Editor’s Note: Need a quick watch fix? This preview of the new Zenith Defy Midnight watches is a GET TO THE POINT (GTTP) review with all the info you want / need to know QUICK. For our usual detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here.
What Is It
For the inaugural 2020 LVMH Watch Week, Zenith introduced a versatile, sporty-chic collection for women, called the Defy Midnight.
Inspired by a cosmic, dreamy starlit night sky, these timepieces evoked a sense of mysterious enchantment. And in 36mm diameter with mechanical movements and 100m water-resistance, these are more than just ladies jewellery pieces.
As an interesting design feature, the Zenith Defy Midnight series feature dials with the brand’s faceted star emblem positioned at 12’o clock that symbolically represents the highest point in the interpreted night sky. The interesting aspect in the two new Zenith Defy Midnight models is the use of this star element as the basis for the radial guilloche pattern epicentre.
Why, Where, and When
In Sydney, both Gregory Jewellers and Swiss Concept are/used to be the Authorised dealers. Globally, the new Zenith Defy Extreme should be available at Zenith physical boutiques and online boutiques around the world.
Upon first release in 2020, the diamond set bezel versions cost 10’900 CHF while the plain bezel options cost 8’900 CHF. The latest ref. 16.9200.670/33.MI001 (Zenith DEFY Midnight Sunset) and ref. 16.9200.670/34.MI001 are released as part of their regular collection and retail for a higher 11’400 CHF or 16’200 AUD and were first announced as part of the third edition of the LVMH Watch Week 2022 (January 24 – 28, 2022).
Basic Specs of The Zenith Defy Midnight
Inside both the new Zenith Defy Midnight tick the same automatic Elite 670 SK movement as found in the 2020 editions.
This 25.6mm diameter and 3.88mm thick movement comprises 27 jewels and 187 components, beats at the frequency of 4Hz, and provides a decent (min.) 50-hour power reserve.
We appreciate that Zenith in partnership with Nona Source — a start-up incubated by their parent LVMH’s DARE (Disrupt, Act & Risk to be an Entrepreneur) program — is introducing sustainably made straps.
Nona Source takes ‘dead-stock’ fabrics from the group’s most prestigious Fashion & Leather Goods Maisons and then convert these into straps for watches such as the new Zenith Defy Midnight Sunset and Defy Midnight Borealis.
These feature quick-released mechanism and can be paired with the 2020 Zenith Defy Midnight pieces as well.
“Working with Nona Source is exactly the kind of responsible, ecological yet also luxurious kind of innovation that we seek at the Zenith Manufacture. This initiative not only helps in upcycling luxurious materials in a new context, but also gives the DEFY Midnight collection a high-fashion edge. My team and I are excited to see these straps being worn and look forward to exploring new possibilities with Nona Source”.Zenith CEO Julien Tornare
Starry Dreams With The Zenith DEFY Midnight
The natural beauty of both the sunset or the aurora borealis is almost impossible to replicate. But credit to the brand that they have managed to bottle the essence, and present it on the dial of the new Zenith Defy Midnight Sunset and Defy Midnight Borealis.
The use of fume or gradient dials is on the rise, in most part courtesy the revive success of H. Moser & Cie. Zenith charters its own course, adding a new dimension to this effect. The diamond-set bezel beautifully frames a guilloché engraved dial with a vertical colour gradient shifting from red to yellow or blue to green, with 11-diamond markers adding a completing touch of glitz and shimmer.
Given the dial features changing colours, I also appreciate that Zenith includes 3 different colour straps — leather, textile and rubber — with quick-release mechanism and an interchangeable folding buckle with the new Zenith Defy Midnight pieces; it allows for easy changeability and adaptability for women should they decide to pair the watch with multiple outfits.
Thanks to the Nona Source partnership, there are also other strap options available to purchase: vanilla-white moleskin woven cotton, blue silk and wool Mikado, sage-green washed crepe, sandy-beige poly-viscose canvas, pink denim, vibrant yellow tricotine, and cream curly mohair.
Making these watches more practical and ‘horologically sound’ if you may is the inclusion of the 100m water-resistance and 50-hour power reserve. I appreciate how they used the upgraded version of the Elite 670 — with in turn is based on Elite 680 — by fitting a ‘ladies’ watch with silicon pallet lever and escape wheel. The Elite 670 SK movement also features hacking seconds and quick date correction.
Given these are thankfully not quartz watches simply because they are for women, there is also a star-shaped oscillating weight to marvel at through the display case-back that further rounds up that celestial touch. I also appreciate the incorporation of the date window at 3 rather than the 4.30 position Zenith is sadly known to favour.
And at the end of the day, it is that enticing radiant wave pattern emanating from the appliqué Zenith star at 12 that gets the heart beating faster.
To find out more about the new Zenith DEFY Midnight Sunset, Zenith DEFY Midnight Borealis and other Zenith watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are courtesy are ©Zenith. All rights reserved.