On the wooden beam: Zenith Funky 1970’s Defy

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Next up on the wooden beam is a watch that came into my collection many years ago. The Zenith Defy from the late 1960’s – early 1970’s with the typical Funky 70’s look!

A clear octagon case design. I am almost surprised that no one claimed these as Genta design as most octagon shaped watches are referred to as “Genta design”…

To my understanding these Zenith Defy came in 1969, three years before the more famous octagon case was born…

Zenith Funky 1970’s Defy – on the wooden beam

The interesting part with these vintage Zenith wrist watches is that it’s very hard to find a firm advice on the reference number. Not even the great Zenith book by Manfred Rössler gives a straight answer.

This watch is included as reference 01.0902.290 in the book but I can’t find any other using that reference number… Another source state 493877 which I find very unlikely as that is the patent number referring to the shock absorbing ring between the movement and the case, also shared by other models of the Defy.

The most common used reference on the Internet is the A3642. My question regarding the A3642 is that in these documents, it is used for a blue dial version of the Defy, while next to it is the same Defy model with red dial stated as A3691. The only difference between the two from what I can seen in the scan is that the red one have the 28800 writing on the dial.

Could it be that A3642 and A3691 are references based on dial colour? Or are they two different references due to the later having the faster beating movement, Calibre 2562 PC?

Zenith Defy – scan credit: Manfred Rössler Zenith book

Regardless of reference, this is a very cool Funky 70’s watch!

Even if no turning bezel, this is a divers watch waterproof down to 300 meters.

Zenith Funky 1970’s Defy – waterproof 300 m

On the wrist it’s very comfortable and has a very nice presence.

Zenith Funky 1970’s Defy – on the wrist

Another less clear thing regarding these is that most sources claim that these Defy without the 28800 on the dial are earlier versions which had the slower Calibre 2542 or 2552, beating at the rate of 21.600 vph.

And that Defy with the 28800 on the dial have the Calibre 2562, beating at the rate of 28.800 vph, hence the 28800.

I used to have two of these, one with the 28800 on the dial and this one without. Both having the Calibre 2562 inside.

This document in my library from 1975 clearly show this Defy without the 28800, but in 1975 the Calibre 2562 were in use.

Zenith Defy ad – Italian 1975

Yes, I am still only scratching the surface of the Zenith history but I will try to find out more… Stay tuned!