INTRODUCING: The Zenith Defy Revival A3642 resurrects an octagonal design unlike any other INTRODUCING: The Zenith Defy Revival A3642 resurrects an octagonal design unlike any other

INTRODUCING: The Zenith Defy Revival A3642 resurrects an octagonal design unlike any other

Zach Blass

Who did it first? That is always a prominent question in watch design. When people begin to discuss the Zenith Defy, many people categorise it as an intriguing alternative to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. The Royal Oak is credited as the reference that birthed the luxury sports category, which made its debut in 1972. Four years later, the Royal Oak’s primary rival, the Patek Philippe Nautilus was born in 1976. And a year prior to the Nautilus, Girard-Perregaux produced their very own Laureato – another reference that draws comparisons to the aforementioned references. But the Zenith Defy was actually first introduced before all of them, making its debut in 1969. Today Zenith wants to remind the enthusiasts and buyers of this very fact, resurrecting their very own octagonal design that is unlike any other: the Zenith Defy Revival A3642 Limited Edition of 250 pieces.

Zenith Defy Revival A3642

Upon the introduction of the Defy de Zenith collection in 1969, its design was so striking and distinct that the Defy A3642 immediately earned the nickname the “coffre-fort” in French, which translates to “bank vault” or “safe-deposit box”. Sure, its foundational basis is a familiar element today – an octagonal case – but what separates it from the designs that would later follow it is its 14-sided bezel. The case, also highly faceted, utilises curved lines and sloped surfaces that result in an unequivocally distinct sports watch design. The Zenith Defy Revival A3642 we have today upholds the “Revival” in its nomenclature, maintaining all aspects of the watch aesthetically and dimensionally.

If you know me, then you know I am a huge fan of classic proportions. Thankfully, at least in my opinion, Zenith has maintained the 37mm diameter of the original – its stainless-steel case now boasting an improved 300 metres of water-resistance, ensured by a screw-down crown, to give it a modern edge. Aesthetically speaking, you could be forgiven for thinking the watch was a NOS supply of the original. Its case follows the same faceted format and finishing, largely polished on its 14-sided bezel and the front side of the case. A brushed surface is introduced on the north and south surfaces where the bracelet meets the case, again just like the original 1969 design. Zenith has truly and painstakingly recreated the original watch aesthetic, not only on its case but its dial as well. Its brown/grey gradient dial nails the tone of its muse, and even the dial font, 4:30 date position, printed markings layout, and grooved applied indices appear to be 1:1 reproductions. Really, there are only two aesthetic elements that separate the Revival from the 1969 A3642. The first differing element is its usage of SuperLuminova® instead of tritium – but even its modern luminescent coating has been rendered in a tone that evokes the tritium previously used.

The second different element, which is both aesthetic and technical, is the usage of the modern in-house Elite 670 calibre and its display via an exhibition caseback. The Elite 670 is an automatic calibre with a 28,800 vph beat rate and 50 hours of power reserve befitting of a sporty timepiece. Returning to what is historically accurate, the Zenith Defy Revival A3642 is outfitted on a distinct ladder bracelet – the very same design of bracelet created for Zenith by legendary manufacture Gay Frères. I always love seeing Zenith use the ladder bracelet on their new releases when they can, it is such a distinct and classic design with the practical edge of stylishly aerating the wrist. Its largely brushed surfaces blend well into where it meets the case, maintaining the continuity of the rich vertical lines.

Watch buyers have been begging for fresh and new options to the unobtanium timepieces that largely dominate the conversation today. Incredibly Zenith has looked to the past to redeem the present, serving up what I believe to be a wonderful opportunity for 250 people to snag a distinct and historic design.

Zenith Defy Revival A3642 pricing and availability:

The Zenith Defy Revival A3642 is available now for inquiry and is a limited edition of 250 pieces. Price: CHF 6,900





Defy Revival

Reference No


Case Size


Case Material

Stainless Steel


Gradient Brown


Ladder Bracelet


In-House Elite 670


CHF 6,900


Limited Edition of 250 pcs., available now