The Zenith Defy Revival Shadow cuts a super-spy profile The Zenith Defy Revival Shadow cuts a super-spy profile

The Zenith Defy Revival Shadow cuts a super-spy profile

D.C. Hannay
  • Zenith introduces a striking new reinterpretation of the historic Defy Revival for Watches & Wonders 2023.
  • An evolution of the vintage look of previous editions, the Shadow boasts full lightweight titanium construction for both the case and bracelet.
  • The titanium gets a microblasted matte finish that renders the material a stealthy dark grey.

I’ve been a big fan of the Defy Revival since the first re-edition was launched in the beginning of 2022. A faithful homage to the original Defy from 1969, the new version kept the vintage version’s 37mm octagonal case, 14-sided bezel, sharply faceted case bevels, and funky brown gradient dial. Since then, Zenith has launched a red production model and a blue boutique edition, but now, the brand’s got a modernist look for their latest release. Zenith is going full stealth mode with the dark new Defy Revival Shadow edition.


So the material and finish are the big headlines with this one, and if you’re curious as to how the microblasted titanium will look up close, you only need to look back to the Chronomaster Revival Shadow model from a few years ago. Not a coating, the darkened appearance is a result of the finishing technique itself, as the microblasting renders the watch with a matte, near-black look. The watch is water resistant to 300 metres, and sapphire protects both the dial and caseback.


The matte black dial gives everything a very different look from the bold colours of the previous Defy Revival models, but it’s an appropriate pairing with the overall aesthetic. The rhodium-plated faceted hands and square markers are nicely finished, and the Super-LumiNova gets a cream-coloured hue. A colour-matched date display sits at 4:30, a design choice not without controversy, but true to its position on the original Defy. The movement remains the in-house Zenith Elite 670, with a 28,800 VpH beat rate and a 50 hour power reserve, its star-shaped oscillating weight visible through the sapphire caseback. The bracelet is pure vintage heat, a modern rendition of the original Gay Freres ladder design from 1969. In titanium, the open ladder design acts as additional weight relief, which will surely be enticing to those already considering a titanium timepiece. It also wears the dark matte blasted treatment, and is a perfect fit for the watch’s stealthy countenance.

As much as I’m a fan of the other Defy Revival models (especially the gradient brown dial), I think I’m even more enamoured of the Shadow. If you find the brightly coloured Revival references a bit too shouty for your tastes, or just want to flex a too-cool update of a classic design, the dark surprise of the Shadow variant might be just what you’re looking for.

Zenith Defy Revival Shadow pricing and availability:

The Zenith Defy Revival Shadow is available now, priced at CHF 7,400.

Brand Zenith
Model Defy Revival Shadow
Case Dimensions 37mm (D) x 13.6mm (T) x 44mm (L to L)
Case Material Microblasted titanium
Water Resistance 300m
Dial Black
Crystal(s) Sapphire
Bracelet/Strap Microblasted titanium
Movement Elite 670 automatic
Power Reserve 50 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Availability Now
Price CHF 7,400