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Zenith Adds Tourbillon Version of DEFY Skyline Watch

  • Feb 22, 2024
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Zenith Adds Tourbillon Version of DEFY Skyline Watch

French for “whirlwind,” the tourbillon movement was invented in the 18th century as a way to counteract the effect of gravity on the mechanics of a pocket watch. You see, pocket watches were stored vertically in your pocket, so the downward pull would cause the time to be more inaccurate. Essentially, a tourbillon puts the ​​movement’s escapement and balance wheel inside a freely rotating cage, which sounds simple enough but is still terribly difficult in practice. That’s why tourbillons, while somewhat antiquated in the contemporary world of wristwatches, are significantly more expensive than your regular, old automatics. Zenith, known for its legendary El Primero movement, has made a high-frequency tourbillon version that is housed inside its DEFY Skyline model.

While not quite its most iconic watch model (that would be the Chronomaster lineup), the DEFY collection has become known for its versatility — released in an array of colorways — and distinct design language that often features skeletonized models. It’s fitting, considering the tourbillon addition, that the DEFY was actually named after the brand’s Defi pocket watches from 1902. In terms of wristwatches, the DEFY name would get resurrected and repurposed as a member of the El Primero range in 1969.

Sporting a 14-sided bezel within the octagonal case, the Skyline debuted just a couple of years ago as the seventh sub-collection in the DEFY range. But here, Zenith adds a distinct aesthetic with the addition of the tourbillon window and reducing the bezel to just 12 sides. DEFY Skyline watches (the non-skeleton editions, at least) typically feature a grid pattern on the dial. But here, the sunray face is much more dynamic with a radial star pattern that gets larger the more it moves away from the tourbillon. Available in stainless steel with a blue dial or black ceramic with a black dial, the new watch is sized at 41mm and comes with either steel/ceramic bracelets (depending on which variant you get) and an extra rubber strap with matching colors to the dials. 

Priced at either $55,300 or $65,400, the DEFY Skyline Tourbillon is now available from Zenith’s website.


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