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4,727 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Among the first three vintage Defy's which Zenith made in 1969, the black dial is the rarest.

This one came from the grandson of its first owner, who said his grandfather used to work the land.


It does look like a watch that has been used to work the land b-)


Original crystal is badly pitted.


Case looks to be in original condition and I'll keep it like that.


The back has the original serial number, the oldest serial number I've seen on a black Defy (and among the oldest for any Zenith Defy).

Production period for the first Zenith Defy's was ca. late in 1968/beginning of 1969.

This is confirmed by the bracelet dates on the first Defy's, ranging from 4/68 (4th quarter 1968) to 3/69.


End-pieces are original, but one side has been inverted, as shown in the picture above.


The original bracelet is short and has a couple of non original links.


The original screwed crown has a four-pointed star.

General condition of this watch was not that dirty, but its movement (cal 2552 PC) needed cleaning. I also had another crystal installed and the bracelet repaired. Here are the results:


You can see the dial now.


End-piece set straight.


One original link added to the bracelet (to replace the non-original links). One connecting link is still not original.

Deploying the diver's extension inside the long clasp makes it long enough. You can see one end of the diver's extension sticking out from under the clasp.

These small irregularities are barely noticeable and normally hidden on the other side of the wrist.


The movement cal 2552 PC is keeping excellent time with a deviation of less than 10 seconds per day.


Cal. 2552 PC has instantaneous date change. The date of this one snaps over at around 0:07 h.


Case diameter is 37 mm without crown x 45 mm long (very similar to the first vintage Zenith El Primero A384).


The screwed crown is about 6 mm x 3 mm (+ an extra 1 mm bulge).


It's a diver's watch that used to be 300 m water resistant.

1,632 Posts
Wow sempervivans,
the transformation of this watch to 1969 is perfekt only the case talks about a long life with a farmer. You've done a good job to a still healthy watch with runs 10 second exact a day after this hard life. The dial and hands are still perfekt.

Thank you for sharing

Zenith Forum Co-moderator
19,154 Posts
That's what I thought too. When I first saw the watch, I though "Give that watch a decent service and a new crystal and it will be right as rain!" And so it turned out.....

Great job! You can't really beat these old Defys for ruggedness.

Hartmut Richter

4,727 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks, Silke and Hartmut :)


Zenith cal 2552 PC; note also the thick rubber ring around the movement and on the inside of the early Defy case back "pat pend 1808-68"


The first Zenith Defy's still had movement serial numbers under the balance (here 707xxxx).

4,727 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
You've done a good job to a still healthy watch with runs 10 second exact a day after this hard life.
Here's an update: you know when regulating a watch, you need a little luck. After wearing this Zenith Defy for three weeks and occasionally trying to regulate it better, my last attempt proved most successful. It now keeps 'perfect' time, c. + 1 second/day :)

The dial and hands are still perfect. Thank you for sharing
The dial does show some patina, but that is difficult to see in a black dial. It has aged nicely and the hands are very nice too.

What's more: again it has been proven that lightning often strikes two or more times in the same place.

So I got a second one of these rare and unobtrusive beauties.


It only needed service. After service, I regulated it a couple of times while wearing it for ten days.

This now also keeps 'perfect' time: c. + 1 second per day.


The dial has aged a little differently from the other: the tritium on the indices has kept better.

The condition of the case is very good.



Unfortunately the serial number on the back has been polished away, but fortunately the movement still has a serial number, which shows it was made early in 1969.

The bracelet date also confirms this.




Needless to say or should I say: I feel very grateful for this double lightning bolt.

4,727 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you, Dolf and Raj. When I find time I'll make photo's of the ref A 3645 second series.

4,727 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
And this is the Zenith Defy ref A 3645 second series:


with a cal. 2562 PC inside and a 28800 dial. Made late in 1971/ beginning of '72.

It is even rarer than the first series: I have only two recorded samples in my database.


Beautiful dial and hands.

Slightly polished (front) case, still very nice.


Light scratches on the original mineral crystal.


A good replacement screwed crown (same 6 x 3 mm size as the original).


Original and unpolished back with serial number in the 228 E xxx range, which dates it to late 1971 /beginning of 1972.


Nice and long original bracelet, dated 3rd quarter 1971



Another reason to love the Zenith Defy's is the chronometer quality cal 2552 / 2562 PC and its excellent regulating device.


After regulating, this also keeps perfect time, +- 1 second per day.

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