Zenith Defy Classic Blue Ceramic Review

by Sameera Gamage

The future of watchmaking for Zenith can be narrowed down to one word: Defy. The Defy collection started with the release of the Defy El Primero 21 back in 2017, which was the quite amazing hundredth-of-a-second chronograph. This was followed by the first-generation Defy Lab (known now as Defy Inventor), which Zenith states is the world’s most accurate watch with its new ground-breaking monocrystalline silicon oscillator. Luckily enough, we had a chance to review the Zenith Defy Inventor as well, which you can check out here.

Zenith has added a mini collection of three ceramic models to the Defy Classic range. The models in the Defy Classic Collection has a three-hand plus date feature and comes in three colour variations: White ceramic, Black ceramic and Blue ceramic. The piece we have on our hands today is the elegant Defy Classic Blue Ceramic.

Having a colour outside of the typical white and black in a ceramic, which is the norm, definitely brings something different to the table. Although the colour blue may have its limitations with what it can be worn with, compared to all black and white ceramic watches. Despite this limitation, the blue ceramic certainly is an eye-catcher when on the wrist. Like the other two models in the Zenith Defy Classic Ceramic range, the blue ceramic comes with its own matching blue rubber strap. 

Sometimes having too much of the same colour throughout the watch can be too “in your face” as well. The blue used by Zenith for this ceramic model isn’t shiny and can give off a subtle appearance. Unlike all black or all white watches which we have been accustomed to, having an all blue watch is something that you may need to get used to initially. We certainly can’t see this being a problem with the Defy Classic Blue Ceramic due to its colour contrasting dial.

When seeing the Defy Classic Blue Ceramic close up, you’re left feeling mesmerised with the intricate details Zenith have used to create the dial. The hour indices along with the hour and minute hand follow the same pattern with dark blue strips for the luminescent markers. 

These strips almost give a hollowed-out look when seeing it from a distance. By doing this, Zenith has managed to blend in the markers and hands with the rest of the skeletonised dial. The other intricate feature is the star-shaped pattern on the dial (representing Zeniths iconic star logo). This star-shaped pattern is colour-matched to the watches case, which is an excellent move by Zenith. The breakup of colour between the openwork movement, star pattern and hour indexes help make the legibility of the watch a lot easier. 

Usually with open-work watches, if the hour markers along with the movement and other intricate patterns are all the same colour, telling the time can be quite tricky. The white ceramic model of the Zenith Defy Classic shares this problem to an extent. However, the dial is still readable because of the metallic finishing of the markers and hands. The Zenith Defy Classic Blue Ceramic has no readability issues thanks to the contrasting colours on the open-work dial. What this colour contrast also does is make the movement underneath stand out a lot more, which is the whole point of having an open-work dial in the first place.

There is also another subtle addition to the dial, which is the date window in the 6 o’clock position. With a closer inspection, you can see the date “ring” running around the edge of the open-work dial. This is one of those things where once you know the date window is there, you’ll always see it. But if you don’t, it can somewhat blend into the overall appearance of the dial. 

The Zenith Defy Classic Blue Ceramic sits somewhere in between a skeletonised dress watch and sports watch. The piece isn’t a traditional chronograph sports watch as it doesn’t come with any timers, counters or tachymeter/chronograph scale, however, the pure appearance of the dial makes it seem aggressive and less formal to be considered a classic dress watch. The 41mm casing on the Zenith Defy Classic Blue Ceramic with its combination of polished and satin-brushed surfaces is inspired by the original Zenith Defy Collection released in the 1970s.

As the name of the watch suggests, the casing on the Zenith Defy Classic Blue is made from ceramic material. Thanks to the material properties of ceramic, this makes the casing virtually scratch-resistant. What this scratch resistance case really means is that the Zenith Defy Classic Ceramic range is ideally suited as a daily watch, as the watch can be put through its paces without picking up any wear and tear from regular use. 

The movement behind the Zenith Defy Classic Blue Ceramic is Zenith’s own in house manufacture calibre; the Elite 670SK. This Elite movement has been around for quite a while, originating in 1994. Although not as well-known as the El-Primero movement, this movement was very popular when released in the early 90s. For the Defy Classic Blue Ceramic however, the Elite 670SK movement has had its entire anatomy redefined with open bridges and superior finishing to give a more aesthetic appeal on the open-work dial. The intricate details are not only limited to the open-work dial as the case-back has its own share of the limelight. The open case-back is beautifully crafted out, with the rotor done in Zenith’s iconic star-shaped logo. The rotor itself is also hollowed out, so more of the Elite 670SK movement underneath can be seen. 

At roughly 10.75mm case thickness, the Zenith Defy Classic Blue Ceramic is very much on the thin side. Accompany this with it being lightweight, and you get an ideal candidate for a daily watch. This does not mean that it’s limited to casual or office wear. The blue ceramic works very well when matched with a suit as well. In fact, all three models from the Defy Classic Ceramic range stand out exceptionally well with formal attire. 

Zenith Defy Classic Blue Ceramic is priced at $10,500.00 AUD. For this price point, you can’t really ask more from a watch that’s made with a reputable full in-house movement, beautiful open-work dial and ceramic casing! 

Zenith Defy Classic Ceramic Specification :

Model References: 49.9003.670/51.R793
Case Diameter : 41mm and case thickness of 10.75mm
Dial: Blue Openworked
Case-back: Transparent Sapphire Crystal
Movement: Automatic , Elite 670 SK
Power Reserve: Min. 50 hours
Functions: Hours and minutes with central seconds in the centre. Date indication at 6 o’clock. 
Water Resistance: 10 ATM

Australian Retail Pricing : $10,500.00

Availability : Available now 

Local Authorised Dealers :

  • Brisbane – The Hour Glass
  • Melbourne – Monards ( Collins Street and Crown Casino) ,Gregory Jewellers and The Hour Glass
  • Sydney – Hardy Brothers, Swiss Concept and The Hour Glass
  • Perth – Barbagallo Watch

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