Make no mistake about it, the Zenith Defy Classic Skeleton is a piece of horological ingenuity. A bold futuristic take on the much-loved timepiece, Zenith’s skeletonised dial concept has garnered praise for its accessibility and aesthetic for years, but that’s not to say the watch is impervious to improvement. At least, that’s what we thought until the team at Time+Tide put their spin on the classic piece. Meet the exclusive Defy Classic Skeleton model affectionately nicknamed the ‘Night Surfer’.
A joint collaboration between industry publication Time+Tide and iconic Swiss watchmaker Zenith, the new Defy Classic Skeleton ‘Night Surfer’ takes inspiration from the most unlikely of places. Said to embody the ‘sky-show that greets surfers who dare to stay out after sunset’, the new piece was designed with the crashing Australian waves in mind.
One of the premier surfing locations in the world, Australia plays host to a number of world-class beaches, an essence Zenith captured in the Defy Classic Skeleton ‘Night Surfer’. From the deepening gradient of blue,
fringing to black in the heavens above, to the ‘evening star’ which is only visible in the Southern Hemisphere, the timepiece effortlessly reflects the unique Australian experience.
“I have spent many years travelling to and from Australia, and this model, for me, really captures what is special about the place, and the power of the natural elements there,” Zenith CEO, Julien Tornare said. “The vividness of the sky, the brightness of the evening star, which is presented here as the Zenith logo in a luminous material for the first time. It is fitting that I can connect with our Aussie collaborators, Time+Tide, in-person to launch this special model.”
From a mechanics point-of-view, the ‘Night Surfer’ doesn’t disappoint. For the first time, the vertical gradient dial and Zenith logo are comprised in Super-LumiNova and there are more debuts to be unpacked. The new Time+Tide x Zenith ‘Night Surfer’ is also the first Defy Classic Skeleton to receive a microblasted titanium bracelet and a gradient dial. There is also a luminous date frame, another first for the brand.
Sized at 41mm, the new collaborative piece features a stunning exhibition caseback offering a view of the Elite 670SK calibre, and featherlight weight of just 95 grams on the wrist. Time+Tide founder Andrew McUtchen said the ‘Night Surfer’ was b0rn from a mutual love of country, creativity and craftsmanship.
“It’s no secret that the Defy Classic Skeleton is an underrated model on the market, and in the Night Surfer we have sought to highlight its many qualities,” he said. “The watch’s high polished, gradient, luminous, layered and matte elements give the Defy Classic Skeleton a new way to shine. The results speak for themselves and are a credit to the creative and production team at Zenith, led by the extraordinary Romain Marietta. This was a tough brief – capture a totally magical natural moment in a timepiece – and he and his team have absolutely crushed it.”
The Zenith Defy Classic Skeleton ‘Night Surfer’ will be limited to 100 pieces, with 50 pieces allocated to Time+Tide and 50 pieces for Zenith boutiques around the world. Ultra-exclusive and inspired by the ocean, the new piece is unapologetically Australian by design, and that’s never a bad thing.