It has become somewhat of a tradition for Zenith to release a modern version of one of its classics from the archives during Watches and Wonders. This year is no different as the brand brings back the legendary A3648. This colorful dive watch was first released in 1969. It combined great looks with a serious set of dive-worthy specs. Zenith decided to bring this classic back in a modern version with the Defy Revival A3648. The remarkable thing is that the watch still stands out immediately more than five decades later. It’s time to find out more.

Over the past few years, we have seen many great Zenith reissues from the brand’s archives. The last two years, in particular, have drawn attention to the classic Zenith Defy series of the late 1960s and early ’70s. In 2022, the brand released the brilliant Defy Revival A3642. Last year, we saw the Defy Revival A3691 and the blacked-out titanium version of the A3642. This year, it’s time for the Defy Revival A3648, the diving version of the A3642 that first came out in 1969.

Defy Revival A3648

The A3648 was one of the first Zenith dive watches

The Zenith Defy A3648 was significant in the late ’60s for multiple reasons. As the watch was one of the first Zenith divers, it came with impressive specs. It was water resistant down to 600 meters, making it a serious tool that boosted professional performance. On top of that, the colors combined with the angular case made the watch pop immediately.

Colorful watches were not weird in the late ’60s and early ’70s. However, the A3648 was a highlight because it combined style and functionality in all the right ways. Compared to the regular Defy models, there were several notable changes. First, the Defy case received a rotatable 60-minute bezel with a bright orange insert.

Secondly, both the design of the dial and the hands are much closer to the brand’s stylish A3630 diver, which was available around the same time. As you can see, the bracelet was also different. Instead of using the famous ladder bracelet, Gay Frères designed a five-row bracelet for the new diver. Lastly, the A3648 was powered by Zenith’s caliber 2552PC with a date, whereas the caliber 2562PC powered the regular A3642.

Zenith Defy Revival A3648

The new Zenith Defy Revival A3648

As we have seen with previous Defy Revival releases, Zenith stays as close to the original watches as possible, and I love that. For the new Defy Revival A3648, the brand uses the same 37mm case diameter. However, this watch measures 15.5mm in thickness rather than 13.6mm thick like its non-diver counterparts. It’s a seriously chunky slab of stainless steel that is water-resistant to 600 meters. The watch features a screw-down crown at 4:30 and a display case back. That last detail is part of why the case is as chunky as it is.

The angular case features a 14-sided unidirectional bezel with a bright orange sapphire insert with black markings. It pairs well with the matte black dial and the orange minute track on its periphery. The orange handset features a pencil-style hour hand, an oversized arrow-shaped minute hand, and a slim seconds hand with a rectangular tip. All three hands and the indices bear white Super-LumiNova that lights up green so you can read the time in the dark.

The Zenith in-house Elite 670 movement

As mentioned, if you turn the watch around, you can see the Zenith in-house caliber 670 through the sapphire crystal on the back. The automatic movement operates at a 28,800vph frequency and has 27 jewels and 50 hours of power reserve. It also offers a date feature, which you can find between 4 and 5 o’clock on the dial, just like the original watch. The large rotor features the famous Zenith star, which you will see applied to the dial as well. This Elite caliber is finished nicely with Geneva stripes for the rotor and bridges along with perlage for the mainplate.

A vintage Zenith Defy A3648 — Image: WatchPool24

The watch comes fitted with the same five-row bracelet design as the original watch. It features a folding clasp equipped with a dive extension, so you can wear your Defy Revival over a wetsuit if you want to. While I doubt many new owners will do that, it is great that Zenith went to great lengths to recreate the original watch in detail.

Zenith Defy Revival A3648

Final thoughts on the new Zenith Defy Revival A3648

I love that Zenith recreates the classic Defy watches from the past. It is a testament to the brand’s great legacy and shows that it has combined incredible watchmaking with stylish designs for decades. The result is a great modern version of the classic A3648 that is every bit as impactful as it was in the 1970s. The new Zenith Defy Revival A3648 will be available for CHF 7,400 / €8,000. While this bright vintage-inspired watch might not be for everyone, it does show the great depth of the brand’s archives. I love the design and the colors as they perfectly tell the story of Zenith. It’s a story that has many more great chapters that we will hopefully see in the future.

For more information, visit the official Zenith website. Let us know in the comments section what your thoughts are on the new Zenith Defy Revival A3648.

Watch specifications

Defy Revival A3648
Black ang orangep with Super-LumiNova C1
Case Material
Stainless steel
Case Dimensions
37mm (diameter) × 15.5mm (thickness)
Domed sapphire with antireflective treatment on both sides
Case Back
Stainless steel and sapphire crystal
Zenith Elite 670: automatic with manual winding, 28,800vph frequency, 50-hour power reserve, 27 jewels
Water Resistance
600m (60 ATM)
Stainless steel five-row bracelet with folding clasp
Time (hours, minutes, seconds), date, 60-minute dive bezel
CHF 7,400 / €8,000