Zenith revives the first Defy model with a vividly coloured dial

February 2023

Zenith revives the first Defy model with a vividly coloured dial

After revisiting the very first Defy wristwatch last year, Zenith is unveiling the second model in its collection of faithfully reproduced iconic Defy pieces with the Defy Revival A3691, an important 1971 reference that took the audacious design a step further by initiating the collection’s historically extensive use of striking colours.


eturning to the essence of the Defy collection and the historical references that continue to serve as a source of inspiration for the contemporary collection of the same name, Zenith is unveiling the second Defy Revival model with a remake of the A3691, based on the 1971 reference. With its vibrant red gradient-effect dial and rugged geometric case, the Defy Revival A3691 becomes the first Defy Revival model in the permanent collection.

1969 will forever be remembered as a major turning point for Zenith. Not only did the Manufacture unveil the venerable El Primero calibre, but it also debuted the Defy collection of wristwatches. Taking a firm stance against the onset of quartz watches that threatened to put traditional Swiss watchmaking in peril, Zenith stood its ground by creating a timepiece with a singularly edgy design and ensured robustness that mass-produced electronic watches of the time simply could not rival.

One of the first models of this Defy collection was the A3642, fittingly nicknamed the coffre-fort in French, which translates to “bank vault” or “safe-deposit box”. About two years later, Zenith built on this daring design and introduced new colourful dials with a marked “vignette” effect that darkens towards the edges, including the A3691 with a deep red dial.

Zenith revives the first Defy model with a vividly coloured dial

Reproduced in stunningly accurate detail using the historical production plans, the Defy Revival A3691 brings back all the details and singular design elements that made the first-ever Defy wristwatch model such an outstanding reference of its era; one which established the codes that continues to inspire the Defy collection today. This includes a faceted octagonal case paired with a fourteen-sided bezel, a deep glossy red dial with a prominent vignette effect that darkens towards the edges, unusual applied square hour markers feature horizontal grooves, and the now-iconic Gay Frères steel “ladder” bracelet, which has now been updated with a more modern and ergonomic folding clasp.

In fact, the only cosmetic differences between the Revival and its progenitor are the sapphire crystal, the display case back and the type of luminescent pigments. The water-resistance of 30ATM (300 metres) has also been maintained from the original, even with the addition of a display back.

The other main difference beats away inside. Instead of the original’s solid case back emblazoned with a four-pointed star that became one of the brand’s logos and recurring design element for years, the Defy Revival A3691 features a sapphire display back showing the automatic Elite 670 manufacture movement, operating at a frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 VpH) and providing an autonomy of 50 hours.

To the delight of collectors and unlike the Defy Revival A3642, which was produced as a numbered limited edition, the Defy Revival A3691 version is joining the permanent Defy collection and will be available from Zenith boutiques and authorised retailers around the world.


  • Key points: Original Revival of the Reference A3691.Octogonal case with iconic 14-sided bezel
  • Movement: ELITE 670 automatic
  • Frequency 28 800 VpH (4 Hz)
  • Power reserve approx. 50 hours
  • Functions: Hours and minutes in the centre. Central seconds hand. Date indication at 4:30
  • Finishes: New star-shaped oscillating weight with satined finishings
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Water resistance: 30 ATM
  • Case: 37 mm
  • Dial: Ruby gradient dial
  • Hour markers: Rhodium-plated and faceted
  • Hands: Rhodium-plated, faceted and coated with SuperLuminova SLN C1
  • Bracelet & Buckle: 27.03.1816.M3642 Stainless steel “Ladder” bracelet.
  • Price: 6,900 CHF

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