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Zenith - The Futur Begins Now

Zenith The Futur Begins Now

Focus on the Defy Skyline and the Chronomaster Open

It is distinguished by its architectural aesthetics and its very contemporary elegance. Some say it is futuristic. Others see it as an expression of certain historical reminiscences. The new Defy Skyline line is in fact a clever blend of all these elements. Juxtaposing references from Zenith’s past with a future that is already being written, the Defy Skyline asserts itself as a line of timepieces perfectly rooted in their era. The story begins in 1902 with an original line called “Defi”. At the time, this name was used to designate robust and accurate pocket watches. In 1969, Zenith was inspired by this same audacious spirit to unveil wristwatches that it named Defy. Their distinctive features notably included an aesthetic that was assertive and modern in every respect, robust construction and highly reliable performance. These are all characteristics of this Manufacture, which has consistently striven to perpetuate the visionary spirit of its founder, Georges-Favre Jacot.

The Futur Begins Now

Defy Skyline © Zenith

Like A Night Sky 
Reminiscent of the seemingly motionless night sky above a bustling city that never sleeps, the Defy Skyline is dedicated to those who follow their light and forge their own path in their journey to reach their star. Inspired by the octagonal geometry of the Defy models in the late 1960s, including the famous Defy A3642, the 41mm case is carved from stainless steel and topped by a faceted bezel whose 12 sides are now positioned to echo the hour-markers. A daring architecture for this powerful watch that combines a very urban spirit with a celestial fantasy illustrated by a dial with a sunburst finish embellished with a perfectly aligned pattern of engraved four-pointed stars. Like an imprint of history, these stars are a modern reimagining of the “double Z” logo that Zenith used in the 1960s.

Precision Timekeeping Performance 
The unique alchemy of the metal dials in three colors – silver-toned, black and blue – along with the shimmering sight of light coming from the engraved pattern, add a subtle touch of depth and fascination, transporting the wearer to another vision of time. Time that flows at the ultra-accurate pace of the Manufacture self-winding El Primero Caliber 3620. Designed with an architecture similar to that of the famous El Primero 3600 chronograph, this movement drives the small seconds hand accurate to one tenth of a second directly from the escapement, which beats at a frequency of 5Hz. Located in a small counter at 9 o’clock, the seconds hand makes one full turn every 10 seconds, reminding the wearer of the fleeting nature of time as well as the chronometric (precision timekeeping) performance for which Zenith has always been known.

Open-hearted precision

In the wake of Zenith’s technical achievements of the last century and its contribution to the advancement of mechanical chronographs, the Manufacture has never deviated from its quest for innovation and precision. There was a time when movements, however powerful, remained carefully concealed behind the scenes of the case. The democratization of sapphire casebacks offering a plunging view of the reverse side of mechanical calibers changed the situation. In 2003, Zenith had taken a further step towards highlighting its legendary El Primero caliber by opening a part of the dial on the first Chronomaster Open model. This model was an immediate success, praised both for its efficiency and its daring design. For the first time in watchmaking history, a chronograph featured a partially open dial for the sole purpose of revealing the regulating organ and escapement of its movement. On the eve of its 20th anniversary, the Chronomaster Open is making its comeback in a version powered by the El Primero 3600 movement with tenth of a second chronograph function. 

The Futur Begins Now

Chronomaster Open © Zenith

Transparancy Rules 
At the intersection between the sporty elegance of the Chronomaster Open model and the historical inspiration of the Chronomaster Original timepiece, it is a modern distillation of the essence of the Zenith El Primero chronograph. Revisiting the tricolor dial configuration that debuted with the iconic A386 in 1969 and remains a distinctive and instantly recognizable El Primero design element, the latest variation of the Chronomaster Open model retains this aesthetic with an additional touch of transparency. Instead of removing the small seconds counter at 9 o’clock entirely, as was the case in previous versions, the three colors of the counter are retained thanks to a hesalite crystal element that serves as a legible subdial while providing a view of the silicon star-shaped escape-wheel. The aperture tself has also been reinterpreted, forgoing the applique “frame” of the previous version and opting for circular apertures with chamfered edges, revealing the movement with straighter bridges and a more contemporary gray color.

The Futur Begins Now

Chronomaster Open © Zenith

Timeless Elegance 
The Chronomaster Open is as modern in form as in function. While the previous version measured 42mm in diameter, the round steel case now features more modest proportions. 39.5mm wide, refined lugs and more pronounced polished bevels on the edges, pump-style pushers with rounded tips: in short, all that it takes for this model to continue flaunting its timeless elegance, suited to all types of wrists, whether male or female. After partially opening up the dial, Zenith naturally offers an unobstructed vision of the back of the movement through the sapphire caseback. Calibre 3604 features an openworked plate and bridges enabling a better view of the high-frequency 5Hz escapement with a silicon escape-wheel requiring no lubricant. Also driven by a desire for visibility, the oscillating weight is openworked in the shape of a star – a discreet nod to the world of Zenith whose latest Chronomaster Open shines as much by its offbeat elegance as by its performance.


As a WorldTempus reader, we are delighted to offer you the latest digital version of this GMT magazine that you can download here as well as the Geneva Watch Tour insert. Happy reading!

Spécial Salons Horlogers 2022

GMT Magazine n° 77 © GMT Magazine



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