Zenith Defy Revival A3642

by Chamath Gamage
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Continuing Zenith’s revival of highly sought-after historical El Primero models from the 1960s and 1970s, the latest model to be re-produced is the monumental piece from 1969, the DEFY A3642. 

The year 1969 for Zenith will always be marked as a milestone year. This was the year in which the brand unveiled the El Primero calibre while also releasing the first DEFY collection. The first model of the DEFY collection was the A3642. This model represented so many moments for the brand, but one moment that will always stand out was how this watch represented the firm stance against the quartz watches that threatened to destroy traditional Swiss watchmaking. 

With an edgy and robust design, a reliable movement, the DEFY A3642 was a statement that mechanical watches were here to stay. The original A3642 was given the nickname “Coffre-fort” in french, which translated to “bank vault” or safe-deposit box”. The bold octagonal case, fourteen sided bezel combined with the steel “ladder” bracelet designed by Gay Frères company, gave the original A3462 the sharp yet rugged looks with a touch of audacity to make the model well ahead of its time upon release. 

Now, Zenith has given the modern touch to the original A3642 by adding it to the brand’s revival collection. The DEFY Revival A3642 is reproduced in stunningly accurate detail using the original production plans of the A3642 model. 


The DEFY Revival A3642 features a beautiful gradient brown dial that goes from almost a white centre to dark brown on the edge of the dial. The dial is complemented nicely with the octagonal case combined with the fourteen-sided bezel. The hour markers on the dial are unique too. The applied square hour markers feature horizontal grooves which Zenith says give a sense of perpetual motion. Add to this the sword-shaped hands and the watch certainly has that refined sharp look to it. The hour markers and hands have been filled with SuperLuminova for added visibility in low light conditions. 

Zenith has truly tried to keep the Revival A3642 as close to the original as possible. The main difference is that the Revival now has a different dial colour, the sapphire crystal, an open case back, and of course the movement. 


The movement used by Zenith for this Revival piece is the brand’s own Elite 670 automatic movement. The Elite 670 movement operates at a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4 Hz) and gives out a power reserve of 50 hours minimum. Zenith has removed the original model’s solid case back the engraving of Zenith’s iconic four-pointed star to make way for an open case back which shows the Elite 670 movement and the new star-shaped oscillating weight. 

The brand has opted to keep the Gay Frères “ladder” bracelet, which certainly adds to the whole refined look of this timepiece. 

With the release of the DEFY Revival A3642, the brand is re-producing of their most daring and notable watches from the 1960s. To recreate something this special without removing the essence of what made the original truly outstanding is something Zenith is well versed in. Not only did the brand keep the Revival as close as possible in design to the original, but they also made it better with slight upgrades.

This special new Revival A3642 timepiece will be limited to a total of 250 units, available for purchase at Zenith online and physical boutiques worldwide. 

Australian RRP : $10,000.00

Availability: Zenith online and Botiques, limited to 250 pieces worldwide.

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