Just two weeks ago, we reviewed the Zenith Defy Skyline. What we didn’t tell you was that we also had the new 36mm version in our hands. Despite their similarities, these two watches by Zenith are aimed at very different audiences, which is why we preferred to dedicate a full review to it. After a day of wearing it on our wrists, here’s our verdict on this watch. Defy Skyline 36.
Defy Skyline 36: not just for women
When Zenith lifted the veil on this new model, we were immediately impressed. categorized it as a ladies’ watch. At the same time, it didn’t come alone: pastel pink and green dials, then diamond-set bezels. But the brand insisted that we at least take a look at this Defy Skyline 36 on a blue dial. As we put it on our wrists for the first time, we said to ourselves: “It’s a shame it’s a bit small, because it’s very beautiful”. But as we wore it, we began to change our minds. So we had to experiment to really appreciate it. Now we understand a little better why. some men prefer smaller diameters.
In this more restrained version, Zenith conforms to the standards of the sport-chic watch. This 36mm version of the Defy Skyline suddenly comes to titillate the 37mm Royal Oakbut at a price almost 3 times lower and with immediate availability, not to mention more points of sale (i.e. closer to home). It features all the advantages of its big sister and eliminates the most divisive points: the frenetic small seconds hand has been replaced by a second hand on the central axis, and the resulting visual discrepancy has been eliminated. It is also refined with a appreciable thickness of 10.5mm. We still love the star-patterned caseback, which differs from the other model in that it has a minute scale on the flange (and not on two layers as on the 41mm version), its patented strap-change system, its automatic movement with star-shaped weight, and its impeccable finishing. In short, it’s a luxury sport-chic watchand it shows.
What we regret
If the Defy collection is synonymous with audacity, this Skyline 36 takes the opposite path. And yet, it’s everything that made us fall in love with its big sister. Its El Primero movement disappearsA sad loss, and with it the frenetic small seconds that turned 6 times more than a traditional second hand. Even if it was the most divisive element, it was understandably difficult to fit this sub-counter with balance into such a small dial opening. Finally, it is a little small for most menand a hair taller for most women. Which makes us all the more keen to see what a 39mm version might look like!
Our opinion on this Zenith watch
We had a huge crush on the 41mm Defy Skyline. It’s a watch that’s sure to become part of our collection. With this reduced version, Zenith is responding to a great demand on the market, creating a new line of watches. superb alternative to the Royal Oak or Nautilus for ladies in 35.2mm. It wasn’t our watch of choice, as wearing such a small diameter for a man, especially for a genre piece, is a rather peculiar style. Yet the more we wore it, the more we appreciated it. But at this price point, what we’re looking for is an instant coup de coeur on the wrist. The striking lines of its case, the highly successful design of its two bracelets, its superb textured dial with sunburst reflections, everything is there to seduce. With a price tag of “only” €9,100 (compared with direct competitors), it’s a superb option for men looking for a small size, or for women looking for a modern timepiece without falling into feminine watchmaking clichés.
FEATURES – ZENITH DEFY SKYLINE 36
Case : 316L stainless steel – brushed and polished finish – 36mm wide x 40.7mm long x 10.5mm thick – flat sapphire crystal – transparent sapphire crystal caseback – screw-down crown – 10 ATM (100 meters) water resistance
Dial : navy blue background – embossed star pattern – applied hour-markers – matt blue minute scale with white markings – date window at 3 o’clock – SuperLumiNova on hour-markers and hands
Movement : self-winding – manufacture – Elite 670 calibre – 50-hour power reserve – 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) – 144 components – stop-second function – hours, minutes, seconds and date – skeletonized star-shaped oscillating weight
Straps : 2-link stainless steel – brushed and polished finish – 23/15mm cut – quick-change system – butterfly folding clasp – second strap in custom-moulded blue rubber with 23/16mm cut and double folding clasp
Informations : reference 03.9400.670/51.i001 – available on the official Zenith website and from authorized dealers – 2-year warranty (or 3 years on the official website) – €9,100 incl. VAT