The latest timepiece in Zenith’s growing Defy Collection sees the Swiss brand once again display its mastery of innovation and use of exceptional materials. This time around, however, Zenith has pursued what could not be done in mass production before. The new Defy Classic Carbon goes well into uncharted territory for innovation as this new model comes with a full carbon fibre construction, from the casing down to the bracelet.
We all know what carbon fibre is, and how its remarkable combination of lightness and durability with the unique appearance make it a sought after material not just in the watchmaking world. Watch manufactures have used carbon fibre in their watches, for the casing down to the movement and folding clasp. Zenith even released a DEfy 21 El Primero model in Carbon Fiber that did just that. No manufacturer, however, has been able to make a watch with a carbon fibre bracelet. At least not in full production. Most watches that have been made to-date with a carbon fibre bracelet have used either superficial plaques of the composite material fixed to a metal base or have only been used in highly complicated timepieces produced in limited numbers.
The Zenith Defy Classic Carbon will be the first automatic watch to use an eye-catching solid carbon fibre bracelet. Making this new carbon fibre bracelet was no easy feat either. With all-new innovations, it comes with a lot of technical problems that the designers and engineers have to work through. Each link in the bracelet is a piece of solid carbon fibre, which is milled with extreme precision so that it highlights the layers or “starta” of the carbon fibre. Due to the nature of carbon fibre, the individual layering patterns of carbon fibre will vary from one component to another, which ultimately means no two watches will be alike in appearance. The lightness of this timepiece, along with the comfortability and aesthetic appeal, will definitely intrigue buyers. The Zenith Defy Classic Carbon weighs in at 65 grams total, setting a new benchmark for the brand alongside the movement on the watch.
The 41mm carbon case comes with a water resistance of 100m (10 bar). Even with a full carbon fibre look and skeleton dial treated in dark ruthenium, the legibility of it is not lost. The hour indices along with the hour and minute hands have coated bright green Super-Luminova SLN C3, which provides an excellent contrast on what is an otherwise dark background. The drawback of this timepiece, however, is the date window. Located at the 6 o’clock position, it can get lost in the skeleton dial, with the date ring around the dial being skeletonised as well.
The movement used in the Zenith Defy Classic Carbon is the same as previous Defy Classic models; the Elite 670 SK automatic. Operating at a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz), the Elite 670SK can give out a power reserve of approximately 48 hours. On the case back of the timepiece, you can see the special oscillating weight that comes with a satin-brushed finish.
The new Zenith Defy Classic Carbon certainly has a level of aesthetic appeal that no other watch can produce. If a full carbon fibre look is not what you are after; however, the DEFY Classic Carbon is also available with a black rubber strap that has a Cordura-effect. Although, the carbon bracelet really is what’s truly intriguing about this watch, not only with its appearance but the sensation of the bracelet that it’s silky and smooth to touch. With this latest release, Zenith has demonstrated an unprecedented technical feat along with an edgy design statement.