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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Being the flip-a-holic that I am and feeling a little bored with the safe option of owning a Rolex or two alongside my one true keeper, the Speedy FOIS, I thought I would branch out a little and try something different.


With its Genta-style design, titanium case and bracelet, and sunburst blue dial, this Zenith certainly fit the brief. A style of watch I never thought I would go for, the Defy Classic has opened up a new path or two for my collection.


Looking at the watch as a whole, it is hard not to be impressed. Finishing is at least as good as Rolex, if not better, with much more of a cool factor in my book. Although the case is 41mm, it doesn’t wear that big. Why? Well: the short 45mm lug to lug; faux-integrated bracelet; slightly inset bezel; and 10.75mm thinness, all make this wear smaller. I would say it compares broadly to a 39mm Rolex, be it the Explorer or OP, in how it feels on the wrist size-wise. It certainly fits very comfortably on my flat-ish 6.75-7 inch wrist.


Let’s take a look at the key aspects:


The dial


No picture can quite do it justice. A darker blue than you would think but coming to life when the light hits the sunburst, shimmering from the centre outwards in all directions. The applied logo and bold Zenith wording is all that is needed, allowing the quality of the dial to hold the viewer’s attention. The sheer white lume plots, set within high polished silver markers and hands, tie together perfectly and maintain a simple but effective colour scheme. The small date window discretely serves its function, without detracting from the overall look and feel. Those who prefer a no-date should not be deterred. A stepped minute track and outer edge completes the picture, adding an extra dimension, elevating the hour markers from the inner dial.


Case and bracelet


Clearly, this is where the watch is different to the norm.


Polishing to the outside of the inner bezel, the ends of the lugs and bevelling combine with the edges of the bracelet to create a nice contrast against the otherwise brushed, almost industrial looking, titanium, adding a slightly dressy feel to an otherwise tool-ish angled exterior.


Although not integrated, the bracelet gives that impression. Perfect if you want that look but would also like to swap out for straps (OEM rubber and leather are available). The steep taper removes bulk from the relatively broad 22mm lug ends, with a simple hidden butterfly clasp allowing the bracelet to wrap round the wrist without any break in design.


With a loose style connection to the Royal Oak, Nautilus, Overseas or Laureato, the Defy can be that interesting outlier in a collection, the piece you pick up when you are bored of a traditional round case with straight lugs.


The movement


I’m no technical geek, but I’ll comment on the aesthetics...


I’ll admit that I do buy into the allure of in-house movements, especially when there is a display case back. I’ve had my fair share of 2824 ETA (or equivalent) movements and, although a marvel to begin with, they can get a little boring to look at. Not so with the Elite 670. The finishing is clever - simple and effective and in keeping with the case design. More Tudor MTxxx than Omega 8xxx - elaborate striping or numerous colourful screws would not have worked with this type of watch. There is, nonetheless, plenty of intrigue behind the glass, with the very open design giving a view of much of the inner workings and the star rotor being the touch of class that reminds you that this is something a little special.




Overall


The Defy Classic is a great option if you’re thinking about something like this. It has made it clear to me that there is a huge amount of life outside Rolex and Omega in the world of watches below the likes of Patek and AP, and that round traditional cases are not always the way to go.


You don’t even have to pay the world to get one, relatively speaking in our crazy microcosm. Although MSRP is sky high, with heavy discounts and the used market, this can be had for much less.


The Defy is a watch that can spice up a collection as an alternative “change up”, or perform a daily job for those who want to be a bit different all of the time. You could go further and try the skeleton version, but I’m not ready for that yet :)


Here are some pictures to whet the appetite:



DB9EFC90-D5B2-46AD-A37E-2F4D88E111A7.jpeg CCE014C9-FBCD-4AAE-A75A-88D10D2B2B94.jpeg 976E8924-C6F9-472F-8A89-1100CA0CE48B.jpeg


Cheers, Berty
 

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Thanks for the review! You did well stepping outside of the usual comfort zone. Reading about the lugs was a surprise because they certainly look integrated. Best of both worlds I guess!

Is the case brushing coarse like the stock photos? From the product shots this watch looks to have a Royal Oak type of texture instead of the typical fine brushing of most watches.
 

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Congratulations on your purchase and thanks sharing your thoughts and pics on your Defy Classic. The 45mm lug-to-lug does sit well on your 17.5 cm wrist.

Here is to enjoying your Zenith in the years to come.
 

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That’s a fantastic looking watch. It have really liked that one ever since I saw it released.
 

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Great write up. This is the next watch I'm seriously considering and have a couple of questions for you. Do you feel ok with the lack of a screw down crown? Also, any chance you could post a picture of the watch with the bracelet off or possibly with another strap on it? Not sure if it's correct but the dealer in my area was saying there's an aluminum attachment you need to buy separately that integrates into the lugs that attaches to the rubber/leather straps. Can you confirm if that's true?
 

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I really like mine...it would be near perfect if a bracelet extension or 1/2-links were available!
 
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks for the review! You did well stepping outside of the usual comfort zone. Reading about the lugs was a surprise because they certainly look integrated. Best of both worlds I guess!

Is the case brushing coarse like the stock photos? From the product shots this watch looks to have a Royal Oak type of texture instead of the typical fine brushing of most watches.
I would say the brushing is quite coarse, yes, which works nicely with this one :)
 
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Great write up. This is the next watch I'm seriously considering and have a couple of questions for you. Do you feel ok with the lack of a screw down crown? Also, any chance you could post a picture of the watch with the bracelet off or possibly with another strap on it? Not sure if it's correct but the dealer in my area was saying there's an aluminum attachment you need to buy separately that integrates into the lugs that attaches to the rubber/leather straps. Can you confirm if that's true?
Hello there and welcome to the forum! Lack of screw down is a slight drawback, especially as I am used to them. I don’t intend to wear it in water though, and it seems pretty secure for general wear (it needs a good grip to pull out the crown).

I think you might be right about the straps - from pictures, there seems to be a smaller separate end link of sorts which the strap attaches too. I’m leaving mine on the bracelet and am nervous about scratching it up, so I’ll have to pass on the pic :)
 

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I have the Defy 21 (similar construction, slightly bigger) on a leather strap and a rubber strap but can't see any end link. Looks like a normal bar which fits in to the lugs. It is also not a screw down crown but I have taken the watch swimming and can happily report that the WR holds up with no side effects.
 

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Nice write up. The Defy Classic certainly stands apart in its price range, looks wise at the very least. For such a respected and long standing manufacturer, it is surprising the lack of Zenith watches on this forum (I’m guilty of that too), but I really hope they step out of the shadow more of Rolex, Omega, and GS. They certainly have started to (kind of do that) with this watch.


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Hello there and welcome to the forum! Lack of screw down is a slight drawback, especially as I am used to them. I don’t intend to wear it in water though, and it seems pretty secure for general wear (it needs a good grip to pull out the crown).

I think you might be right about the straps - from pictures, there seems to be a smaller separate end link of sorts which the strap attaches too. I’m leaving mine on the bracelet and am nervous about scratching it up, so I’ll have to pass on the pic :)
Yes, separate endlinks
 

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Nice review. I also considered of it, but what's the difference with this one? Pic from Hodinkee. I like the DEFY at 6..


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