Everyone associates the Zenith name with exceptional quality and design; these two releases confirm that they're still at the very top of their game.
First up is the DEFY Revival Shadow, a modern recreation of the DEFY Silhouette from the late 1960s. The exquisitely machined angular case is now crafted in Titanium with a stunning tetradecagon bezel. The micro-blasted matte finish brings the whole thing to life and well into the twenty-first century. Zenith's ladder bracelet compliments the watch perfectly, not only aesthetically, but also practically; the original design being from the famous Gay Freres company in 1969 and was exclusive to Zenith. Crafted in Titanium and micro-blasted to blend seamlessly with the case, the bracelet is fitted with an updated clasp that features the Zenith name.
Zenith DEYF Revival Shadow - Zenith
As one would expect, the clasp is also in Titanium and micro-blasted; the whole thing is a joy to behold. The matte black dial is simple and uncluttered with the date window nestled between the 4 o'clock and 5 o'clock positions. The case is watertight to 300m and protects Zenith's Elite 670 in-house movement with pride. The Elite 670 beats at 28,800 vph and has a respectable 50 hour power reserve.
Zenith Calibre 670 - Zenith
The screw-down crown is at the 3 o'clock position and has the famous Zenith star in relief; it is micro-blasted and sits perfectly in position. Low-light conditions are catered for with cream-coloured Super-LumiNova in order to compliment the vintage appearance of the dial. As one would expect, the front and rear case back crystals are both sapphire.
The second release is Zenith's new 'Pilot' collection. While the DEFY Revival Shadow is stunning, the pilot collection is 100% hard-core Zenith. The brand has been at the forefront of pilot instrumentation from the very beginning and over the years their pilot series has endured beyond question. Can you top the El Primero Rainbow Flyback?
Zenith PILOT - Zenith
This new PILOT series has been designed from scratch but strangely, it greets you like an old friend. The 42,5mm case on the chronograph is manufactured from either stainless steel or, if you prefer, black ceramic; as previously mentioned, Zenith are old hands at this and it really shows.
Everything is on display but in an uncluttered and relaxed manner, and that can only be achieved by a depth of understanding that has taken decades to amass. The pilot's oversize crown is almost a work of art and would look naked without the Zenith star in relief. The twin sub-dials at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions are perfectly proportioned with the large date window sitting just between them at the 6 o'clock position; when something is right, it's right!
Zenith's El Primero 3652 Flyback - Zenith
The sword hour and minute hands fit so perfectly with the Arabic numerals that the whole thing goes almost unnoticed while the arrow seconds hand is always prominent. The 6 o'clock marker is a horizontal flat line that depicts the artificial horizon on an aircraft's instrument panel, evoking thoughts of an earlier time. At the risk of stating the obvious, front and rear crystals are, again, both sapphire, with the exhibition caseback offering a view of the Zenith's El Primero 3652 Flyback Chronograph in-house movement. This movement beats at 36,000 vph (5Hz), has a power reserve of 60 hours and is everything that is Zenith.
WatchGecko first observations:
We’re very tempted to say that this is engineering at its very best, but really, it's just Zenith! The new offerings represent Zenith's endless pursuit of innovation while retaining the serious designs they are synonymous with. With the new 2023 releases we realised that this is not a brand we write nearly enough about.
This is one of the brands we seldom handle in the office and you have to wonder why? Is it lack of availability or do they just not spring into your mind the way other more publicised brands do? When Felix Baumgartner parachute jumped form the edge of space with a Zenith strapped to the outside of his space suit so many of us "almost" bought one. It remains to be seen if Zenith have done enough with these new releases to tempt us.