This week, local and international watch media and retailers descended upon the Capella Hotel in Singapore for LVMH Watch Week. The event, which is now in its fourth year, marks the first physical trade show for the year and includes the major releases from the four marquee LVMH watch brands – Bulgari, Hublot, Tag Heuer, and Zenith.
Zenith kicked off the proceedings, and being Zenith, did not disappoint watch enthusiasts eager to see what this luxury Swiss watchmaker had in store for the new year. Unveiling a slew of new watches to add to its popular ‘Defy‘ Collection – and generating that “wow” factor in the process – below you will see some innovative new models for 2023, including one resounding release that truly underpins the spirit of the Defy collection: the new Defy Skyline Skeleton.
ICON is on the ground in Singapore, the fifth biggest market for luxury watches, to cover all the new releases from LVMH Watch Week.
Here’s what we loved from the Zenith 2023 releases…
When you look into the heart of the new Defy Skyline Skeleton, the intricacies of what is going on in watchmaking speak is pretty remarkable to witness; it’s the only watch in the world to feature a 1/10th of a second indicator in an openworked dial. While this function might not have much use for its wearer, it’s a pure joy to look at.
The Defy Skyline Skeleton is arguably one of Zenith’s most innovative and contemporary sports models, and this new model is no exception. The Defy Skyline Skeleton, with its eye-catching 41mm octagonal stainless steel case, takes cues from modern cityscapes but draws most of its inspiration from the unique geometry of the early Defy models of the 1960s – a shape, mind you, that the great watchmaking pioneer Gerald Genta later developed for the Audemars Piguet ‘Royal Oak’. So yes, Zenith were first to do it.
Symmetry is a big drawcard for this timepiece, which, in 2022, was the reason the Defy Skyline Skeleton was so sought after; its star-shaped open dial and thoughtful ergonomics just work. Now, pushing this contemporary design further, the Defy Skyline Skeleton seamlessly integrates an open dial with the openworked version of the high-frequency automatic El Primero calibre.
The open dial comes in black or blue, with the latter affording a bit more of a striking aesthetic, especially in certain light. To complement the wearability of this design, the Defy Skyline Skeleton comes on a steel bracelet with a satin-brushed surface, but also comes with the option of a rubber strap and steel folding buckle for those that prefer the sportiness of this combination. Naturally, Zenith makes it a breeze to switch between the two thanks to the Defy case’s ingenious quick strap-change mechanism consisting of secure buttons on the back.
Adding to the 2023 appeal of the Defy collection is the new Defy Skyline in a universally-appreciated 36mm case sizing, which, in our eyes, is the start of that “sweet spot” in watch size. The Defy Skyline 36mm honours all the hallmarks of the classic Defy from the 1960s, but has been modernised for today’s watch wearer.
The 36mm features the classic steel octagonal case with a faceted bezel, date window and comes in three iconic Zenith colours, blue, pink or green on a sunburst-patterned dial that revisits the emblematic Zenith four-pointed star. The watch is also available with or without diamonds. Under the hood, you won’t find an El Primero movement due to size restrictions, but instead, the ultra-thin Elite 670 automatic movement, which is developed and manufactured in-house and will offer 50 hours of power reserve.
Each watch comes equipped with an interchangeable steel bracelet and a patterned rubber strap.
RRP: $12,800 (Stainless Steel) // $18,100 (Stainless Steel & Diamonds)
As you can probably tell, Zenith is playing on its ‘Defy’ theme to kickstart the new year, and we’re totally here for it. Entering the fold next is the Defy Skyline Boutique Edition – essentially a classic Skyline in a 41mm steel with all the perks like an octagonal case with faceted bezel, date window, 1/10th of a second indicator at 9 o’clock and El Primero 3620 high-frequency calibre. But what’s different with this model is the unique dial, adorned with a grey sunburst pattern with rose gold accents – a combination that plays on the brand’s heritage throughout the 60s and 70s eras.
The Defy Skyline Boutique Edition will be available exclusively from physical and online Zenith boutiques around the world.
Then there’s always a watch that pushes the boundaries in form and function, and on this occasion, it’s the new Defy Extreme Glacier – a watch inspired by the arctic circle and made to brave such harsh elements. Limited to just 50 pieces, this rugged chronograph is an absolute workhorse. Its lightness, despite its 45mm sizing, is afforded by its brushed titanium casing and strap, with the unique dodecagonal bezel being crafted from the natural stone chalcedony – a crystalline semi-translucent stone that is reminiscent of frozen blue glaciers.
Within the ruggedness of the new Defy Extreme Glacier, you can expect to find the toughest 1/100th of a second chronograph on the market. Of course, part of the allure of this new Defy Extreme model (which carries on the theme of ‘natural surroundings’ from last year’s Defy Extreme Desert) is its open sapphire crystal dial, revealing the inner workings of the El Primero 1/100th of a second automatic high-frequency chronograph calibre, beating at 50Hz for the chronograph and 5Hz for the timekeeping.
The Defy Extreme Glacier is available exclusively at Zenith physical and online boutiques from February 2023.