The Defy Extreme Diver brings back a diver to the Zenith catalogue The Defy Extreme Diver brings back a diver to the Zenith catalogue

The Defy Extreme Diver brings back a diver to the Zenith catalogue

Buffy Acacia
  • Zenith have resurrected the Defy Extreme Diver with full vigour and in-your-face attitude.
  • The 1970s influence tames the appearance from some of the 2000s iterations, making it more accessible but just as daring.
  • Powered by the 5Hz El Primero 3620 SC, the blue or black references will be available on a titanium bracelet and two straps for CHF 10,900.

Zenith’s Defy Extreme series isn’t just about crossing boundaries, but digging them up, tearing them to shreds, eating the remains and… I’ll let your imagination do the rest. Taking one look at the new Zenith Defy Extreme Diver tells you all you’ll need to know to love it or hate it, but it was clearly made with the same “screw you” attitude which birthed some of the greatest high-impact watches of the 2000s. It’s a sobering gut punch on the wrist, and yet Zenith have pulled it off in a way which is absolutely endearing, and maybe even timeless.

zenith defy extreme diver black case profile

If you can believe it, the new Zenith Defy Extreme Diver is actually far more tame than some of the previous generations. Designed in the controversial era of Thierry Nataf, they pretty much made Invictas look classical. Now that Zenith has their hands on the wheel again, and have taken plenty of inspiration from their own vintage models, the Defy Extreme Diver has returned as a tamed beast. The 42.5mm case is made from titanium, both for lightweight comfort and for its corrosion resistance. Physical comfort is one thing, but the design is definitely going to push some visual comfort zones. The case is highly angular with vertically-brushed surfaces, echoing the dodecagonal edge on the inner bezel. An outer bezel made from ceramic serves to time dives, and is filled with Super-Luminova for underwater or after dark visibility.

zenith defy extreme diver blue

Indeed, visibility is really what the Defy Extreme Diver lives to achieve. You certainly wouldn’t miss it on anyone’s wrist, but the huge, lume-filled hands and hour markers can’t be ignored under any circumstances. Orange has been documented as one of the most visible colours underwater, so it features as a highlight colour on both of the references. The black reference is the more socially versatile of the two, but it’s definitely not the kind of diver which pretends to go with a tuxedo. The blue dial version is a bombastic beauty, emphasising the complimentary orange colour and bringing the four-pointed star motif on the brushed dial into even sharper relief. These watches are equipped with an interchangeable strap system, so you can easily swap between the solid titanium bracelet, the woven-texture rubber strap, and the fabric strap whenever the right mood comes along.

zenith defy extreme diver blue movement caseback

Just like its looks, the Zenith Defy Extreme Diver doesn’t play around with specifications either. A screw-down crown locks in 600 metres of water resistance, which coincides with 1,969 feet (or 1968.6, to be exact), as an homage to the original Defy Diver from 1969. There’s also a hidden helium escape valve for saturation diving. The movement is the El Primero 3620 SC, which is a high-beat automatic smoothly sweeping at 5Hz and it has a generous power reserve of 60 hours despite its increased beat rate. Not only does the watch meet the ISO 6245 requirements of dive watches, but the movement also achieves ISO standards 764 and 1413 for anti-magnetism and shock resistance for real adventurous capability.

Zenith Defy Extreme Diver pricing and availability

The new Zenith Defy Extreme Diver is available from Zenith boutiques and retailers. Price: CHF 10,900

Brand Zenith
Model Defy Extreme Diver
Reference Number 95.9600.3620/21.I300
Case Dimensions 42.5mm (D) x 15.5mm (T)
Case Material Titanium
Water Resistance 600 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire with double-sided AR coating
Dial Blue or black with four-pointed star motif and orange highlights
Lug Width Integrated
Strap H-link titanium bracelet, folding clasp
FKM rubber and fabric straps included
Movement El Primero 3620 SC, in-house, automatic
Power Reserve 60 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Availability Now
Price CHF 10,900