Dusk ‘Til Dawn: Zenith’s DEFY Classic Black Ceramic

“I love black,” customisation king George Bamford recent told Robb Report, “because it brings out shades of beauty. With black watches, you can see stuff like a subtle chamfer edge.”

It’s a pretty safe bet that Bamford approves of what his Zenith/LVMH colleagues have pulled off with this new black addition to the Defy Classic collection. Made from robust black zirconium oxide ceramic, its 41mm case, inspired by the original Defy collection launched in the 70s, has contrasting polished and satin-brushed surfaces which enhance its geometric elegance beautifully, its brutal angles juxtaposing elegantly with the circular bezel.

Within that bezel is a layered, ultra-modern open dial whose high-tech avant-garde-ism will catch the eye of Richard Mille aficionados. In daylight, the hands and markers blend in with the background, but can easily be seen thanks to their protrusion; come nightfall, legibility duties fall to the ruthenium-treated surfaces.

Visible via both the open dial and the sapphire caseback is what literally makes it tick: an automatic Elite 670 movement that has been a staple of Zenith’s output for decades, although it’s the first time owners have been able to gaze upon it at will – hence the cutting-edge finishing that’s been added to the production process for this model. As with all Defy Classics, the performance is, lest we forget, also enhanced with a silicon pallet-lever and escape-wheel.

Mechanical excellence aside, this latest addition to the Zenith canon’s major draw is that wonderfully imperiously, elegantly foreboding appearance. Now, if The Galactic Empire issued watches to senior siths…

£6,100, zenith-watches.com

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