Zenith Reimagines The First Defy Model From 1969
Following the success of its popular and sought-after reproduction of…
Following the success of its popular and sought-after reproduction of the historical El Primero models from the 1960s and ’70s, Zenith brings us a modern reinterpretation of the first Defy model launched in 1969—Zenith Defy Revival A3642. Limited to just 250 pieces, the Defy Revival A3642 features an octagonal case with a distinctive 14-sided bezel marking the historical 1969 Defy timepiece.
The year 1969 was an important one for Zenith. It marked the launch of the world’s first high-frequency automatic chronograph movement, the El Primero. The year also saw the surprise unveiling of its Defy (earlier known as the French word défi, which means challenge) collection. Despite the immense popularity received by the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak when it launched back in 1972 as the ultimate sports watch, historically, the Zenith Defy model was the first steel sports watch that made an entry into the market.
It was created to take a firm stance against the wave of quartz watches that were introduced in 1969. With the new Defy model getting an edgy design and robustness, Zenith was set to prove that traditional Swiss watchmaking was here to stay. Marking this audacious mindset was the Defy A3642, a model nicknamed the coffre-fort in French, which translates to “bank vault” or “safe-deposit box”. Why was it called coffre-fort? The bold octagonal case design. Fitted with a rugged and audacious case structure featuring a 14-sided bezel, the 1969 Defy A3642 was a chunky piece of horology defined by its sharp lines and facet with different finishes. The steel “ladder” bracelet further added to the overall uniqueness and robustness of the watch. This bracelet was designed and manufactured by the renowned Gay Frères. Offering water resistance of 30ATM (300 meters), the original Defy was an all-terrain and all-occasion watch that positively impacted the watch industry.
The Defy A3642 Now
Reiterating all the main features mentioned above, the all-new modern Revival reincarnation of the original is a beautiful timepiece. It is reproduced in stunningly accurate details and design codes of the 1969 model. One striking feature of the model is its warm grey dial with a striking gradient effect set with unusual applied square hour markers with horizontal grooves. The dial also hosts wide sword-shaped hands paired with a paddle-shaped seconds hand reminiscent of the Zenith watches from the same era. The main differences between the 1969 model and the 2022 reproduction are the shift to a display caseback, the use of sapphire crystal, and the different luminescent materials on the dial.
The Revival is powered by the automatic Elite 670 manufacture movement, operating at a frequency of 4Hz (28’800 VpH) and delivering a power reserve of 50 hours when fully wound.
Priced at Rs 5.62 lakh (approximately), the Zenith Defy Revival A3642 is available at Zenith stores and online boutiques worldwide.
Image Courtesy: Zenith Watches