On the occasion of the inaugural LVMH Watch Week in Dubai, Zenith has chosen to put women’s watches front and center, showcasing models which tick boxes at either end of the aesthetic spectrum. On the one hand, there’s the defiantly modern DEFY Midnight, on the other, the decidedly elegant Elite.

Zenith DEFY Midnight

With this feminine iteration of the DEFY, we see the sporty steel watch shrink down to a more delicate 36mm case width, while still maintaining the collection’s angular profile. And while there are the practically de rigueur diamonds (brilliant-cut BTW), adorning the case, we found it hard to pull our gaze away from the dial.

Zenith DEFY Midnight
Zenith DEFY Midnight
Zenith DEFY Midnight

It’s here where the watch takes its ‘midnight’ appellation. The dial — or should I say dials, as it’s offered in deep blue, grey and mother-of-pearl, is the heart and soul of this watch, and a literal embodiment of Zenith’s “time to reach your star” tagline. The glossy dial has a vertical gradient finish, evoking the night-time horizon. In the uppermost reaches of this firmament, tiny stars (some luminous) glimmer, with the brand’s own star occupying the topmost position. The mother-of-pearl option switches things up, apparently inspired by moonlight on a cloudy night. Hour markers are set diamonds, and there’s an Elite movement (powered by a star-shaped rotor), keeping time. On top of the sporty steel bracelet, there’s a range of leather, rubber and satin strap on offer, all easily changed out thanks to the quick-change mechanism.

Zenith DEFY Midnight
Zenith DEFY Midnight
Zenith DEFY Midnight

The DEFY Midnight is the first women’s watch that Zenith has made, from the ground up, as it were, and, it must said that the care and attention to detail has paid off, resulting in a particularly dazzling ensemble.

Zenith Elite Classic and Elite Moonphase

While not strictly a women’s collection, there’s a lot to be said for the combination of classical style and restrained proportions on a woman’s wrist. The Elite line has been is Zenith’s dressiest offering: something that’s evident in these two news models, the Elite Classic and Elite Moonphase. Both models are offered in 36mm and 40.5mm cases, in either steel or gold. The Elite Classic is, well, pretty classic. Tapered, faceted and polished hour markers set the tone, and the delicate minutes and seconds track adds a touch of precision to the design dynamic. The Elite Moonphase adds some nocturnal drama to the dial, with an oversized midnight blue circle at the bottom of the dial perfectly colour-matched to the moon phase disc, providing an illusion of an out-sized display.

Zenith Elite Classic
Zenith Elite Moonphase

So whether your tastes run to sporty or just plain chic, there’s a Zenith watch to fit.