Zenith’s All New DEFY Skyline Skeleton In Black Ceramic

by Sameera Gamage

Zenith’s DEFY collection of watches was first introduced back in 1969 when the timepieces had a more rugged and bold design. In 2022, Zenith gave their modern DEFY collection an important update, where the models in this collection now have a new level of performance thanks to the new generation of seminal El Primero high-frequency calibre. The 2022 update also references the edgy design that the original started with.

Now for the 2023 update, Zenith takes two important timepieces from the DEFY Skyline collection and gives them a ceramic makeover. The timepieces have been crafted entirely in black ceramic, including the bracelet. The DEFY Skyline Skeleton timepiece is one of the standouts in this latest update.

Why was ceramic chosen as the material of choice for the latest update on the DEFY Skyline Skeleton? Ceramic is known to be much harder when compared to traditional metals and alloys like stainless steel. The extreme hardness of Ceramic also makes it highly resistant to scratches and visible wear, making it an ideal material for watch cases and even bracelets. Another added feature is the colour change from traditional stainless steel. If you were to use an alloy and wanted it coloured black, it would need to be coated or go through another process to achieve the effect. Ceramic is naturally coloured black, which means that it will never wear off!

This all-new Black Ceramic Defy Skyline Skeleton keeps the elements of what makes this model great while updating its aesthetics. The ceramic has a gun-metal finish instead of a deep black, and with this, you can easily see the satin-brushed and polished surfaces. Besides the dial, the entire timepiece has been given ceramic material. From the 41mm case and crown to the sharp yet smooth bezel to the integrated bracelet, the entire timepiece is given this attractive material.

The open dial of the DEFY Skyline Skeleton comes with a blackened large central four-pointed star element. Through the skeletonised dial you can see the black bridges in each corner of the dial and also the grey-finished main plate. The contrast of the black bridges against the main plate and other components of the movement gives the dial depth and a three-dimensional effect. At the 6 o’clock position is the 1/10th of a second indicator sub-dial, which has also been skeletonised to allow more of the movement underneath to be seen.

Zenith has given this DEFY Skyline Skeleton faceted polished hands and applied indices, filled with Super-LumiNova. The polished finish gives these elements a great shine, while also playing with light beautifully under light at different angles. Having white Super-LumiNova against a black minute track also helps aid the readability of the dial, especially since it is a skeleton dial where readability gets lost for visual aesthetics.

The engine behind this timepiece is Zenith’s in-house El Primero 3620 automatic calibre movement. This high-frequency movement beats at an impressive rate (pretty standard for Zenith!) of 5Hz (36, 000 VpH). The 1/10th of the second indicator is also powered directly by the escapement. The bi-directional rotor which can be seen from the open case back of the timepiece gives the watch an approximate power reserve of 60 hours.

For those that would prefer to have a more sporty look to the timepiece, Zenith also gives a second strap: a black rubber strap with a starry sky pattern with a black PVD stainless buckle with a folding clasp. With Zenith’s quick strap interchangeability system, you are able to change from ceramic to rubber in an instant, making the wearability of this timepiece very versatile. Using Ceramic on the all-new DEFY Skyline Skeleton is a great choice by Zenith, offering a different material other than Steel in the current DEFY line. The ceramic finish compliments the timepiece well, as it matches the colour tones of the movement allowing the skeletonised dial to stand out.

Reference: 49.9300.3620/21.I001


  • Case: 41mm
  • Case Material: Black Ceramic
  • Dial: Black-toned sunray-patterned
  • Crystal: Sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective coating.
  • Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
  • Movement: El Primero 3620, Automatic
  • Power reserve: Approx. 60 hours
  • Strap: Black Ceramic bracelet and folding clasp. Comes with a black rubber strap with starry sky pattern and with a black PVD stainless buckle with folding clasp.

Availability: TBA

International Recommended Retail Pricing: 16900 CHF

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