Zenith unveils the Defy Skyline Skeleton

January 2023

Zenith unveils the Defy Skyline Skeleton

One year after the launch of its acclaimed Defy Skyline collection, the brand presented its most elaborate skeleton watch to date and the only one in the world to feature a 1/10th of a second indicator at the annual LVMH Watch Week in Singapore.


ore structured, more open, more stellar: Zenith is expanding the Defy Skyline collection with a new skeleton line that goes far beyond openworked. Introduced last year as the latest chapter in the enduring Defy legacy of sturdy and singularly futuristic timekeepers, the Defy Skyline collection was conceived for an ever-fast-moving world where every fraction of a second can be a decisive one.

Drawing inspiration from modern cityscapes where structures and light are bound in a constantly moving interplay, the Defy Skyline Skeleton reaches even further towards the light on the horizon and opens a whole new world of possibilities to what a skeleton watch can be.

Zenith unveils the Defy Skyline Skeleton

The previous generation of the Defy Skeleton had quickly risen to become one of Zenith’s most sought-after creations, outstanding with its star-shaped open dial and incredible symmetry. Pushing the resolutely contemporary openworked design further and housed within a new more angular case, the Defy Skyline Skeleton seamlessly integrates the open dial with an openworked version of the El Primero automatic movement in a most striking manner.

Harmoniously symmetrical, the open dial takes on the form of a four-pointed stars, in a nod to the Zenith “double Z” logo of the 1960s. The chapter ring’s applied baton hour markers as well as the central hour and minute hands are filled with Super-LumiNova for easy legibility; something that is usually sacrificed in skeleton watches. A constantly running 1/10th of a second counter at 6 o’clock makes steady jumps in fixed increments, completing one revolution every 10 seconds, a feature that’s unique in watchmaking to the new generation of the El Primero automatic high-frequency calibre. The open dial comes in black or blue, with the skeleton movement finished in the same colour as the open dials for a cohesive and architectural look.

Zenith unveils the Defy Skyline Skeleton

Drawing inspiration from the unique octagonal geometry of the early Defy models of the 1960s, the angular steel case of the Defy Skyline Skeleton retains the same DNA of robustness and durability as its predecessors while bringing an edgier and more architectural aesthetic, as well as a host of new functions to the metropolis-ready companion. Fixed atop the 41mm stainless steel case with sharply defined edges, the faceted bezel is inspired by those from early Defy models, reimagined with twelve sides that are positioned as extensions to the hour markers. With an emphasis on performance in the largest possible range of activities and situations, the screw-down crown emblazoned with the star emblem provides a water-resistance of 10 ATM (100 metres).

Visible from the front as well as the sapphire display back is the openworked version of the high-frequency automatic El Primero calibre, the 3620 SK. 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. It is also endowed with a stop-second mechanism for precise time-setting. Efficient in its performance, the automatic winding mechanism with bi-directional rotor with a star motif delivers a power reserve of approximately 60 hours.

Zenith unveils the Defy Skyline Skeleton

With versatility at its core, the Defy Skyline Skeleton comes on a steel bracelet with a satin-brushed surface with chamfered and polished edges, seamlessly flowing with the sharply faceted lines of the case. It also comes with a rubber strap and steel folding buckle with a starry sky pattern in continuity with the dial, made in blue rubber for the blue dial version and black rubber for the black dial. The wearer can easily switch between the steel bracelet and rubber strap without any tools, using the Defy case’s ingenious quick strap-change mechanism consisting of secure buttons on the back.


  • Key points: El Primero 3-hand watch. High frequency indication : 1/10th of a second subdial at 6 o’clock. Silicon escape-wheel and lever. Screwed-in crown. Full Interchangeable strap system.
  • Movement: El Primero 3620, automatic
  • Frequency 36,000 VpH (5 Hz)
  • Power reserve approx. 60 hours
  • Functions: Hours and minutes in the centre. 1/10th of a second counter at 6 o’clock.
  • Finishes: Special oscillating weight with satined finishings
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Water resistance: 10 ATM
  • Case: 41mm
  • Dial: Blue-toned or Black-toned Openworked dial
  • Hour markers: Rhodium-plated, faceted and coated with SuperLuminova SLN C1
  • Hands : Rhodium-plated, faceted and coated with SuperLuminova SLN C1
  • Bracelet & Buckle: Stainless steel bracelet and folding clasp. Comes with a blue or black rubber strap with starry sky pattern and folding clasp
  • Price: CHF 10,900

Zenith unveils the Defy Skyline Skeleton

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