Zenith had a small, but not insignificant, showing at SIHH 2019 this year, presumably choosing to release the majority of its new models at Baselworld 2019. Nonetheless, we did get a look at four new Defy Classic models in addition to two new Type 20 Pilot models.
Three of the new Zenith Defy Classic models are entirely in ceramic, except for their rubber straps. Not only does this increase the availability of ultra-scratch resistant ceramic cases, but also of colors, somewhat mirroring Omega’s Dark Side of the Moon collection of watches. The Defy, and the Defy Classic in particular, is a big hit in the watch world these days, so Zenith was doubtless in a hurry to expand the options for fans. The new blue model is not only the most colorful new Defy, but also arguably the most legible of the three ceramic models.
The black ceramic model does the best job of giving the Defy a proper tool watch look, while the white ceramic model goes the opposite direction, softening the Genta-esque model. Each is $7,500, a very reasonable value for such a cool watch with a modified Elite movement and a ceramic case.
The Defy also comes in a new dressier version with its first two-tone model. It isn’t quite what you expect though, skipping the common steel & rose gold combination in favor of a titanium/rose gold pairing, which might help compensate for the heavier gold.
Zenith also released two new versions of their Type 20 models. I’ve long been a fan of Zenith’s Pilot watches because they offer something so unique in a world full of flieger clones. I particularly like this new bronze case and blue dial combination, colors that accent each other very well.
It’s accompanied by a similar aged stainless steel model, also in 45mm, with a black dial, making it a more low-key option for fans of the Type 20.
Although currently unofficial, Zenith will also be releasing a very special 3 watch box set demonstrating the history and progression of the El Primero. The box will include a fourth empty spot with an exclusive opportunity to buy an entirely unique new El Primero (apparently even including a unique version of the movement). There will be just 50 box sets for sale, and each will include a special VIP tour of Zenith, hotel stay included.
Wondering where the rest of the new Zeniths are? Well, just wait until Baselworld 2019, where we’ll see the rest of Zenith’s new watches–SIHH 2019 is merely a preview of even more great Zeniths to come. Also make sure to check out our Zenith SIHH 2019 photo article, where you can see a lot of unofficial (at least, unofficial at the time of this writing) new Zeniths coming your way.