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Zenith - Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Bronze and two new limited editions

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The Pilot collection from Zenith expands with three aviator’s watches, two of them issued in limited editions of just 5 pieces each.

The first watch, the Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Bronze, is not a limited edition and is characterised by a bronze case, a novelty for the Pilot line.


Bronze is a particularly resistant non-magnetic copper and tin alloy which over the time oxidises so acquiring a natural patina, a feature appreciated by many watch enthusiasts and collectors because it accentuates the vintage appeal of the timepiece.

The 45 mm case and the domed sapphire crystal protect a broad matte black dial with oversized Arabic numerals entirely made of Super-LumiNova and faceted luminescent hands to guarantee excellent legibility.


One of the typical attributes of a pilot’s watch in the early 20th century, the ratcheted screwed-in crown is very large to enable adjustment with gloved hands. The water resistance of the watch is 100 metres.

The Pilot Type 20 Extra Special is powered by the automatic Zenith Elite Calibre 679 beating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz) and offering a 50-hour power reserve.

The solid titanium case-back is engraved with the Zenith Flying Instruments logo to remind the role played by Zenith in the conquest of the skies.


The vintage look of the watch is reinforced by the oily Nubuck leather strap with protective rubber lining fitted with a titanium pin buckle. The price of the Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Bronze is Euro 6,900 / US$ 7,600.


The second model is the Pilot Type 20 Hommage à Louis Blériot which celebrates the 1909 cross-Channel flight of the french pilot.

This limited edition features a massive 60 mm-diameter case carved from a block of sapphire and topped by a bezel, lugs and large ratcheted crown in white gold.

The grey meteorite dial, with its natural motif forming interlacing ribbons against a finely sandblasted background, is a fragment of the Muonionalusta asteroid which comes from a region located 140 km from the Arctic Circle.


The oversized Arabic numerals and the stylised hands enhanced with a phosphorescent material ensure optimal read-off for all its functions.


The transparent back of the 30 metres water resistant case reveals the Calibre 5011K, Zenith's last observatory chronometre movement developed in the late '50s and debuted in 1960. This hand wound pocket watch movement sets several precision records, including the 1967 Neuchatel Observatory award for the most accurate chronometre ever presented.

After finding a number of original 5011K calibres in the archives of the Manufacture, Zenith decided to restore them and create a number of Pilot Type 20 limited editions equipped with this legendary movement.


For this model, the 5011K calibre has been hand engraved with scenes depicting Louis Blériot’s cross-Channel flight in 1909 aboard the Blériot XI plane.

Driving hours and minutes hands along with small seconds at 9 o’clock and a power-reserve indicator at 3 o’clock, the movement operates at the rate of 18,000 vibrations per hour and guarantees 48 hours of autonomy.


The third model is the Pilot Type 20 Squelette limited edition where the Calibre 5011K has been entirely skeletonized in order to reveal the mechanism without affecting resistance and reliability.


The artisans created an aviation-inspired architectural motif featuring sleek lines evoking aircraft turbines or wings. Fine sandblasting and hand-finished angles enhance the appearance of the movement, revealed through the transparency of the sapphire crystal dial and case-back.


Topped by a blue enamel bezel, the 60 mm-diameter case is also carved from a block of sapphire with hand engraved lugs. The gold hands as well as the hollowed and blued Arabic numerals echo the blue enamel on the bezel.


The two special editions have a price of Euro 205,000 / US$ 225,000. zenith-watches.com

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