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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In 1969 Zenith launched the Zenith Defy, a line of tough sports watches: 300 m waterproof and with a patented shock absorbing ring around the movement.

Zenith Defy's are very pretty too, with a unique design which really sets them apart.

There was one Zenith Defy with a blue dial: the ref. A3651.

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This also has a different case style with crown at 4 o'clock.

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There are many of these blue dials that have lost their colour, but when it has kept its colour, it is a brilliant, deep blue.

Another unique aspect of this model is the chapter ring around the dial which has shiny, hollow hour markers.

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As a result the dial does not need tritium (and does not mention 'Swiss made T').

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Original case polish: like other Zenith Defy's it has a straight, brushed finish on the frontal facet, whereas the rest is polished.

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The glass ring (screwed on to hold the glass) also has a brushed finish on top: it is another unique aspect of the ref. A3651.

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Original screwdown crown with four-pointed star.

The back also has the four-pointed star.

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Early Zenith xxxDxxx serial number probably dates it to the first half of 1969.

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Movement cal. 2552 PC (only 15000 were made) is typical for 1969 Zenith automatics.

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Cal. 2552 PC was Zenith's first automatic with ball-bearing rotor: a necessary improvement for a rugged sports watch like the Zenith Defy.

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Original Gay Frères 'ladder' bracelet. The openings in the bracelet make it lighter and allow the skin to breathe.

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Bracelet dates to the third quarter of 1970 (therefore this watch can't have been sold as a whole before autumn 1970).

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Around 1972 there was another production run of this model, which instead of a serial number has model number 01.1070.290 on the back; it has a cal. 2562 PC (with higher beat-rate) and mentions '28800' on dial. An example can be found in Rössler p. 154 (albeit a polished example with service crown).

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I've been wearing this for almost a week now and my impression is that it is very beautiful.

Moreover, like the other Defy's, I can wear it without fear while doing sports or working in the garden.

And all the time it has kept excellent time with chronometer precision (gaining about one second per day).

It really is the 'safe of time' b-)

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There are many of these blue dials that have lost their colour, but when it has kept its colour, it is a brilliant, deep blue.

Another unique aspect of this model is the chapter ring around the dial which has shiny, hollow hour markers.

View attachment 1505910
One of my favorite vintage Defy's as well. :)

The dial of this model is indeed rather unique for the Defy line and they are simply fantastic when they are in perfect condition, especially in sunlight. However, these Defy's are difficult to find with an original dial in perfect condition. Therefore many of these Defy's have replacement dials. If we look to the original advertisements of this model, then they had a narrow "SWISS MADE" with minute indicators that are using almost the entire width of the chapter ring.

My A3651 (see below) for instance has a broad "SWISS MADE" in the sense that there is a lot of place between "SWISS" and "MADE", which in my opinion means that this is a replacement dial.

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The A3651 shown in your post has a narrow "SWISS MADE" like I would expect from an original dial but it has minute indicators that are using only half of the chapter ring's width. This is something I have not observed before on a A3651. :think: Now the question is whether this is an original dial or an early type replacement dial? In any case, this is a very interesting A3651. :-!

Kind regards,
VinDefy
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
One of my favorite vintage Defy's as well. :)

The dial of this model is indeed rather unique for the Defy line and they are simply fantastic when they are in perfect condition, especially in sunlight. However, these Defy's are difficult to find with an original dial in perfect condition. Therefore many of these Defy's have replacement dials. If we look to the original advertisements of this model, then they had a narrow "SWISS MADE" with minute indicators that are using almost the entire width of the chapter ring.

My A3651 (see below) for instance has a broad "SWISS MADE" in the sense that there is a lot of place between "SWISS" and "MADE", which in my opinion means that this is a replacement dial.

The A3651 shown in your post has a narrow "SWISS MADE" like I would expect from an original dial but it has minute indicators that are using only half of the chapter ring's width. This is something I have not observed before on a A3651. :think: Now the question is whether this is an original dial or an early type replacement dial? In any case, this is a very interesting A3651. :-!
Interesting remark about the difference in the 'swiss made'. It may be the second one I've seen like that. This could be a service dial, but it could also be a different production run of dials: hard to tell.

Wonderful that you noticed the shorter minute indicators of my A3651. It is so far the only one I've seen like that.
 

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Love this whole period, particularly from Z and O. It's almost all I collect these days, outside of a few other brands' funkalicious chronos of the age Watch Watch accessory Analog watch Fashion accessory Jewellery
. These are watches that could *only* have been produced during a 2-3 year period, which I think adds to their authenticity (aesthetically speaking).

The brown men's is a little overpolished, but the blue one is unmolested. If anyone needs decent-quality closeups I can u/l them in the next day or two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Love this whole period, particularly from Z and O. It's almost all I collect these days, outside of a few other brands' funkalicious chronos of the age. These are watches that could *only* have been produced during a 2-3 year period, which I think adds to their authenticity (aesthetically speaking).

The brown men's is a little overpolished, but the blue one is unmolested. If anyone needs decent-quality closeups I can u/l them in the next day or two.
True, there is nothing like that period, 1969-72, aesthetically speaking, but also technically it delivered the best watches.

Even with an overpolished case, a vintage Zenith Defy has that much character, it still beats the rest. Except maybe the vintage Zenith El Primero... Wouldn't mind to see a close-up of that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
The second blue A3651 Defy which you see in this picture:



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Now with service dial and new crystal:

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At first I thought the service dial looked exactly like the original, but in the close-up pics one can spot some differences.

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Cal 2552 PC, recently serviced, keeps excellent time.
 

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Is that a wide "SWISS MADE" which I see there on your A3651 Phoobo? The picture is not really sharp, but I have the impression that there is some place between "SWISS" and "MADE" as well. I just want to update my dial statistics on these Defy's. :-d

Kind regards,
VinDefy
The large blue one has "T Swiss Made T"
The large brown one has "Swiss Made T"
The ladies' brown one has "Swiss Made"

ph
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The second blue A3651 Defy



Cal 2552 PC, recently serviced, keeps excellent time.
As I enjoyed wearing this last month, I made some more pics:

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The 3xxDxxx serial number and movement cal 2552 PC date this to 1969, however the bracelet dates to 4th quarter 1970, which is a typical divergence for this model.

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