SKU: JM117765 Category:


The Zenith Defy was the start of Zenith’s super water resistant watches for diving

With a stainless steel block case, and hardened mineral glass, this was a watch meant for heavy use, rather than just another glamour piece !

Item description: A classic Zenith Defy dating from 1970. This super water resistant watch has the stainless steel ‘block’ case with hardened mineral crystal, the crystal with a  special locking bezel around the crystal to create a particularly effective seal (including helium). The case also with double-sealed screw down crown (non-branded). The dial with the merged brown colourway, and with applied multi-line battons, and date calender at the typical Zenith 4-5 0.clock position. The dial with the Zenith Defy name, along with applied silver logo. Screw down Zenith case-back with large Zenith central logo (raised, along with product code numbers ‘872 D 294’. Zenith 23 jewel automatic movement (calibre 2562 PH). The movement with the special ‘Defy’  antishock rubber bushing which suspends the entire movement. The watch is complete with a rubberised sports / diver style strap with stainless steel (non-branded) buckle.

Case size: 45mm x 38mm

Condition report: Overall very good to excellent condition. Case in good overall condition, unpolished, and with typical surface scratches (minor) from use. Original dial with a nice patina. The hardened mineral crystal particularly clean, and free from scratches. The movement particularly clean, and has been recently serviced (no warranty implied). The timepiece may have been opened, so it should not be used near moisture or water without being checked by a qualified watchmaker.

Background to the Zenith Defy: The Defy was Zenith’s line of super water resistant watches, which was brought out to capture more of the developing sportwatch market. The Defy line was introduced in 1969 (concurrent with El Primero-powered chronos), using a particularly rugged case and with a hardened mineral crystal, double-sealed screw down crown, a special locking bezel around the crystal to create a particularly effective seal (including helium) and an antishock rubber bushing suspending the entire movement. Dials come in a large number of colourways, which have recently made them a collectors favourite, especially as the large-cased sports watches of the 1970s have become more fashionable. The Defy name came from an 19th century Zenith model designation “Defi,” in french, which is more correctly translated as “challenge”.

The Defy remains one of the more affordable diver watches of the 1960s / 1970s, from one of the top brands. But, for how much longer ?

Background to Zenith: Watchmaker Georges Favre-Jacot founded the Zenith company in 1865 at the age of 22, opening a workshop in Le Locle in the canton of Neuchâtel. Zenith has a long reputation for the quality and precision of their watches. It is one of the few Swiss watch manufacturers that still produce their own movements in-house. During World War II, Zenith were one of a group of Swiss companies, such as IWC, Longines etc given contracts by Germany to produce military watches for them. Zenith famously created the El Primero calibre, which was first released in 1969, and still produced today. This renowned movement was one of the first automatic chronograph movements and has a frequency of 36,000 alternations per hour (5 Hz). This high rate allows a resolution of 1⁄10 of a second and a potential for greater positional accuracy over the more common standard frequency of 28,800 alternations per hour (4 Hz)

Special notes: n/a

Provenance: n/a

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