Zenith Defy Revival A3691 Gets Throwback Red Dial

Around this time last year, Zenith introduced a new watch to their Revival series focused on the A3642 Defy “Bank Vault”, a particularly stylish example of the brand’s willingness to skirt conventional designs. The Revival perfectly captured that watch’s charming size and smokey aesthetic, and this year they are returning to the platform with the Revival A3691, honoring the first Defy model with a vividly colored dial, released in 1971. The newest Defy Revival A3691 gets the same deep red dial as the original, and keeps all the funk of the design in the process. 

The late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s were a pretty wild time for watch design, and Zenith was among those at the forefront of pushing the boundaries. Seriously, check out some of their old Port Royal and Defy designs and marvel at their oddity. As far as I’m concerned, we could use a bit of the same thinking today. These Zenith Revival watches are an apt reminder of their creativity, both then and now. Not only do the Revival watches do a great job of looking back, they balance against other Defy watches that are looking to push ahead, such as their latest Defy Skyline range. Or their collaborations with the likes of Felipe Pantone.


The Defy Revival A3642 featured a dramatic smokey gradient dial that faded from light to dark, and the latest A3691 retains a bit of this quality within the rich red hue, with a gentle shift from light to dark at the dial’s edge. The oversized hour markers look a bit like folded paper rendered in steel, and create a light/shadow effect that lends a ton of personality to the watch as a whole, even in the presence of this case. 

This case nearly defies explanation, and while its 37mm footprint is relatively small, it packs a lot of visual weight into its octagonal frame. There are scalloped edges both in the broader case, and the bezel unit that catch light in a variety of ways thanks to the different finishes used throughout. There are hard edges and swooping lines that all somehow come together in an origami like fashion, creating a wholly unique look. 

Inside you’ll find Zenith’s Elite 670 automatic movement with 50 hours of reserve, and a date complication that’s nestled neatly between the 4 and 5 o’clock hour makers on the dial. It is not color matched, by the way, which is probably a good thing here as the date might get lost entirely otherwise. This is not a limited edition and will be a part of the Defy Revival collection, priced at $6,900 on a steel ladder style bracelet. Zenith.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent his professional life covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seiko to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.