sweeping central second with a distinctive luminous paddle tip.
The glass is sapphire crystal front and back. The caseback reveals the already mentioned Elite 670 automatic calibre, which is nicely decorated. This automatic calibre with central seconds and date (with a quickset feature) was developed by Zenith in the 1990s, it is built with 27 jewels and beats at 28,800vph, and it delivers 50 hours of power reserve.
Visually, the Defy Revival A3691 only differs from the earlier Revival A3642 in dial colour. What is important is that by placing A3692 in the permanent collection, Zenith opens up a vault of possibilities. It would be wrong not to expect Revivals of the Defy A36XX models with dials in various colours the brand used in the past, like turquoise-blue or champagne. And we hope that the new references, just like the new Defy Revival A3691, will not be limited editions and will be available worldwide. This new model is priced at CHF 6,900. For more information, please visit www.zenith-watches.com.