LVMH Watch Week 2023: Highlights From Zenith

The Swiss fine watch brand’s first novelties of the year are focused on its Defy family.
by Lynette Koh


Since its inception in 2020, LVMH Watch Week has become a much-anticipated event that kickstarts each year’s calendar of horology events. From Jan 10 to 12, the teams behind LVMH’s four main watchmaking brands — Bulgari, Hublot, Tag Heuer and Zenith — were in Singapore to present their first batch of novelties for the year.

Each brand set up a show space within individual villas at Capella Singapore on Sentosa Island, where they met with journalists and retailers to showcase their latest offerings. (Subsequently, the event moved on to New York.) Here are the most outstanding new releases from Zenith.

1. Defy Skyline Skeleton


A more balanced aesthetic and greater legibility — that’s what Zenith is promising with the new Defy Skyline Skeleton (pictured, two watches on the left), which replaces the discontinued Defy Classic Skeleton. The new 41mm steel timepiece features a cleaner skeletonised dial with a four-pointed star instead of the five-pointed one of the Classic model, a design detail that connects the Defy Skyline to the brand’s double Z logo of the ‘60s. (A four-pointed star motif is engraved in rows in the closed-dial versions of the Defy Skyline [pictured, right].)

In the updated skeleton model, the airier dial structure allows for more of the movement to be seen. Instead of the Elite movement that powers the Defy Classic Skeleton, the Defy Skyline Skeleton is driven by a variant of the brand’s El Primero 3600 self-winding chronograph movement.

Offering another visual clue to the high-frequency 3620 SK movement contained in the Defy Skyline Skeleton is the 1/10 of a second indicator at 6 o’clock, which completes one revolution in 10 seconds. The open dial comes in black or blue, and is matched to a skeleton movement finished in the same colour.

2. Defy Skyline 36mm


Catering to users with slimmer wrists or who favour smaller watches, regardless of gender, the unisex watch — typically with versatile diameters of less than 40mm — is something that we are seeing more of these days. At LVMH Watch Week, Zenith unveiled the Defy Skyline in 36mm steel cases, with or without diamond-set bezels. These new mid-size models are the follow-up to the 41mm iterations that were presented at the launch of the Defy Skyline collection last year.

Powered by the Elite 670 in-house automatic movement, the 36mm Defy Skyline comes in three colours — metallic blue (the same as one of the 41mm models), as well as pastel pink or green (pictured), also in a metallic finish. Like the larger models, the 36mm versions feature all-over engraved star motifs on the dials. A detail we love is that the date wheels are done in colours that match the dials.

3. Defy Extreme Glacier


We’re no stranger to watches with stone dials, but stone bezels and pusher protectors? Now, that’s something pretty special. Following up on the Defy Extreme Desert from 2021, which features a 12-sided bezel and pusher guards in dark Falcon’s Eye, the brand now presents the Defy Extreme Glacier, whose aforementioned elements are made of cool-blue chalcedony. The watch’s 45mm case is otherwise made of titanium, as is its bracelet. Like all the other Defy Skyline watches, it features a quick-change strap system.

Channelling the appearance of glaciers, each piece of the semi-translucent crystalline stone is individually cut and polished by hand for each of the 50 pieces of the Defy Extreme Glacier. The open dial and sapphire-crystal chronograph counters allow for a glimpse of the El Primero 9004 automatic movement, which features two escapements — one for timekeeping, and a 50 Hz one for the blazing-fast 1/100 of a second chronograph.

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