Zenith Adds A Touch Of Gold To A Boutique Edition Of The DEFY Skeleton.

by Sameera Gamage

At the start of the year, Zenith made the official debut of the DEFY Skeleton timepieces. Upon release, the models were available in either blue or black skeleton dial variants with beautiful symmetry and of course Zenith’s high-frequency 1/10th of a second movement. This is the world’s first wristwatch that has a skeletonised dial and also a 1/10th of a second indicator.

Now, the Swiss giant is adding a new model, with contrasting tones of grey and gold for an exclusive boutique edition timepiece. The creation of the DEFY Skeleton certainly brings forward a new design language when it comes to watchmaking. This latest timepiece stays true to Zenith traditions and upholds the legacy created by the DEFY watches that began in 1969, of making sturdy, reliable, and futuristic timepieces.

Zenith states that the inspiration for the DEFY Skeleton came from “modern cityscapes where structures and light are bound in a constantly moving interplay, the DEFY Skyline Skeleton seamlessly integrates the open dial with an open-worked version of the El Primero high-frequency automatic. A work of perfect symmetry seldom found in skeleton watches, the open dial takes on the form of a four-pointed stars, recalling the ZENITH “double Z” logo of the 1960s.

For this special boutique edition, Zenith has used a silver grey dial for the skeletonised framework which includes a darker grey chapter ring to separate the dial from the case finish. This chapter ring (or minute track) has applied gold-plated baton-shaped hour markers which have also been filled with SuperLumi-Nova for low-light legibility. The hour and minute hands get the same finish with gold-plated and SuperLumi-Nova to keep the balanced aesthetics.

At the 6 o’clock position is the 1/10th of a second indicator with a dark grey seconds track (colour matching the outer chapter ring). The hand on this subdial comes with the same gold-plated and SuperLumi-Nova finish. The dial aesthetics have a subtle appearance but yet still stand out thanks to the gold-plated details.

Compared to the previous models of the DEFY Skeleton, the dial on this Boutique Edition is a lot more blended together in appearance. The main plate, for example, has a similar colour tone to the movement underneath, unlike the previous models where the plate was either blue or black for a contrasting effect. This means that the movement doesn’t stand out nearly as much, however, this is down to one’s own personal taste. The readability of the dial however is greatly improved as the gold-toned hands stand out beautifully against the silver-grey dial.

The DEFY Skeleton Boutique Edition is presented in a 41mm stainless steel case with a sharp design and faceted bezel. The case design has been inspired by early DEFY timepieces and is now reimagined so that the twelve sides of the case line up as extensions of the hour markers from the dial. Zenith has given the DEFY Skeleton a water resistance of 100m, making this also quite a versatile timepiece.

Zenith’s El Primero calibre 3620 SK movement can be seen from both the dial side and also through the open case back. Zenith states that the movement is “Built with a similar architecture as the El Primero 3600 1/10th of a second chronograph, this automatic manufacture movement drives the 1/10th of a second hand directly from the escapement, which beats at 5Hz (36’000 VpH), thus making it a “natural” fraction-of-a-second indication.” The movement also comes with a stop-second mechanism to allow for precise time-setting. Operating at a high-frequency of 36, 000 VpH, the calibre 3620 SK movement gives out a power reserve of approximately 55 hours.

The DEFY Skeleton is more than just a skeleton timepiece. The first to bear a 1/10th of a second indicator, it shows Zenith’s expertise in creating high-frequency timepieces matched with daring aesthetics. This new silver-grey and gold-toned look for the DEFY Skeleton has a more subtle appearance compared to the collection’s previous models, however, does provide a more balanced look with the dial colour matching the case and bracelet. The DEFY Skyline Skeleton Boutique Edition will be available exclusively from Zenith physical and online boutiques.

Reference: 03.9300.3620/80.I001


  • Case: 41mm
  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Openworked, Gold-plated indices and hands, faceted and coated with SuperLuminova SLN C1
  • Crystal: Anti-reflective sapphire crystal and case back
  • Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
  • Movement: El Primero 3620 SK, Automatic
  • Power reserve: Approx. 55 hours
  • Strap: Stainless steel bracelet. 2nd bracelet is Black Rubber with a starry sky pattern. Stainless steel folding clasp.

Availability: June 2023. Through Zenith online and physical boutiques.

Australian Recommended Retail Pricing: $16,600

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