Introducing The Zenith Defy Skyline Skeleton Night Surfer El Primero

by Matt Clymo

Zenith has once again teamed up with Time+Tide to bring us the second installment of their Night Surfer. This time, they’ve given the Defy Skyline Skeleton the Night Surfer treatment!

Back in 2021, Tie+Tide’s founder, Andrew McUtchen teamed up with Zenith to produce a limited edition Defy Classic Skeleton, in a microblasted titanium case paired with a liquid blue gradient dial. Limited to 100 pieces, the Night Surfer was born. Being a proud Australian (like us) Andrew wanted the watch to capture the magic of the ocean and the way the sky and sea looked as the sun went down, which was captured in the case and dial, hence the name, Night Surfer.

The OG- The Zenith x Time+Tide Defy Classic Skeleton Night Surfer

For the sequel, the Night Surfer has evolved, and this time, the Defy Skyline Skeleton which was released at the start of this year has been given the Night Surfer treatment, complete with the El Primero movement found in the Defy Skyline and Skyline Skeleton models, amongst others. Due to the success of the first, this time, Zenth and Time+Tide will be offering this as a limited edition of just 200 pieces worldwide.

The new Zenith Defy Skyline Skeleton “Night Surfer” El Primero

The Defy Skyline Skeleton Night Surfer is a worthy sequel to the original Defy Classic. It’s bolder in a microblasted matte titanium case and bracelet, bluer dial, and at its heart beats the El Primero movement beating at 36,000 VpH / 5hz. This is showcased on the dial with the small 1/10th second hand moving smoothly around the dial at 6 o’clock every 10 seconds. Why? because Zenith can. Admittedly, this was something of a weird function when I first saw this on the Defy Skyline, but having owned one now, it’s something you come to like, and a subtle flex that showcases Zenth’s ability.

The 1/10th Second Subdial on the Night Surfer

The movement has also been given a blue treatment as well, from the skeletonised dial side to the back of the watch. The oscillating weight and high-frequency movement are visible via the sapphire crystal case back. It’s one of those movements that makes you smile when you look at it, as it’s both a cool piece of machinery as well as just being cool to look at. Delivering 55 hours of power reserve, you’ll have plenty in the tank with the Night Surfer.

The El Primero movement on full display

Turning back to the dial, Zenith and Time+Tide have kept true to the Night Surfer gradient blue, but this being the sequel, have given the new Defy Skyline Skeleton Night Surfer a few upgrades. The gradient blue on the skeletonised dial, in the shape of the four-point Zenith star imitates the way the light fades on the horizon right after sunset, with the metallic blue colour darkening as you look from the bottom to the top.

The graduated dial of the new Night Surfer

In a more dramatic evolution from the first Night Surfer where the four-pointed Zenith star at the top of the dial was fully lumed, this time the four-pointed star in the skeletonised dial is lit with SuperLuminova, as are the hands and the hour markers, giving the new Night Surfer a more dramatic look at night.

The lumed dial of the Night Surfer

With a screw-down crown, the Defy Skyline Skeleton Night Surfer is 100m water resistant, perfect for any water activities, even night surfing should that be your thing. If it’s not, then you’ll certainly be able to wear this on a daily basis and not worry about having to be careful with the watch around water, and coming into Summer here in Australia, perfect for any dips in the pool or the waves!

The screw down crown and the microblasted Titanium case

The Defy Skyline Skeleton Night Surfer also comes with a blue interchangeable strap using Zenith’s quick change mechanism, making it easy to swap the titanium bracelet with the rubber. Each has its pros and cons, but the one thing I can say is that you won’t get bored with the Night Surfer as the strap gives it a completely different look to the bracelet and you can change it in about 15 seconds, making it easy to do multiple times a day depending on your mood, what you’re wearing and what you’re doing.

Final Thoughts

Zenith is a brand that isn’t afraid to push the boundaries, and neither is Andrew McUtchen or Time+Tide for that matter. It’s what drives you forward and forces you to evolve, and let’s face it, life would be pretty boring without progress. The new Zenith Defy Skyline Skeleton Night Surfer showcases this as well as Zenith’s philosophy of “Time to Reach Your Star”.

With a matte grey titanium case and bracelet, the Defy Skyline Skeleton Night Surfer El Primero looks great with a pseudo-stealth look. The gradient blue dial offsets the dark case beautifully and you can really see what the team at Zenth and Time+Tide were going for thematically. All in all, it’s a worthy rare Sequel, i.e. one that is better than the first. I for one am looking forward to number three and completing the Night Surfer Trilogy!

Reference: 97.9300.3620/79.I001


  • Case: 41 mm, 12mm thick and 43mm lug to lug at the taper
  • Case Material: Grey microblasted titanium
  • Dial: Openworked with Gradient blue. Four-point star, hands and hour markers filled with SuperLuminova
  • Crystal: Sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective coating.
  • Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
  • Movement: Mechanical self winding El Primero 3620 SK movement. Beating at 36,000 VpH / 5 Hz
  • Power reserve: Approx. 55 hours
  • Bracelet/Strap: Microblasted titanium bracelet. Additional blue rubber strap with titanium folding clasp

Australian Recommended Retail Price: $18,100 AUD

Availability: Enquire now via or direct at Time+Tide from Wednesday 22nd November 2023

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