The sequel is here – Zenith x Time+Tide Defy Skyline Skeleton Night Surfer El PrimeroZach Blass
- Two years after the original Zenith Night Surfer, we present its sequel – the Defy Skyline Skeleton Night Surfer El Primero.
- The new model includes four firsts for the collection, including a new high-beat movement.
- Sold with an interchangeable bracelet and rubber strap, it’s limited to 200 pieces, priced at A$18,100, US$12,000, CHF 11,900.
Two years ago, we launched our first big collab – the Zenith Night Surfer, a limited edition of 100 pieces. Of course, we were eager to see how everyone would respond to our design. Excitingly, the watches sold quickly, and what’s even more commendable, only a few ever reached the secondary market with asking prices double the retail – to some, the only measure of success. We even caught wind of a replica site listing fakes of our design, which was conflictingly flattering – no, we will not drop the link. So, it’s clear people really dug the original Night Surfer. I experienced how great of a watch it is first-hand, wearing it routinely – even swimming and playing tennis with it on while on vacation. This was the perfect excuse for a sequel, and create a new Night Surfer opportunity for watch buyers around the world. Meet the new Zenith Defy Skyline Skeleton Night Surfer El Primero.
At first glance, you may feel like we did the exact same thing with a newer model. Just like the original Night Surfer included a slew of premiering elements for the Defy Classic Skeleton (including the micro-blasted titanium bracelet and case), the Night Surfer El Primero brings both fresh and familiar features to the Skyline Skeleton.
Firstly, while we have once again elected to have the watch in a micro-blasted titanium case, affixed to a matching bracelet, making the Skyline Skeleton Night Surfer the first-ever Skyline produced in titanium. With a slightly thicker case due to the updated El Primero movement, many within the watch community noted that the previously introduced Skyline steel models have an added bulk and heft in comparison to the classic. So, with the lightweight nature of titanium, the Skyline Skeleton Night Surfer offers an elevated daily wearer feel from a fit and function perspective.
The Night Surfer El Primero is also the first Skyline Skeleton to have a gradient-colour dial, and the first to incorporate luminous material into the bridges of the star motif on the dial.
Whereas the original Night Surfer was the first to have a fully luminous star above the Zenith branding at the 12’ position we have shifted this luminous element to the star-shaped bridges instead. In total, these elements represent four firsts for the Skyline Skeleton collection.
Now, of course we don’t want to assume that you’re all familiar with the Skyline Skeleton. So, let’s do a rundown of the overall specs. The micro-blasted titanium case is very wrist-friendly, measuring in at 41mm in diameter and 11.6mm thick with a compact lug-to-lug measurement of 46.3mm across the wrist. In the transition from the Defy Classic Skeleton to the Skyline Skeleton, a faceted 12-sided bezel was introduced – designed with the idea that each facet would perfectly frame one of the twelve hour indices. The number of points on the star motif found on the openworked dial, however, has decreased by one to a four-pointed star. This design switch up pays homage to the original star logo found on the caseback of the original Defy from 1969 rather than the five-pointed star used within Zenith’s current logo.
One hang up some people have with the Skyline is the asymmetrical counter at the 9 o’clock position directly across from the date complication at 3. The Skyline Skeleton, however, removes the date complication and shifts the counter to the less controversial 6 o’clock position. The centrally positioned date, four-pointed star, and 12-sided bezel all work together give the Skyline Skeleton a fully symmetrical aesthetic dial-purists will appreciate.
You could argue this new Night Surfer Skyline Skeleton is even “surfier” than the original. Yes, the water-resistance remains at 100 metres, but unlike the Defy Classic Skeleton, it has a screw-down crown for an added sense of security. It also is more compatible with straps, as the Night Surfer El Primero can be outfitted either on the micro-blasted titanium bracelet or an array of Zenith rubber straps. All of these, including the bracelet, now feature an easy-to-use interchangeable system that requires zero tools. And, the good news is that our Night Surfer El Primero comes with both the interchangeable micro-blasted titanium bracelet and a blue rubber strap with folding clasp.
During the run of the Defy Classic Skeleton, comparisons to a certain Genta design were known to have been made, but the new dodecagonal bezel is not the only new distinguishing element. Zenith have put their irrefutably distinct stamp on the Skyline with a 1/10th of a second counter in place of a traditional running seconds. With the new 5Hz El Primero 3620 SK, a 55-hour power reserve calibre with a silicon escapement, Zenith flexes their status as a master of high-beat movements. The 6 o’clock counter makes a full revolution every 10 seconds rather than every minute, just like the central seconds hands of their chronographs. It is quirky and atypical for sure, but it is an element of watch design nobody can accuse Zenith of borrowing – 100% pure Zenith.
While designing this new edition, the idea of ensuring a sequel would live up the original was certainly at the forefront of our minds. If the Defy Classic Skeleton Night Surfer was The Godfather, we knew our design needed to be The Godfather Part II (and not Part III). We think we nailed it with our sequel, and we hope you think so as well.
Zenith x Time+Tide Defy Skyline Skeleton Night Surfer El Primero pricing and availability
The Zenith x Time+Tide Defy Skyline Skeleton Night Surfer El Primero is available on November 22nd from the Time+Tide Shop, Time+Tide Melbourne Studio, and the Zenith online store. Price: A$18,100, US$12,000, CHF 11,900
|Brand||Zenith x Time+Tide|
|Model||Defy Skyline Skeleton Night Surfer El Primero|
|Case Dimensions||41mm (D) x 11.6mm (T) x 46.3mm (LTL)|
|Case Material||Microblasted titanium|
|Water Resistance||10 ATM, screw-down crown|
|Crystal(s)||Flat sapphire front and back|
|Dial||Skeletonised gradient blue with lumed bridges|
|Strap||Microblasted titanium bracelet with butterfly clasp
Blue rubber strap with folding pin buckle
|Movement||El Primero 3620 SK, in-house, silicon escapement, 5Hz|
|Power Reserve||55 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, 1/10th of a second indicator|
|Availability||Limited to 200 pieces|
|Price||A$18,100, US$12,000, CHF 11,900|