The wristwatch has become a statement accessory for the modern man, but, it was women who wore the first wristwatches. Rightly so, Zenith has dedicated two creations to women for LVMH’s first Watch Week held in Dubai. For its first purely feminine watch, Zenith created the DEFY Midnight, a feminine companion inspired by the glittering heights of the starry night sky and conceived as both timepiece and jewel, the new Zenith DEFY Midnight expresses its femininity across a “celestial dial” – an exquisite slate grey or blue gradient finished dial punctuated with scant glimmers of the stars.
Adorned with brilliant-cut round diamonds, the new 36mm Zenith DEFY Midnight, the attractiveness of its aesthetics is matched by the competence of the automatic Elite in-house movement, a dependable workhorse used across Zenith’s other collections and topped with a star-shaped oscillating weight.
In terms of potent feminine statements, Zenith particularly excels in their new collection – The Elite Moonphase, available in 40.5mm and 36mm case diameters, the new Zenith Elite Moonphase is not a dedicated series for women but an serious argument can be made for how men should also be ready to embrace a gorgeous and dressy 36mm timepiece reminiscent of vintage dress watches.
Both men’s and women’s Zenith Elite Moonphases use the same Elite 692 calibre. This means that pivot positions will dictate the layout for the various indicators on the dial – driven from a central position, hours and minutes are simple enough but the subsidiary seconds and moonphase will dictate how the layout of the dial looks. On the 36mm Elite Moonphase, the guilloche dial looks well proportioned in terms of the distances between each visual element while on the 40.5mm Elite Moonphase for men, the small seconds and moonphase indicator look like they’ve been cramped together, leaving too much space for the hour indexes on the periphery.
Majestic in its tone thanks to guilloche blue and champagne dials, the asymmetry is harmonious on the 36mm Zenith Elite Moonphase and without comparison, passable on the 40.5mm variant: A midnight blue circle on the lower half of the sunburst pattern dial takes on the same tone as the moonphase disk, giving the impression of an oversized display of the golden moon and stars matched by thesmall running seconds at 9 o’clock.
Let us state categorically, on both 36 and 40.5mm models, the elegant proportions work but on the smaller model, the dial design just looks better. On the Zenith Elite Classic, no such issues complicate the appeal of the slim, dress watch; you get to enjoy the unadulterated view of the engine turned lines radiating from the central point of the dial available in a myriad of hues.
Like the DEFY Midnight, the Elite series features a wide array of straps in numerous materials and colours, available from Zenith boutiques and authorised retailers. These can be swapped by means of a quick strap-change mechanism integrated directly onto the back of the straps, and requiring no tools or special skills for the owner to do on her own, be it for a change of seasons or just a change of outfit.
New Zenith DEFY Midnight Price and Specs
Movement Automatic Elite 670 SK with 48 hours power reserve
Case 36mm Stainless steel with diamond-set bezel with 100 metres water resistance
Price From 8900 CHF
New Zenith Elite Moonphase Price and Specs
Movement Automatic Elite 692 with 48 hours power reserve
Case 36 or 40.5mm stainless steel with diamond-set or steel bezel with 50 metres water resistance
Price From 6900 CHF