With the unveiling of the new limited edition A3642 ‘Bank Vault’ time and date watch, Zenith expands their Revival series to the Defy line. In 1969, the original Defy was released with Zenith’s first automatic chronograph watch, and it established a distinct design language that enabled Zenith to enter the 1970s in style.
The Defy Revival has a distinct octagonal steel case that measures 37mm in diameter with a 14-sided bezel that gives the dial the appearance of another realm of reality. The variety of sliced surfaces ensures a distinctive perspective from each angle while also concealing inconspicuous lugs that keep the case in place.
The aesthetic has inspired the current Defy line as it exists today, but we’ve been told that a “modern successor to the original DEFY with sleeker and more modernist architecture” is on the way, so keep an eye out in the coming weeks.
The dial comes with a warm grey color that has a smoky textured gradient that isn’t too dissimilar to the A385 Revival, which is a nice thing. The dial on that watch had a depth and richness to it that elevated the watch as a whole, and it appears to be the same narrative here, without the chronograph registers. The aperture is placed nicely between the 4 and 5 o’clock hour markers on this time and date watch.
Those hour markers, however, aren’t going to be forgotten in the midst of the high-octane design of the case and dial. The big applied squares have horizontal ridges cut across their surface, giving them an origami-like look that effectively catches and throws light. You might argue that these hour markers are the star of the show, but in truth, they round out the package and help to convey Defy’s late 1960s/early 1970s vibe.
The Zenith ladder bracelet returns on this new model, completing the ensemble. The Elite 670 automatic movement, seen via the open caseback, is used by Zenith on the inside. We talk about tool watches, diving watches, field watches, and so on, preferring to categorize new releases into tidy boxes, yet the Defy defies any attempt at categorization. This Defy Revival A3642 is limited to 250 examples.