Hands on with the Zenith Defy Skyline Chronograph

Fusing gorgeous looks with a cracking El Primero movement, this was always going to be a star

The Zenith Defy Skyline Chronograph worn on the wrist of T3's Sam Cross at Watches and Wonders 2024
(Image credit: Sam Cross)

Watches and Wonders 2024 is coming to a close, leaving us watch enthusiasts to mull over the many timepieces on show. This year's event was packed with new releases from massive brands – many of which I was fortunate to get up close and personal with.

That includes the subject of this piece – the Zenith Defy Skyline Chronograph. Already wearing its crown as one of the Best in Show at Watches and Wonders, you might have an early insight into just how good this is.

As one of the most hotly anticipated watches at the show, this was always set to turn heads. It's not hard to see why, either.

Fusing the sumptuous design language of the Defy line with the El Primero movement which has become synonymous with the brand, this is set to be a total monster.

You'll find a 42mm octagonal case, crafted from steel. That's paired up with a really brilliant bracelet. The H-shaped links on that offer a really pleasant wearing experience. It's not at all like the integrated bracelet watches which some might mistake it for.

As mentioned above, the El Primero movement sits inside this model. That's a 5Hz movement, with a power reserve of 60 hours. It also offers a 1/10th of a second chronograph function, allowing users to time events with much more precision.

But enough of the specs – what's it like on the wrist? Well, fantastic. The chunk and heft of that steel case is as robust as you'd expect. It's certainly weighty, but that's exactly what you want from a watch like this.

It's remarkably comfortable in use – mostly due to that bracelet. As I mentioned, that uses H-shaped links, which morph to the shape of your wrist beautifully.

That 42mm case diameter is certainly going to be a tall order for those with smaller wrists, but it shouldn't be too much of a deal breaker. My diddy 6.5-inch wrist was able to wear it, and while it certainly wasn't small, it wasn't too big.

With a retail price of £12,100, I can see this having a really pleasant time in the current market. Can't buy the Rolex Daytona or an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak? Maybe this is where you should be looking. 

If you're looking for more of the best watches on the market right now, check out all of the content on T3's Luxury Watches Month.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.