The Zenith Defy Classic is the Ultimate Blue Dial Sports Watch

“Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” – Henry Ford

When Zenith introduced the Defy Classic in 2018, they made an intriguing design decision that not many manufactures would risk in any industry, let alone one that has seen its audience expand exponentially over the past decade. If you wanted a solid (read: non-skeletonized) dial Defy Classic, the only choice was blue. With this model currently being phased out in favor of the recently introduced Defy Skyline (and its multiple dial color options), it appears we will only see this watch in blue, making it the ultimate blue dial sports watch.

To be completely upfront, this is no ordinary blue. What the brand calls a “blue-toned sunray-patterned” dial shows life in a way that other blue dials can only aspire to recreate. Changes in light sources will reveal new colors and patterns in a same manner as magician revealing your card from a shuffled deck – on first sight, you are left dumbfounded as to what you have seen, and then immediately attempt to figure out the method behind the magic. The dial is intoxicating in a way that elevates the timepiece to a level beyond the grasps of reality, into a level of fantasy and mysticism.

It is no wonder that when the designers at Zenith hit on this color combination with the titanium case, they decided to go no further. The skeletonized version of watch can be found in multiple color combination and utilizing special carbon and ceramic cases, which permits a variety of color combinations that is sure to appeal to a wide audience. Ultimately, you can’t top perfection: a Ferrari looks best in red, and the Zenith Defy Classic looks best in blue.

While the blue dial is the most prominent characteristic of the watch, Zenith also deserves praise for the beautiful finishing of the titanium case (and matching/integrated bracelet). Beyond providing a very lightweight wearing experience, the brushed surface of the titanium gives a unique look among its steel competitors. Offered in a very wearable 41mm diameter, the watch almost disappears on the wrist – that is, until the blue dial beckons your attention back to it.

Before this love letter concludes, there are two things that Zenith could have improved either as a mid-series update or for an eventual follow-up. First, while the titanium bracelet is very nicely finished, it is the weak link (no pun intended) with this timepiece. The butterfly clasp provides no option for micro-adjustments, resulting in a fit is either perfect, or not even close, depending on the weather. Second, while the existence of a date can be a very divisive among enthusiasts, if Zenith had color-matched the date wheel, it would have gone a long way to satisfying both sides of that fence.

What are your thoughts? Is there another timepiece that is better deserving of the “Best Blue Dial Sports Watch” trophy? Let me know if the comments.

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I thought pretty hard about buying one, but would prefer a smaller diameter, and hate the date window.  The lack of microadjust was the final nail in the coffin.  I really don't like the angular bezel on the Skyline either.

I ended up with a blue BB36.

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Here is my perfect blue dial sports watch. 

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Or this one. 

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NightSurfer
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Easily my favorite iteration of the Defy. 

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I don't know about "ultimate" but it is freaking good-looking!

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Can't say that I'm a big fan of Zenith's overall design language, but the Defy classic is nicely done, albeit a bit too inoffensive/bland IMHO. Would probably still choose an AquaTerra in 38,5 over this (if I had to choose a comparable sports watch with poor bracelet adjustability 😉).

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theevilwrist

Here is my perfect blue dial sports watch. 

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Agree!

The Polaris is also my perfect grand bleu, the blue is such a rich and deep blue. Thanks to the rehaut the dial is soooo big, there is almost no bezel. Additionally, you have this three textures, sun ray in the center, granular in the hour/minute track and smooth on the rehaut. No horrible date window and a nice symmetry thanks to the two crowns. The bracelet is also amazing, it is super comfortable and has a double extension system. Plus it is a JLC: you get a superior movement!

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Watch Nicholas YT Channel . Channel was Just Saying how He wanted one of these Tonight. I see why. Check Out the Last Live Stream where they Chat About this Model.

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I've tried it on with the open dial - and then tried to forget about it -  but it's remained at the top of my list for some time now, which, is always a good sign. Do I wish it had a longer power reserve? Yes. Can I think of any other issues I don't like ... not so much.

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NightSurfer
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I have to admit, that of all the skeletonized dial #zenith Defy Classics, this one is my favorite. The blasted #titanium case give an appealing contrast to the gradient #bluedial. I also like that they lummed the star, which was a first for this model.