Watches and Wonders in Geneva is back, and some of the biggest names in the watch industry are introducing new models at the annual show. One of them is Zenith, which is reviving some of their best models, including the Pilot and Defy collections. We covered their best three models from Watches and Wonders Geneva, which you can learn the details of above.
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Zenith Pilot Ceramic
This model revisits the collection’s aesthetic codes in an outstanding silhouette full of subtle details. Crafted in a 40mm black ceramic case, the Pilot Automatic features an entirely new case design with a distinct flat-top round bezel fixed on top of the rounded case. The black ceramic version is entirely microblasted for a stealthy matte finish. The oversized crown, a defining feature of Pilot watches, takes on a more modern, angular form while remaining easy to operate—even with gloves on.
The black opaline dial, with its horizontal grooves, mimics the look of corrugated metal sheets that make up the fuselage of many older aircraft. The oversized luminescent Arabic numerals, a signature feature of Zenith Pilot watches and dashboard instruments since the early 1900s, take on a more modern font and are applied as metal markers filled with white Super-LumiNova.
At 6 o’clock above the date window, the luminescent hour marker takes the form of a flat white line, recalling the artificial horizon instrument in the plane. Here, it allows the wearer to instantly understand the orientation of the watch and read the time without second-guessing. The dial is signed “Pilot”, as Zenith remains the first and only brand to hold the rights to mark its dials with the term.
Visible through the sapphire display back, the Pilot Automatic is powered by the El Primero 3620 high-frequency manufacture movement, which delivers a power reserve of 60 hours when fully wound. The winding mechanism’s open and blackened oscillating weight recalls the archetypal and essential “artificial horizon” dashboard instrument, which informs the pilot of the aircraft’s orientation relative to the Earth’s horizon.
Zenith Defy Revival Shadow
For its latest addition to the Defy Revival collection, Zenith imagines an alternate possibility for the very first Defy silhouette from 1969 in a decidedly modern and stealthy rendition. The Defy Revival Shadow crafted in titanium, a metal lauded for its lightweight yet impressive durability and resistance to corrosion, the highly angular Defy Revival case with its fourteen-sided bezel is entirely micro blasted for a matte finish, revealing the dark gray tone of titanium and enhancing the geometry of the singular and instantly recognizable case.
A first for Zenith and its iconic “ladder” bracelet, the links and clasp are crafted in titanium, and finished with the same matte texture as the case. The Defy Revival Shadow’s dial is matte black with a distinctly vintage look. The hands, filled with a cream coloured Super-LumiNova pigment, as well as the applied square hour markers with horizontal grooves, are polished and finished in rhodium for optimum legibility.
Visible through the sapphire display back, which does not compromise the case’s impressive water-resistance of 30 ATM (300 meters), the automatic Elite 670 manufacture movement operates at a frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 VpH) with a power reserve of 50 hours.
Zenith DEFY Skyline Ceramic
Much harder than traditional metals and alloys like stainless steel, ceramic boasts many properties that make it a compelling choice for all-situations watches like the DEFY Skyline. Its extreme hardness, which requires diamond-tipped tools to cut the sharp lines of the DEFY Skyline and decorate it with a mix of satin-brushed and polished surfaces, makes ceramic highly resistant to scratches and visible wear.
This model features a black galvanic dial with a sunray finish, shimmering as the light hits its surface. The entire dial features a geometric pattern, consisting of the Zenith four-pointed stars that historically featured prominently on the case backs of vintage DEFY references as a “double Z”. Evoking the starry night sky, the blackened star-shaped sunken into the dial features sharp inward facets, with different angles catching light.
This watch is powered by the El Primero 3620 automatic high-frequency manufacture movement, beating at the rate of 5Hz (36’000VpH), providing a 1/10th of a second indicator directly driven by the escapement. Its efficient automatic bi-directional winding mechanism with a blackened star-shaped rotor delivers a power reserve of approximately 60 hours.