After releasing a series of watches during recent years that pay tribute to its historical El Primero chronograph models from the 1960s and 1970s, Zenith this week launches a revival model to celebrate its Defy collection circa 1969.

The new Zenith Defy A3642 recalls the original Zenith debut of the same name, a watch fans quickly dubbed the “bank vault” or “safe deposit box” due to its thick 37mm octagonal case and fourteen-sided bezel.

The new Zenith Defy A3642 revives a 1969 Defy nicknamed the ‘bank vault” due to its rugged construction.

The revival model retains all the details that made the original unusual at the time. These details include a grey dial with a gradient effect and applied square hour markers with horizontal grooves meant to “convey a sense of perpetual motion,” according to Zenith.

The new watch also features the same sword-shaped hour and minute hands and the same paddle-shaped seconds hand design Zenith used on many of its watches of that era. Today, SuperLuminova provides luminosity on the hands rather than Tritium, with Zenith matching the grey luminous color.

A Zenith sales brochure from 1969.

Zenith claims that use of the new luminous material, plus the use of a sapphire crystal and a clear caseback, are the only cosmetic differences between the original model and the revival edition. Even the ladder-style steel bracelet on the revival echoes the original Gay Frères ladder bracelet.

Technically however the Defy A3642 is decidedly modern. Zenith’s excellent automatic Elite 670 movement, operating at a frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 VpH) powers the new model.

Zenith currently offers a Defy collection, which is still characterized by sportiness and geometric cases. Zenith ensures a water resistance of 300 meters, echoing the original model, as ensured by a screw-down crown.

Zenith will produce the special Revival Defy A3642 in a limited edition of 250 pieces. Price: $7,000.

 

Specifications: Zenith Defy Revival A3642

(Reference: 03.A3642.670/75.M3642, a limited edition of 250 pieces.)

Case: 37mm octagonal steel case with iconic 14-sided bezel. Water resistant to 300 meters.

Movement: Zenith Elite 670, automatic, with frequency of 28,800 VpH (4 Hz) and 50-hour power reserve. New star-shaped oscillating weight with satin finishes.

Dial: Gradient brown with rhodium-plated and faceted markers and hands, filled with SuperLuminova SLN C1.

Bracelet & Buckle: Stainless steel ladder bracelet.

Price $7,000

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